The Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the scheduled September 19 election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, declared on Thursday in Abuja that Nigeria needs more righteous men in politics to drive positive change and bring joy to the people.
Ize-Iyamu was responding to a question as to whether he has been able to keep fidelity with his Christian faith as a politician and frontline leader in Edo State’s “cloak-and-dagger politics”.
He said magisterially: “Politics is my mission field.”
Citing Proverbs 29 verse 2, which says “when the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn,” Ize-Iyamu said he was on a mission to bring joy back to lives of the people of Edo State.
He stressed: “My calling, as a minister of God, is intact. I am a senior pastor in the Redeemed Christian Church of God. I still preach every Sunday.”
Ize-Iyamu said that conscious effort must be made to encourage good people to be involved in politics.
“Politics should not be left in the hands of criminals; otherwise there will be no hope for Nigeria,” he declared.
He appealed to Edo electorate to go out in their thousands on September 19 to vote, encouraging them not to be frightened by the violent conduct being exhibited in the electioneering of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
According to him, “If the good people of Edo State troop out to the polling booths to cast their votes and keep eternal vigilance, it would be difficult for those plotting to rig to write fake election results.”
He adverted attention to the statement by the State Governor and candidate of the PDP, Godwin Obaseki that his deputy and himself were the only ones who enjoyed immunity in the State, saying that should not make them foment trouble by encouraging thuggery during the election.
He said: “Without a doubt, the governor and his deputy governor enjoy immunity; but the thugs do not enjoy immunity. Therefore, if anybody is arrested in connection with violence and thuggery, the security agencies should let us know whether the arrested thugs are members of the APC or the PDP.”
Ize-Iyamu said in response to another question that if he lost the election, the worst he would do was to head to the tribunal, adding, however, that he had appealed to his supporters to shun violence and avoid bloodshed.
He said he was still worried over the continued destruction of his campaign billboards in Benin City and other parts of the State, stressing, “I find it disturbing that they sponsor violence and shift it to the doorsteps of the APC.”