President Muhammadu Buhari may have handed him party flag on Friday after much pressure, but on Saturday he shunned the official flag-off of the campaign by Osagie Ize-Iyamu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the September 19 election in Edo State.
Investigation showed that many of the invited APC Governors and leaders did not want to associate with the former sacked national Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, who they accused of destroying the party and forcing the same man he called many unprintable names in 2016 and the party`s candidate in 2020, hence the few who came to Benin left immediately after visiting the Oba of Benin.
But in a statement released by the state government, the Special Adviser to Edo State Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, expressed thanks to President Muhammadu Buhari for not attending the event that took place in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
According to Osagie: “Once again, President Muhammadu Buhari reaffirmed his commitment to his administration’s fight against corruption by staying away from the public unveiling of the corruption-scarred gubernatorial candidate of the APC.
“Knowing the collateral damage such a gesture would have caused the anti-corruption war and its promoters, home and abroad, the President decided to stay away. The vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and several APC governors that were expected at the event were also absent.
“APC leaders such as Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-olu, Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, were also not at the Sports Complex of the University of Benin, venue of the campaign flag-off.
“They departed Benin City immediately after a short visit to the palace of the Benin Monarch, Omo N’ Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II,” Osagie said.