Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has emerged winner of the governorship primary of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State, conducted on Monday at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, the state capital.
With this development, Ize-Iyamu will now face Mr. Godwin Obaseki of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the September 10 governorship election in the state. Obaseki had picked the party’s ticket with a landslide victory at the APC’s primary held in Benin on Saturday.
According to figures announced by the election committee, Ize-Iyamu polled 584 votes to defeat his closest rival, Mr. Matthew Iduoriyekemwen, who polled 91 votes. The third candidate, Mr. Solomon Edebiri scored 38 votes.
Accreditation of 740 delegates of the party, had began at about 9.30 a.m. simultaneously at three centres, with Okada House on Urubi Street hosting delegates from Edo South.
Delegates from Edo North were accredited at JBS Estate, while accreditation for those from Edo Central was conducted at the party’s secretariat at First East Circular Road.
Three aspirants for the primaries, who purchased their nomination forms at the party’s secretariat in Benin at N16 million included Chief Solomon Edebiri, Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu and Mr Mathew Uduoeyekemwen, all from Edo South.
Chairman of the committee, Gov David Umahi of Ebonyi State assured the aspirants, delegates and other members of the party that the exercise would be credible, free and fair.
One of the aspirants, Ize-Iyamu, was the Secretary to the State Government in former governor, Chief Lucky Igbinedion’s administration, while Uduoeyekemwen was majority leader in the House of Assembly at the time.
Publicity Secretary of the party in the state, Mr Chris Enehikhare, told NAN that the primary election was conducted on the directive of the National Caretaker Committee of the party.