Candidate of the All Progressives Congress for the Edo Governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has assured residents of Edo State of a violence-free election.
He, however, called on his main opposition candidate, Governor Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to shun provocative acts and campaign based on issues, not insults and name-calling.
He said this while addressing media executives in Lagos, where he harped on the importance of the media in ensuring a free and fair election.
He harped on the imperative of campaigns governed by useful debates on relevant policies andprogrammes.
Ize-Iyamu said his party, the APC, had focused on his manifesto, the SIMPLE agenda, and urged the opposition to follow suit instead of name-calling and a campaign of calumny based on things non-beneficial to the people of the State.
He said: “We have said that we want this election to be issue-based. We don’t want to resort to name-calling and insults. We want to focus on our SIMPLE agenda. I can assure you that we as a party will do everything to avoid violence.
“The PDP has posters and billboards all around the place. In fact, they started before us by putting billboards around the place. We got agents to help us ask the state government how much we need to pay for the available spaces, they told us and we paid.
“However, a top government official said how can they allow APC to have billboards in strategic locations? He then ordered them to go and remove the billboards. So, they began to remove our billboards.
“Rather than resolve to violence, we wrote a petition to the Commissioner of Police, we also did the same thing to Director of DSS and Hon. Patrick Obahiagbon addressed the press where he advised the PDP to be accommodating, tolerant, and avoid things that could trigger violence.
“We could have taken the law into our hands by destroying their billboards also but we didn’t do it. From then till now, they have not mentioned that one of their billboards was destroyed. They destroyed our billboards at night, we too could have done any of their own at night but we just left it.
“So, let me assure you that by the grace of God, there will be no violence. We will do our best by cooperating with the security agencies and other relevant authorities and then, we believe it will be peaceful.”