THE leading candidates for the September 19 governorship election in Edo State, Governor Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP; and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress, APC are in a rat race of sorts for the support of traditional rulers in the state.
Since the campaigns started, the duo have received a flood of royal blessings, endorsements and titles, which their campaign councils have bandied separately as having the support of the grassroots.
The trend continued yesterday.
At the palace of the Ogieneni of Uzairue, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Kadiri Imonikhe Omogbai IV, the monarch conferred the Onoshiorena of Uzairue (He that God has crowned) chieftaincy title on Obaseki.
Ogieneni also installed the Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu, as the Oshiozekhai (It is God that Chooses) of Uzairue. Shaibu is from the Uzairue clan in Etsako West local government area.
Omogbai IV said: “Your deputy is from this place and he is my son, just as you have said earlier. Considering what you have done in the last four years, you have done very well. In terms of infrastructural development, I believe you have done well for the state.
“You have good men around you. I promise you that Uzairue people will give you 100 per cent vote. I will also like to make some appeals to you. I want your government to upgrade the Uzairue Market to a modern one.”
In a related development, the Otaru of Auchi who is also the Vice-Chairman of the Edo State Council of Traditional Rulers, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Aliru Momoh Ikelebe III, conferred a title ‘Itsemakhoma’ of Auchi (this is our own) on Ize-Iyamu, when the APC candidate paid a visit to his palace.
He hinged the conferment and honour on Ize-Iyamu’s love for the people, track record of performance in his previously held government positions, and deep respect for the traditional institution in the State.
The Otaru said the Auchi sacred kingdom was proud of Ize-Iyamu and his achievements.
Also The Otu of Igarra, High Chief Joseph Mayaki Akpeji, according to Prince John Mayaki, Chairman, Edo State APC Media Campaign Council, donated the sum of one million naira to Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, and his running mate, Mallam Gani Audu.
He made the donation on behalf of the Eziobe traditional council, Akoko Edo, on Thursday when the APC candidate visited his palace.