A group of pastors and church members in Edo State under the aegis of Believers Forum for Good Governance, BFGG, has pledged its support for the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the September 19 governorship election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, promising to help him recover the mandate allegedly stolen from him in 2016. Ize-Iyamu, pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, was the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP in the election which brought in incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki. The APC candidate lost the contest against the electoral decision in the court.
The Believers’ Forum gave the assurance weekend when it presented some items to the governorship candidate at his GRA residence to support his campaign. Items donated included packets of branded bottled water and campaign flex to be hung at strategic locations across the state. Speaking at the presentation ceremony witnessed by former state deputy governor, Peter Obadan, a clergyman, President of the group, Osamuyimen Isibor, founder, God’s Household Ministry, Benin, recalled a similar support extended to Ize-Iyamu in 2016.
According to Isibor, “Today, we have also come to show to our honourable that by the grace of God, we are still standing. As members and pastors holding the ground in Benin, we are the voice of the land and we control 80 percent of pastors in Benin City. We have up to 7,000 members with 180 executives across the 18 local governments in Edo State; 7000 membership that will sit in any meeting which they have come many times to see us. So, we are out to support our pastor, Osagie Ize-Iyamu to take back the mandate which was stolen from him in the last election”.
Isibor, who expressed their preparedness to help out in any way, stated that “if there is any challenging areas you want us to cover, let us know. We are ready even with our own money”.
Ostensibly lending credence to the recent alarm raised by the APC that its campaign billboards and other materials were allegedly being removed and destroyed by agents of the state government, the clergyman made a similar complaint. According to him, “One other thing we noticed is that we put one big flex in two areas, they went to remove them. We don’t know who is doing that. Anytime we put it on billboard, they will go there and tear it to replace it with PDP’s own. The last time I saw one, I confronted them. Only God knows how they almost removed my cap. I said I am the chairman of this body so you must come down now; we paid for it. However, we couldn’t stop them”.
Expressing conviction that Ize-Iyamu would deliver as governor, Isibor said “We have seen the SIMPLE agenda he has come up with and it showed he has very good programmes for Edo people. He has promised to bring out loans of not less than five percent interest to support people who are in business… Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu will not be moving from house to house to be giving people money. By so doing, all these business centres ; that is why we are reaching out to these business centres to tell them that it will profit them”.
He said the APC candidate also made a strong commitment to solve the problem of flooding in the state. “And we saw the vision and his passion; and as one of our colleagues, we are standing behind him to take over Edo State in 2020”, Isibor stated.
Accepting the donation, Ize-Iyamu thanked them for their support which he noted, had been consistent. Acknowledging their moral and financial support before and now, the former secretary to the state government said “I want to let you know that by the grace of God, your efforts will not be in vain. I believe that this is God’s time. The last time (2016), we were saying the future is now. This time, we are saying God’s time is now. I believe we will achieve this and it will be to the glory of God.
“I want to thank you and let you know that the Church will be honoured. And when we are talking about the Church, we are talking about you and I because we are the Church; and you have shown so much commitment. God does not even believe you should sow and not reap. There is a time to sow, and there is a time to reap; and by the grace of God, I believe that after September 19, we will be able to say that yes, indeed, the government is in our hands and we will be able to do well with it”.