Story By Akinola Emmanuel
Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the flagbearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Edo state governorship election, has denied the allegation he bathed a student with acid as an undergraduate at the University of Benin.
Back in 2016 during the state governorship election, former governor of the state, Adams Oshiomole, had alleged that Ize-Iyamu, who was the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in that election, poured acid on a student. Oshiomole of the APC was campaigning for Godwin Obaseki when he made the statement. Oshiomole berated Ize-Iyamu and gave the state residents reasons why he is unfit to be elected as governor.
Oshiomhole and Obaseki began having problems with each other and subsequently fell apart, forcing Obaseki’s defection to the PDP in 2020.
Ize-Iyamu who was in PDP, is now a member of APC and Oshiomole’s anointed candidate for the state governorship election scheduled for September 19 2020. As the election draws closer, some politicians have brought out the campaign video in which Oshiomole accused Ize-Iyamu of bathing a student with acid.
Ize-Iyamu in an online television programme today July 5, denied the allegation. Setting the records straight, the politician said
“When I was in the university, I was a member of the Pyrates Confraternity. At that time, we didn’t look at it as a cult arrangement but some people were already coming in with tendencies to create problems. We had this very confrontational group and one evening, somebody reported to us that they beat up a final year student who was also close to us and they mentioned the names of those involved, and we said no, this is bad.
Don’t also forget too that I was a students’ union leader, very prominent in the students’ union congress. So, myself and some persons who heard about this complaint said let’s go and see the people concerned and talk to them.
We went there and met with the people concerned. They opened the door for us and we were discussing the matter under a very cordial atmosphere only for some people to come in and before we knew it, there was smoke in the whole place and somebody shouted acid and was screaming. It was then I realized that somebody has poured acid on somebody and I quickly rushed to the security post. I brought them in and we took the young man to get first aid treatment.
Of course, the school set up an inquiry, and the person that was affected admitted that I was the one who brought security agents and that I was able to take him in for medical attention. I asked who poured it and he said he didn’t know. He said he knew the face but didn’t know his name and nobody appeared to know the name and the university said since you people don’t want to mention the name, we are going to sanction all of you. Before we knew it, they expelled us.
The reason they gave was that they expelled us for belonging to a proscribed organisation. But the long and short of it is that we were on it for two years till 1986 when the Senate held a meeting and said these guys have been punished enough, that if you look at the records, they were not the one that committed what happened, so, we were called back, graduated and then went to the Law School.”