The gubernatorial campaign organisation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, in Egor Local Government Area of the state was nearly aborted on Wednesday after the state government allegedly cancelled the approval given for the usage of a primary school scheduled to host the rally.
The rally had been billed to hold at Olua Primary School, Uselu, and organizers had put in place logistics and materials needed for the rally such as canopies, chairs, stage and sound system only to receive word from authorities of the school that they had been directed to cancel the approval given for the usage of the school field for the rally.
It was also gathered that the organizers of the rally were asked to come for a refund of the money they had paid late Tuesday night.
The situation was said to have rattled the organisers of the rally and the leadership of the PDP in the state, who had to quickly look for another place to host the rally.
In a text message sent to our reporter Tuesday night, the state publicity secretary of the PDP, Chris Nehikhare said, “The Egor LGA rally that was to hold at Olua Primary School tomorrow (Wednesday, July 27), will now hold at Timber Shed along Uselu/Lagos Road. Oshiomhole told them not to allow PDP use the primary school which is public property.”
Nehikhare said the Edo State government has continued to deny the PDP the use of public places in the state for campaigns, recalling that the PDP was denied the use of Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium for its campaign flag off earlier this month, while the All Progressives Congress (APC) have been using public schools for its campaigns.
Our reporter observed that the rally was eventually held at the new venue, even as some of the materials that had been put up in the first venue at Olua Primary School such as the canopies, stage and chairs were still there.
When contacted, Edo State Commissioner for Information, Prince Kassim Afegbua, said he was not aware of the development, adding that the state government would not have stopped the PDP from using the school if the proper thing was done.
“There are procedures for securing public places for events. If they fulfill the requirements, nobody will stop them. We are, however, conscious of campaigns when schools are in session. If the schools were not renovated, will they go there to campaign?”