By Osehobo Ofure
In 29 years of watching elections in Edo, I noticed a few characteristics that the best aspirants in political parties possess which eventually sees one of them flying their party flag when the time comes.
I saw this on display in 1991, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2016 and as the countdown to the June 2020 primaries of the major political parties draws near, am already seeing the aspirants with these characteristics. But what are these characteristics?
The aspirant who look set to fly his party’s flag knows when to talk less and do more. He will under promise but later over deliver. He is collaborative. He take the long view even when it’s unpopular in the here-and-now. And He knows that in a state as close-knit as Edo, today’s opponent could be tomorrow’s ally – so he don’t burn bridges.
Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu embodies those qualities in this year’s Edo APC primary race for governor.
Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the Assistant Pastor in charge of Province 2, Christian social Responsibility, would rather listen than pontificate. He has the experience to know his own mind and the humility and empathy to know that what others think matters just as much.
Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the former Secretary to Edo state government knows the policy-making process firsthand and inside-out. He won’t need a tutorial because he already understands what it takes to get things done in a State government. And he knows that no matter how bold the claim, no one can do it alone.
Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the farmer also knows that whether it’s raising livestock or presiding over a private business enterprise, working together is the best way to accomplish shared goals and come out the other side without bitterness or backbiting.
Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the husband and father knows that working in state government has a lot more to do with preparing the next generation and the one after that for the challenges ahead than it does with achieving personal political success. He’s in it for a better long-term future, not better numbers in today’s polls.
I know Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu to be the kind of candidate, Edo APC will delight to have and he is the kind of person who will make the party and all Edo people proud as governor. He and his wife, Idia, are gracious without being self-congratulatory. They are engaged without being condescending. They are hard-working to their very core. And they are Edo, through and through.
There are certain givens when it comes to an aspirant who will be a successful candidate in this year 2020 as far as APC in Edo state is concerned. He must be for stronger families. He must be protective of Edo’s culture, traditions and values, with regard for the most vulnerable. He must be willing to put ego and personal agendas on the shelf to make tough choices for the common good.
Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu fits all those criteria and more. He will work hard to help ensure that Edo’s economy is earnestly stimulated on the path of growth, Edo’s communities are safer, Edo’s budget is balanced, Edo’s public policies are sound and responsible and humane, Edo’s voice is heard in Abuja, Edo’s children get a world-class education, and their own children have the kind of career opportunities that make them think of how to make life better.
That’s why I’m hoping that All Edo APC members should turn out and vote Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu as the party’s candidate for Governor in the June primary election, and it’s why they should too. All APC members should come out and vote as leaving delegates to do the job will see a lot of them being bought or intimidated.