By Isaac Asabor
Never in the political history of Edo State, even right from when it was known as Bendel State, has the wife of an aspiring governor solidly threw her weight behind her husband ahead of an election just the way Professor Idia Ize-Iyamu is currently doing on behalf of her husband, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, (POI), the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the September 19 election.
I must confess at this juncture that never before had I understood Saint John Chrysostom’s quote that says, “The love of husband and wife is the force that welds society together”, than in the ongoing electioneering dispensation that sees Professor Idia Ize-Iyamu supporting her husband ostensibly with all she has, and in the process welding communities across the 18 local government areas and 192 wards in the State together.
In the course of supporting her husband, she has unarguably, as the true foot soldier and Amazon in her husband’s campaign train, toured virtually all the communities that need her husband gubernatorial attention come the next political dispensation in Edo State.
For instance, since electioneering campaign was flagged off by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ahead of the election come September 19, 2020, she has embarked on campaign legwork to various communities in the State, and in the same vein interacted with the women, youths and even community leaders, and in all cases, on behalf of her husband.
To many Edolites in the Christendom that understand who a virtuous woman is, as explained in the Bible, there is no scintilla of doubt that Idia Ize-Iyamu, who is equally a pastor by calling is an excellent wife as it is very obvious that she has for the umpteenth time in her campaign for her husband shown that she is indispensably a helper to her husband. Going through media reports about how she has been supporting him towards the realization of his ambition, the scripture that usually comes to mind is that of Solomon’s pontification that says, “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones” (Prov. 12:4). The foregoing would further compel one to ask, “What does it mean to be an excellent wife that Ize-Iyamu’s wife has portrayed herself to be?” The word excellent is the same Hebrew word translated virtuous found in Solomon’s instruction to wives in Proverbs 31:10-31. The meaning of this word excellent essentially refers to the moral character and strength of an individual and is used of both men and women (Ex. 18:21; Ruth 3:11).
There is no denying the fact that any woman that desires to be the greatest aid and help to her husband needs godly character and moral strength that can only come from her personal relationship with the Lord. The foregoing qualities, no doubt, have been displayed by Idia Ize-Iyamu, who is no doubt the incoming First Lady in the State come the next political dispensation by the grace of God. The prophet Habakkuk taught that God was the one who gave him this moral strength in the midst of his trials: “The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills” (Habakkuk 3:19). The word strength in this passage is the same Hebrew word translated virtuous. To me, and others in the Christendom, Pastor Idia Ize-Iyamu has met the requirement of a virtuous woman. As Edolites go to the polls on Saturday, there is the compelling need for every electorate to have the African proverb that says, “If the pounded yam is not eaten because of the soup, it should be eaten because it is well pounded” in mind. . Interpretatively put, to those who might have decided not to vote for Ize-Iyamu at the poll on Saturday, he should be voted for, especially for the sake of his wife.
Idia Ize-Iyamu has been on the road to various communities in Edo State conveying her husband’s messages from various aspects of the SIMPLE Agenda to her audiences. One of the most recent engagements she embarked on was her attendance of the APC Egor LGA Women Rally at Uselu Market in Egor local government area. On the campaign trip, she and her team were received by Dr. Mary Alile Idele and other APC women. According to the incoming First Lady in the State, ”It was a festival of endorsement, celebration of victory, anticipated freedom from double taxation, freedom from Oko prison of their womenfolk, freedom from oppression, freedom of living under constant fear of intimidation from the present oppressive government of Godwin Obaseki.
“Speaking at the event, I told the APC Women representatives from wards 1 to 10 of the Egor LGA that it is only a matter of days to when they will change this present administration. I reminded the women of the power of a woman to do anything when she decides to do it. Enough of the lies and deceit from the present government of Godwin Obaseki whose stock in trade is making promises that would never be fulfilled. The September 19th 2020 gubernatorial election avails us the opportunity to change government in the polls”.
Furthermore, she disclosed that she informed the women that the government of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu would empower them by providing soft loans to enhance their businesses and that though they are not yet in government, they have attracted empowerment to 2000 women with over 800 women in the first batch, benefitting through the NDE program. She added that they were also promised that more will come as more women will be empowered when Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the candidate of APC is voted for come Saturday 19th 2020.
She also explained that she told the women that the state lacked a mother figure in the present government and would stand as a mother for the women of the Edo State by protecting and advancing their interest and urged the women that voting for APC is the answer to their prayers to be liberated from the present oppressive government.
Just as she rightly said, she will stand as a mother to all Edolites when her husband is massively voted for come Saturday, September 19, 2020. As can be seen from what she is doing even as her husband is not yet the governor, she has been doing what those that hold incumbency positions have not done in more than 3 years.
For instance, on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 as the wife of the APC gubernatorial candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, and special guest of honour, she facilitated the Federal Government Empowerment for 2000 Women and Youths.
As gathered, the event is a programme of the Federal Government through National Directorate of Employment empowerment; Small Scale Enterprises Programme billed for the Disbursement of Micro Enterprise Enhancement Scheme (MEES) Loan to 2000 Women and Youth in Edo State.
The Director General of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) Dr. Nasir Ladan Mohammed Argungun who was represented by Edo State Coordinator Mrs. Ayo Edegbai gave a keynote address.
In Idia Ize-Iyamu’s address, she reiterated that Women Empowerment is one of cardinal points in the Simple Agenda, and that the program concurs with the vision of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu to ensure Empowerment for the good people of the State.
As earlier put in a proverb in this context, “If the pounded yam is not eaten because of the soup, it should be eaten because it is well pounded” in mind. From the interpretative import of this proverb, I appeal that everyone should massively rally round Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu on Saturday, and while doing that we should always remember his promises as contained in the SIMPLE Agenda.