Candidate of the All Progressives Congress for the Edo State governorship election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has called for a violence-free election in the state, urging his party’s main rival in the poll, the Peoples Democratic Party to promote the same ideal.
Ize-Iyamu made the call in Lagos on Friday during a session with senior journalists and media managers where he canvassed for issues-based engagement with the electorates.
The APC candidate comes up against incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki, of the PDP and others in the September 19 exercise.
Speaking at the event, Ize-Iyamu said, “We have said that we want this election to be issue-based. We don’t want to resort to name-calling and insults. I can assure you that we as a party will do everything to avoid violence.
“The PDP has posters and billboards all around the place. In fact, they started before us by putting billboards around the place. We got agents to help us ask the state government how much we need to pay for the available spaces, they told us and we paid.
“However, a top government official said how can they allow APC to have billboards in strategic locations? He then ordered them to go and remove the billboards. So, they began to remove our billboards.
“Rather than resolve to violence, we wrote a petition to the Commissioner of Police, we also did the same thing to Director of DSS and Hon. Patrick Obahiagbon addressed the press where he advised the PDP to be accommodating, tolerant, and avoid things that could trigger violence.
“We could have taken the law into our hands by destroying their billboards also but we didn’t do it. From then till now, they have not mentioned that one of their billboards was destroyed. They destroyed our billboards at night, we too could have done any of their own at night but we just left it.
“So, let me assure that by the grace of God, there will be no violence.”
Edo is one of the states in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region where elections are usually characterised by violence and ballot box snatching.
Despite the presence of security personnel, many deaths occur during elections into key positions in many parts of the country.
SaharaReporters, New York