Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma on Saturday revved up the governorship campaign of the All Progressives Congress when he stormed Benin City, Edo State capital to galvanise the support of the Igbo community for the election of the candidate of the party, Osagie Ize-Iyamu. Uzodimma, who urged the Ndigbo in the state to punish the state governor, and candidate of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Godwin Obaseki with their permanent voter cards, PVCs, opined that Obaseki’s tax policies were anti-Igbos. He therefore urged them to vote for Ize-Iyamu and the APC.
Speaking at a well-attended ceremony at the main auditorium of the Ugbowo campus of the University of Benin where he was honoured by the Igbo Youth Union (IYU) and the Youth Wing of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohaneze N’Igbo in Edo State, Uzodimma amidst shouts of “Owa Oyoko! Owa Oyoko! Owa Imo!” (Sun of Imo) by the excited youths, Uzodimma stated that “Obaseki and his PDP have been blackmailing the APC alleging that we want to rig election. Meanwhile, that is exactly what he is planning. But, let me tell our Igbo people, go out there and vote for APC. We will protect the votes. We will stop Obaseki from rigging”.
According to the governor, “We have many of our brothers and sisters who own businesses in Edo State, but those businesses are suffering today due to the inhuman policies of the PDP administration in Edo. As Igbos, we must be vigilant so that people will not deceive you. PDP is coming today begging for your votes just because they need it now, but that is a deceit. This governor does not like the Igbos. They are only coming because of the votes and after that Obaseki will abandon you.
“Ize-Iyamu is a tested politician that can keep agreement, so we trust him that he will deliver and continue from where Oshiomhole stopped. Oshiomhole employed Igbos during his administration and Pastor will continue with that. He will create an enabling environment for our people to do their businesses. We heard that they are afraid because they have lost the election, so all they are planning is to rig. You cannot rig where the people have rejected you. Don’t be scared, don’t be intimidated, go out and vote PDP out and we will protect the votes”.
Chairman of the Igbo Youth Union, Obinna Anwatu, said the presence of Governor Uzodimma in Edo State had heightened their determination to deliver APC in the forthcoming election. Anwatu explained that the award given to the governor was in recognition of his developmental strides across the 27 local government areas of Imo State.
Immediate past national chairman of the APC, and former governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole described Uzodimma as a genuine party man, noting that his eight months reign so far as governor of Imo State had brought about genuine progress in the state.