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Edo APC crisis: Ize-Iyamu group plot defection, meet PDP leaders

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Some former chieftains of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State led by Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu  on Saturday met with leaders of the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) setting the stage for the former's defection to PDP.

The meeting held at Ize-Iyamu's former campaign office in Benin, and had such stalwarts as Chief Tony Omoaghe, Hon. West Idahosa and Chief Amos Osunbor in attendance.

Also at the meeting was Chief Osaretin Edosomwan, Hon Etiosa Ogbewei, Chief Sunny Omokharo, Dr Philip Ugbodagha, Barrister Nosa Adams, Mrs Evelyn Omokhodion Igbafe,  among others.

Leading the PDP team was its state chairman, Chief Dan Orbih. In the team were Senators Odion Ugbesia and  Ehige Uzamere, Chief Clifford Ordia, Pharmacist Matthew Urhogide, Chief Solomon Edebiri,Hon Henry Tenebe, Hon Christopher Adesotu, among others.

The PDP chairman told the meeting that his party leadership resolved to meet with the Ize-Iyamu group to fight tyranny and institutionalize internal democracy and participatory democracy in Edo State.

Orbih said he was not unaware of the efforts the Ize-Iyamu group put into building  APC, and commended them for having the courage to quit “in the interest of the Edo people.”

He described Governor Adams Oshiomhole as the most traveled governor in the country, saying the governor's international passports would confirm the number of foreign trips embarked by Oshiomhole since becoming  governor.

At an average of N40 million per foreign trip, surmised Orbih, Governor Oshiomhole's trips so far have cost taxpayers in  Edo State a minimum of  N4.5 billion.

Reponding, Ize-Iyamu, who spoke on behalf of his group, lauded Orbih's handling of the affairs of Edo PDP.

Ize-Iyamu said he had lived in the illusion that Edo PDP had no strong men, but that events have proved him wrong.

“Today, I know better. There is no way you can talk about leadership in Edo State without talking about the people here today.

“You have come to us and I want to say that we shall do the same. We will be meeting you as soon as possible,” assured Ize-Iyamu.

The former APC chieftain said he was prepared for the  blackmail that was sure to trail his latest political move, however warning, “those who live in a glass house should not throw stones.”

Ize-Iyamu said it would be wrong to blame the exodus of APC politicians in the state to PDP, saying the defections occurred long before his group resolve to dump the party.