President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday cautioned the leadership of the All Progressives Congress ahead of the Edo State governorship poll, against repeating its past mistakes as witnessed in Zamfara and Rivers States in 2019.
Buhari asked the party to ensure that it would win the governorship election through constitutional means and not by crisis or any other methods.
The President spoke in Abuja when he received the party’s Edo governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, at the State House.
READ ALSO: Buhari Meets Ize-Iyamu Amid Turmoil In Edo
Ize-Iyamu visited the president with the Caretaker Committee Chairman of the APC and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni; Chairman of Progressive Governors Forum and Governor of Kebbi State, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu; and the party’s Campaign Chairman in Edo, and Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.
Buhari pointed to the fact of the APC having “acute crisis” in Edo, saying that it was his hope that the party would put the differences in the camps behind it and work for victory.
The President said he was encouraged by the mending of fences that had restored pride to the APC, adding that he looked forward to having the party win the election and serve Edo people well.
Recalling how internal squabbles ultimately robbed the party of victory in Rivers and Zamfara in 2019, Buhari urged the warring groups to sheathe their swords in order to deliver Edo convincingly through constitutional means.
Calling for transparency and fairness, Buhari added, “What I want is a transparent process so that the confidence of the people will be strengthened.’’
He noted that Ize-Iyamu emerged from a “turbulent process’’, but assured him of his support nonetheless.
Speaking earlier, Mala-Buni described Ize- Iyamu as “a seasoned grassroots politician who is loved by his people.”
On his part, Ganduje promised that the party would run a “clean” campaign ahead of the race, devoid of violence or intimidation.
He made references to the latest crisis at the Edo State House of Assembly, saying that it was a blessing to the APC as it now had control of the speakership and the majority of 17 out of the 24 lawmakers.
The Presidency said Ize-Iyamu, while speaking, assured Buhari of his commitment to ensuring good governance in the state if elected in September.
He recalled that he served as Deputy Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee of the APC at its formation.
The candidate, who described himself as a “prodigal son”, told Buhari that he was happy that he retraced his steps and came back to the APC.
According to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, “The APC candidate thanked the President for the warm and fatherly reception, saying he was honoured to receive the party’s flag from the President.”
Ize-Iyamu claimed to be the most popular candidate to win the election, recalling how former National Chairman of the party, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, had also clarified that the previous negative comments he made about Ize-Iyamu were purely political.