The Edo governorship election has been more dramatic than you might have imagined, and it all began when state executives of the All Progressives Congress (APC) started a squabble with former National Leader of the party, Adams Oshiomhole.
As we edge closer to the election, the two leading contenders in the election – Godwin Obaseki of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the APC met Sunday evening, in an election debate organised by a Nigerian television station, Channels TV.
Earlier, Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu had been on a virtual interview organised by BBC Pidgin.
The trails of the debate are still fresh in the minds of Nigerians and here are our five hot takes from the debate.
On reviving the Edo State economy:
According to Channels TV moderator, Seun Okinbaloye, Edo had a poverty headcount level in 2019 sitting in the sixth position out of the 36 states. Using this data, Seun asked the contenders of their plans to revive the state economy, especially along the lines of job creation and industrialisation.
Obaseki went on to boast about his achievements in the area of job creation and improving the human capital index. Obaseki stated that his administration had promised to raise a minimum of 200,000 jobs within a minimum of a four-year period. And just before COVID-19 pandemic hit, Obaseki stated that he had created directed and indirect jobs for Edo people as much as 157,000.
Ize-Iyamu, on the other hand, countered Obaseki and pointed out that he had falsified the data. Iyamu, however, failed to share his strategies on reviving the state economy.
How Nigerians reacted:
Unfortunately Ize Iyamu doesn't know the difference between debating and campaigning.
Tell Edo people what you would do as Governor,you went off to character assassination.
Obaseki is more intelligent&informed than him&reason he keeps discussing issues. #EdoGovernorshipDebate
— Tosin Olugbenga (@TosinOlugbenga) September 13, 2020
"If you have employed over 151, 000 youths as you claimed, it would have reflected in the available unemployment statistics." @PastorIzeIyamu challenges @GovernorObaseki at the #EdoGovernorshipDebate, and the governor went numb. #ObasekiLiesBursted.
— Mcdominion (@Mcdominion2) September 14, 2020
Ize-Iyamu went ahead to accuse Obaseki of underinvesting in improving security in the state. He accused Obaseki of failing to invest in tracking technology and drones. Responding to this, Obaseki stated that his administration has rethought security and created a new security architecture for the state. He also informed the audience that his administration has invested in trackers.
The contenders, however, agreed on the concept of community policing. Ize-Iyamu said the concept is not bad, but grey areas must be sorted with the federal government.
Human Trafficking, education and health care
When Ize-Iyamu spoke against the stigma that has been tied to Edo as being the lead in human trafficking, poor education and health care, Obaseki agreed. Obaseki, however, stated that he will continue to work to improve the lives of Edo residents. Ize-Iyamu also stated that one of his top priorities will be to better the lives of Edo people.
On certificate and Obaseki’s defection from PDP to APC
The debate took a turn after Ize-Iyamu asked Obaseki to comment on the controversy that led to his dismissal at the APC. Obaseki had been removed from APC over alleged certificate fraud before he went to the PDP. Obaseki, in a counter argument, stated how the University of Ibadan vindicated him from these accusations.
"Is it a lie that you presented a school certificate where you had only 3 credits and failed Mathematics & English? @seunokin is asking you now" @PastorIzeIyamu draws @GovernorObaseki to a question he tries to evade #EdoGovernorshipDebate. #ObasekiLiesBursted pic.twitter.com/zfN361XNSY
— Gioke (@Gioke4) September 14, 2020
While the expectations are rising daily as the D-day approaches. The question on everyone lips is “who will win the September 19 poll in Edo?” “Will this be a peaceful election this time around?” – Bothered about the recent spate of violence in the state, the Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, held a peace meeting with the two candidates recently.
The Independent National Electoral Commission also said the candidates would sign a peace accord on Tuesday, September 14 2020.
Watch the full video here:
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