By Ozioruva Aliu – Benin City
The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo state during the September 19th, 2020 governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has denied reports that there is a crisis in the APC over his alleged ambition to submit himself for the position of chairmanship of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
A statement by Ize-Iyamu said he is focused on the legal quest of the party to obtain justice “and establish the truth in court over subsisting suits on issues surrounding the last governorship election held in the state.”
Meanwhile, the member elected to represent Uhumwonde Constituency in the Edo Assembly, Hon. (Dr.) Washington Osa Osifo, has dismissed speculations that he is serving somebody’s interest in his legal challenge of the leadership situation of the NDDC which remains without a governing board contrary to the ‘Establishment Act’ guiding its operations.
Osifo had recently filed a suit at the Federal High Court sitting in Benin City seeking a legal verdict on whether the President has the powers to sack the governing board of the NDDC and unilaterally appoint a sole administrator in its place.
However, certain speculations have emerged that his suit may be motivated by a sinister plan to pave the way for Ize Iyamu to fill the NDDC chairmanship position.
But in a statement yesterday, Osifo dismissed the speculations which he said could only be peddled by those with a poor understanding of his longstanding activism for the consistent application of the law.
He said: “My struggle for the law to be honored in the leadership formation of the NDDC is informed by my training as a lawyer, personal values, and stakeholder interest as a member of the South-South region, particularly one of the oil-producing states.
“It predates the return of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu to the All Progressives Congress and has nothing to do with him or the personal ambition of any political figure. The evidence of my consistent actions and political antecedents over the years is quite clear on the fact that I can never be a stooge to anyone. I have never done it and will never do it.
“Years back when the NDDC had an unfilled vacancy, I was among the first in the country who wrote and addressed the media that the void was a violation of the NDDC act.
“In exercise of his powers, when Mr. President eventually nominated persons to fill the vacancies and delayed swearing-in of same, I personally wrote to advise Mr. President on the need to do so.”
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