Osagie Ize-Iyamu, like most political candidates barking up an apex governmental seat of power, has enjoyed perhaps more than the conventional 15 minutes of fame a man in his position would usually enjoy. Having mended fences with his former principal, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the self-acclaimed clergyman has launched quite a strong bid to oust incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki from the premium seat of power in Edo state, a bid which has produced stunning dramatics, attacks and counter-attacks, criminations and recriminations, all packed into this heavyweight contest that has upended the state’s political space in recent months.
With the main event of these battlements merely days away, Daily Times takes a look at five things to know about the man of the moment, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
(1) Birth & Upbringing: Osagie Ize-Iyamu was born in Benin City to Chief Robert Osayande Ize-Iyamu and Mrs. Magdalene Naghado Ize- Iyamu (née Obasohan). His father was a revered high chief of the Oba of Benin, ranking second in command until his demise as the Esogban of Benin. His mother was a trained teacher who later transitioned into trader.
(2) Education: Ize-Iyamu attended St. Joseph Primary School and Ebenezer Nursery and Primary School in Benin City. He had his Secondary education at Edo College and passed out with grade I in his West African Examination Council (WAEC) examinations. He attended the University of Benin where he graduated with an LL.B (Hons) and proceeded to the Nigerian Law School where he was awarded the Bachelor of Law (BL) qualification and called to the Nigerian Bar in 1987.
He is an honorary doctorate degree holder of the Benson Idahosa University, Benin City. On July 1st, 2019, he was recognized for his contribution to the development of Nigeria’s democratic process and rule of law when he received the Life Time Achievers Award by the Nigerian Bar Association, Benin (Lion) Branch.
(3) Family man: Osagie Ize-Iyamu is married to Pastor (Dr) Idia Ize-Iyamu, a Consultant Orthodontist with the University of Benin Teaching Hospital and a Professor in the University of Benin. They have four children.
(4) Ministerial involvement: Ize-Iyamu is a Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God. He oversees the Upper Room Parish in GRA, Benin City.
(5) Political career: Ize-Iyamu served as Director-General of Adams Oshiomhole’s 2nd term Campaign Organisation. He was also the Coordinator of Goodluck/Sambo Campaign Organisation in Edo State, 2015. With Oshiomhole rounding off his second term in office to usher in a new dispensation. Ize-Iyamu contested the 2016 gubernatorial election under the platform of the PDP, but lost to Godwin Obaseki who was at the time allied with the former governor of the state.
In December 2019, Osagie Ize-Iyamu dumped the PDP for the APC, following a fallout between Governor Obaseki and his former political godfather, Adams Oshiomhole. He emerged as the All Progressives Congress flagbearer in the wake of controversial primaries which prompted Godwin Obaseki to defect to the PDP to keep the hopes of retaining his governorship seat alive.