Edo Votes: Ize-Iyamu Candidature Suffers Setback As Fed. H/Court Repels Order Compelling INEC

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Having been embroiled in fierce tussles, amid who lead the line in the forthcoming Gubernatorial election in Edo State under the platform of the All Progressive Congress, Pastor Osagie IZE-IYAMU would have to face another huddle to cross the Rubicon.

This time, he is faced with a decision dilemma reached by the recent dissolution of the National Working Committee, NWC, of APC, Chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Osagie Ize-Iyamu
Osagie Ize-Iyamu

The All Progressives Congress (APC), unsettled Flagship, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu who was in Court to close any loopholes arising from President Buhari's stand on the rumblings between the former National Chairman of the Party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and Hon Victor Giadom spilling to splinter groups hit a pummelling snag.

In a Suit No. FHC/B/CS/61/2020 had Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu as the Plaintiff, with APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as defendants.

He prayed the Court to Compel the Electoral Umpire, INEC, to Validate his Candidature under the platform of APC, following President Buhari's intervention on the lingering crisis earlier in the week that had both warring factions sacked.

However, the Federal High Court, seating in Benin, on Friday, refused the application submitted by the embattled candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu as the party’s candidate in the September 19 guber polls in Edo.

The court directed that the Defendants be put on notice and the matter was adjourned to Monday, 29th June 2020 for hearing.

It would be recalled that, Hon. Victor Giadom, as the Acting Chairman of the APC, about a week ago, forwarded two correspondences to INEC informing them to receive and send correspondences only from him and that the Edo primary election was postponed indefinitely.

The correspondences were accompanied with court orders confirming him as the Acting National Chairman of the APC.

But, in a new and sudden twist of events, the National Executive Committee of the APC, in its just-concluded emergency meeting, which was presided over by Hon. Victor Giadom dissolved the National Working Committee of the party and in its place, appointed a Caretaker/Special Convention Committee headed by the Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Bunu.

The foregoing development has generated a constitutional crisis within the party, as the body is not a recognized organ within APC’s constitution.

Pastor Ize-Iyamu in his defence mechanisms put up in one of the Leading Dailies, said he relies on the order of the President directing the caretaker committee to rectify the uncertainty surrounding his Candidacy which seems to run foul of the Constitution of the embattled Ruling All Progressive Congress Party.

In Article 17(iv) of the party’s constitution prohibits an elected government official from occupying any elective principal position within the party structure.

It reads "No officer in any organ of the party shall hold executive position office in government concurrently".

Recall that, A Federal High Court affirmed Ansylm Ojiezua the authentic Chairman of the APC in Edo State, directing the law enforcement agencies to seal office occupied by the Splinter group lead by Col. Imuze

If the leadership of the party would obey its constitution, it would be a puzzle of the millennium to see where pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu draws his strength from despite the words of the president been order but Constitution supersedes

The development readily says much about the former ruling party in Edo State who lost it on position to the main opposition, their consistent lack of internal democracy and the character of leadership piloting their affairs.

For the ruling party that propagated change, especially, it is most unfortunate that it foremost leader, President Muhammadu Buhari, is not a man for extremely important moments or crisis management.

Buhari’s curiously obsolete method of leadership is to allow time to heal or fester all wounds.

A president that could not be bothered by a national security crisis orchestrated by killer herdsmen, COVID-19 medical emergency, near collapse of the economy following a drop in crude oil price, a festering rift between his National Security Adviser (NSA) and former Chief of Staff (CoS), first lady’s accusations against a cabal in the presidency and gunshot in the villa, among other malaise of a failed leadership, could hardly be expected to save his party even when it is going up in flames or crashing on his head.

However, a more responsive leadership of the party would have called the warring parties to order and put the overbearing godfather in his place, at least to set a good example for others.

For a fact, his party like others before it had similar issues and perhaps lack democratic values to instigate any change in narrative or paradigm shift for the nation.

The basic issue is the death of democratic party structure that is anchored on a clear-cut ideology, by which a comprehensive worldview of societal development is instigated.

But, like the party lost out in Zamfara and Rivers states in 2019, more surprises definitely await members of APC in the days to come.

As this fresh litigation of the APC candidate lingers in court, all eyes will now be on INEC to see if it will bulge on it earlier position on abiding strictly with existing court orders and the dictates of the law.

But irrespective of who is right or wrong in the all-too-familiar politics of attrition, the worry is the true partymen, whose democratic powers and welfare are being squandered in the feud.

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