Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has blamed his defeat in Edo State 2016 governorship election on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Recall that the national chairman of the Commission, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu rescheduled the election from Saturday September 10 to September 28, 2016.
Ize-Iyamu, Candidate of the Peoples Democratic party (PDP) in the election, was defeated by Governor Godwin Obaseki who was the Candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election.
The duo, however, swapped their positions in the two political parties and recontested the election in which Obaseki was re-elected for another four-year tenure in office on September 19, 2020.
Ize-Iyamu made the allegations during a chat with newsmen to mark his 60th Birthday after taken a postmortem into the peaceful election six years ago.
He alleged that INEC compromised by shifting the election on the eve of election citing security reports and safety of its staff and voters in the State.
Ize-Iyamu, explained that the move robbed him of electoral victory, adding that the postponement robbed him of his electoral victory.
According to him, “You will recall if not because Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) compromised by shifting the election on the eve of it, the story would have been different. In all the security reports, everything was clear that if the election had been done, Pastor Ize Iyamu was going to win.
“We had sent people to the field and were just getting set to go to my village when I heard on television. Nobody informed me, I just heard on television that the election had been postponed for a few weeks. The reason was that the security people could not guarantee security in the state that was relatively peaceful. That was a terrible experience.
“But by the time they finally rescheduled it , of course, government in power prepared themselves very well to ensure we were not able to win the election. We went to court and the moment the Supreme Court gave its verdict, right there at the Supreme Court, I sent a message of congratulations to Governor Obaseki.
“We lost that election because there was so much division in the party. It was difficult to know who was who. I think the governor was quite smart. When he was leaving, he left some people behind and took some to join the PDP. He left some people behind to give him reports of what is happening and at the same time support him during the election”, he said.