The All Progressives Congress (APC) has condemned the absence of Edo State Governor and governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Godwin Obaseki, at a debate organised to hold between the governor and the APC governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
The debate, tagged Edo Governorship Election Conversation, was well-publicised and scheduled for 8am on Arise News on Wednesday. The main candidates were expected to outline their vision for the state.
Despite publicising the debate via his official Twitter handle, Obaseki did not attend, leaving Ize-Iyamu as the only present candidate.
In its reaction, the APC described the governor’s absence as “cowardice.”
According to a statement signed by Chairman of Edo APC Media Campaign Council, Mr. John Mayaki, the party said the PDP candidate’s “cowardice” is “legendary, shameless, and unbecoming of someone who hopes to lead the fearless people of Edo state.”
“This is the third time that Obaseki will flee from a debate. What is he running away from? From accountability and transparency? This tells you that the Channels TV Interview was arranged. It was a trap and a plot, which we still overcame anyway,” Mayaki said.
“It also tells you that it was an elaborate setup by the governor Obaseki-led government to hoodwink the nation and the people of Edo State, but those in the state know what is going on.
“They had already paid for adverts on Arise TV just the same way they paid for adverts on Channels Television, but it meant nothing to the governor to run away from the debate after wasting Edo people’s money on advertisements.”
The APC campaign spokesman further stated that, “With this dodgy attitude of Obaseki, Edo people cannot have confidence in him. He has consistently failed promises made to workers, traders and farmers in Edo state.
“Now, Governor Obaseki has taken his unreliability to the media three times and the one time he appeared in the media, he knows how much he spent to present a good image howbeit, through fraudulent opinion polls and contrived narratives – no one trusts him.”
Mayaki claimed that the governor is “relying on his thugs to win the election and the state would not let that happen.”
He, therefore, urged Edo people to come out en masse and “vote out tyranny, cowardice, oppression and dishonesty.”
Last Sunday, Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu both participated in a heated governorship debate broadcast live on Channels Television.
On Tuesday, both candidates signed a peace accord and committed to a nonviolent electoral process.
The governorship election in Edo State is scheduled to hold on September 19, 2020.