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The Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki has accused Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) of sponsoring protests over an alleged N20bn loan to be taken by the state government from the Nigeria Stock Exchange.

Governor Obaseki, who made the claim in a statement on Tuesday issued by his Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr Crusoe Osagie, said that Ize-Iyamu masterminded the protest to distract Edo people from his ongoing trial in court over an alleged a N700m fraud.

The governor who was reacting to the protest by a group, Joint Forces for the Defence of Democracy, on Tuesday, which rejected the alleged move by the state government to borrow N20bn from the Stock Exchange, said that the claim is ‘wild’.

Obaseki said; “In a bid to distract Edo people from his ongoing trial in court for a N700m fraud allegation, the candidate of the APC has resorted to sponsoring protests over non-existent issues.

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“There is no such thing as the N20bn debt proposal by the Edo State Government, and Edo people cannot be distracted by such wild claim.

This came days after Ize-Iyamu, accused his Labour Party (LP) counterpart, Isaiah Osifo, of being Governor Obaseki’s “mouthpiece” ahead of the September 19 election in the state.

Ize-Iyamu, who disclosed this in a statement issued by the Director of Communication and Media Strategy for his campaign organisation, John Mayaki, said it was unfortunate that the LP candidate allowed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to use him for smear campaign and deliberate spread of misinformation.

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