The candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the September 19 governorship election in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has accused Governor Godwin Obaseki of fanning the embers of divisive politics through unguarded statements.
Ize-Iyamu alleged that Obaseki had cultivated a habit of using negative phrases against any party faithful not willing to support his second-term ambition, adding that such statements had worsened the state of insecurity in Edo.
In a document titled ‘The Simple Agenda … a manifesto of hope,’ he said, “The state of insecurity assumed its peak when Governor Godwin Obaseki cultivated and nurtured the habit of fanning the embers of divisive politics by making unguarded statements, particularly with words and phrases as ‘crush,’ and ‘my second term is non-negotiable.’
“His determination to physically assault any fellow party faithful who aspires to run for governor or is not willing to support his ambition has created a tense and volatile environment.”
The APC candidate also accused the governor of failing to address the high rate of unemployment, which he said had resulted in youth restiveness in the state and made Edo a “sanctuary for disgruntled youths.”
Ize-Iyamu said, “Youth unemployment and under-employment is a huge nightmare in the state, with eight out of 10 qualified youths unable to find jobs. Data from the National Bureau of Statistics shows that Edo State has a high rate of youth unemployment at 25.1 per cent. The rate of unemployment in Edo State increased from 19.6 per cent to 25.1 per cent in the same quarter of 2019. This is contrary to the promise of creating 200,000 jobs.
“The unemployment situation largely accounts for the prevailing incidence of youth restiveness, which manifests in high rates of armed robbery, kidnapping, thuggery and cultism. Edo State is now literally a sanctuary for disgruntled youths who invariably vent their frustration and anger over their social marginalisation of law-abiding and hardworking citizens.”
He, however, stated that the dangerous situation in the state could only be reversed by a change in the leadership that would be tolerant of different views, accommodating and committed to peaceful engagement. ,,