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Edo election: Ize-Iyamu urges calm as supporters continue protests

The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic in the September 28 governorship election in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has appealed to his supporters to remain calm over the poll result announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

INEC had last Thursday declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Godwin Obaseki, as the winner of the keenly contested election, with a total number of ‎319,483 votes to defeat his closest rival, Ize-Iyamu, who scored 253,173 votes.
But the development had sparked protests by supporters of the party, including a mass demonstration by some youth groups against the outcome of the election.
The demonstrators, who marched through Akpakpava and other adjoining streets, were armed with placards bearing various inscriptions, accusing the APC of alleged irregularities and alleged compromise on the part of INEC.
They, therefore, called for a reversal of the result announced by the Returning Officer, Prof. Kayode Soremekun.
However, Ize-Iyamu, in a statement made available to journalists on Saturday, urged his supporters not to take the laws into their hands as the party had many options on its next line of action.
According to him, while the result allegedly “exposes the fraud orchestrated by INEC,” the PDP could take a legal action, hold a world press conference to buttress its argument or “leave everything to God”.
‎Ize-Iyamu said, “I appeal to all of us, Edo people who feel dissatisfied, not to take the laws into your hands or engage in violent demonstrations or destruction of public property. We still have many options. 
“We can go to the elections tribunal. We can call a world press conference to let the world know what transpired or we can leave everything to God.
‎”No matter how you feel, please conduct yourselves in a civilised manner because the will of God must prevail. If God says I, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, will be governor, no amount of rigging can stop it. So, we must keep hope alive; let us continue to hope and believe in our country.”
The PDP candidate also stressed ‎that, in spite of the “so-called” victory of the APC, the rejection of INEC’s declaration by the residents was clear with the sadness that had enveloped the state since September 29.‎
He explained, “For example, the so-called winner of the election was credited with less than 320, 000 votes while I, whom INEC claimed lost, was credited with less than 300, 000 votes. This is not true. 
“The results exposes the fraud orchestrated by INEC. The incident was nothing short of a pre-arranged allocation of votes.”
Ize-Iyamu, however, added, “More than the results of the election, I thank God that no life was lost before and during the elections, despite all plans by certain political parties. This was our prayer to God that no life should be lost in the course of the elections.”‎

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