Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has emerged the consensus candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) faction believed to be loyal to National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
Ize-Iyamu, a former Secretary to Edo State Government (SSG), emerged on Tuesday night in Abuja through consensus arrangement.
He is expected to slug it out with Governor Godwin Obaseki for the direct primary of the party slated for June 22.
He was presented by chairman of the screening committee, Senator Francis Alimikhena, the representative of Edo North Senatorial District.
Other members of the screening committee were a former Edo Deputy Governor Lucky Imasuen; Gen. Cecil Esekhaigbe; ex-Edo Speaker Thomas Okosun; former Minority Whip of the House of Representatives Samson Osagie; ex-member of the House of Representatives Patrick Obahiagbon and Deputy Leader of the House of Representatives, Peter Akpatason.
Aside from Ize-Iyamu, who was last week granted waiver to contest by the national leadership of APC, the other screened aspirants were a former Minister of State for Works Chris Ogiemwonyi; ex-Deputy Governor of Edo state, Dr. Pius Odubu and Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (rtd.)
Solomon Edebiri, The Nation learnt, withdrew from the race on Tuesday morning.
While the screening was ongoing in Abuja, National APC Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, a former Edo Governor, was at his Iyamho hometown in Etsako West Local Government Area of the state for Eid-el-Fitr celebration.
But he returned to Abuja in the evening and addressed the aspirants while congratulating Ize-Iyamu.
A chieftain of APC, who was at the screening told The Nation on phone the former SSG was considered as the consensus candidate in view of his popularity and having raised teeming supporters across the three senatorial districts of Edo state.
The source added Ize-Iyamu’s impressive performance during the 2016 governorship election as PDP candidate was also considered for his choice.
Chairman of the screening committee, while formally presenting Ize-Iyamu as the consensus candidate to slug it out with Governor Godwin Obaseki on June 22 with direct mode of governorship primary election, wished him success.
He expressed optimism that Ize-Iyamu would be the standard bearer of the party for the September 19 poll and inaugurated Governor on November 12.