The Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said on Friday that president Buhari’s meeting with the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the September 19 governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has dented his image and ant-corruption fight.
A statement signed by the state publicity secretary of the party, Chris Osa Nehikhare, said the president was ill-advised to meet with Ize-Iyamu.
“This meeting is ill-advised and a dent on the image of President Buhari, whose administration is known for the spirited fight against corruption, which has encumbered the development of our dear country for decades.”
He said Buhari was unaware that Ize-Iyamu is desperately in need of an endorsement from someone like the President, to shore up his battered image in the State and the larger court of public opinion that have followed Ize-Iyamu’s trial very closely.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), is prosecuting Ize-Iyamu and four others before Justice J. M. Umar of the Federal High Court in Benin over money laundering.
“It is our considered view that associating with a man with corruption baggage (alleged) compromises the integrity of the President’s fight against corruption and sends mixed signals to Nigerians, home and abroad as well as other nationals who have invested enormous faith in the President’s fight against corruption,” the statement stressed.
It said the dangerous precedent, if set, will embolden other Nigerians with similar or worse charges to hobnob with the president in the days and weeks to come.
Recalled that President Buhari met with the APC candidate and handed over the party’s flag to him as a sign of his supports on Friday.
Ize-Iyamu is battling with the governor of the state, Godwin Obaseki, who was formerly of the APC before he was denied a return ticket and consequently defected to the PDP, in the governorship election in September.