Tension High As Edo APC Picks Guber Candidate Today | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Tension High As Edo APC Picks Guber Candidate Today

Anirah Urges Delta APC Members To Resolve Delta Crisis
Posted: Jun 18, 2016 at 4:31 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Francis Onoiribholo

BENIN – It will be a tough moment of decision today for the Edo State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) as delegates pick the party’s candidate for the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
The state had been reeling in crisis since the past months as majority of the aspirants cried of attempt by Governor Adams Oshiomhole and the party’s leadership to manipulate the process in favour of an anointed candidate.

Katsina State Governor Aminu Masari, Chairman of the Committee deployed in Edo State by the national body of the APC to conduct the June 18 gubernatorial election has promised that it will be fair to all aspirants in the election.

On his part, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State called on the committee to ensure that the same rules which produced a successful primary election in Kogi State are used in the Edo APC primary election.
Speaking on Friday during a courtesy visit of the committee to Governor Oshiomhole in his office, Alhaji Masari said =E2=80=9Cwe are here to conduct primaries for those who are contesting to be the next governor of Edo State.

He said: “We will abide by the guidelines of the party and, we also assure all aspirants that we will be just and fair to all. We are not angels, but certainly we hope, that by the time we finish, the appeal committee will have no work because if truly the candidates are interested in the state, in the party and in the country, we assure them that the outcome will be an outcome that will stand the test of time. I hope that all they are doing is in the interest of Edo State, and they know that out of the 12, only one must emerge. So, the process has been laid down, and I hope they will comply with the process as well.”

Few days ago, 10 out of the 12 aspirants angling for the party’s ticket took their grievances to the national headquarters in Abuja, where they accused Gov. Oshiomhole of bias and favouritism.

The aspirants said they were being harrassed and intimidated towards ensuring that a particular aspirant, favoured by Governor Oshiomhole is foisted on them as the candidate of the party.

The aggrieved aspirants made their position known in a letter addressed to the National Chairman of the party, John Odigie-Oyegun.

The letter was signed by the following aspirants Pro. Osermiemen Osunbor, Dr. Pius Odubu, Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi, Gen. Charles Airhiavbere, Barr. Ken Imasuagbon, Arc Austin Emuan, Chief Blessing Agbomhere, Mrs Tina Agbarha, Hon. Emmanuel Arigbe-Osula and Comrade Peter Esele.

“There has remained consistent harassment and intimidation of party officials and political appointees on account of their support for aspirants of their choice” the petitioners alleged.

The aggrieved aspirants who said they appreciated the effort and concern of the national leadership of the party towards resolving the ugly events that have been bedeviling the process leading to the gubernatorial primaries, however stated that the effort has not yielded the desired result.
They enumerated in the letter that “the latest of these acts of impunity and desperation to win at all cost is the purchase and or collections of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) by force or inducement by agents of a particular aspirant with a view to undermining a free and fair process of nomination beginning with accreditation of delegates.

“That most of the aspirants have been denied access to delegates during campaigns by a certain notorious thug who has consistently threatened Oredo delegates against meeting with aspirants other than his preferred aspirant.
The aggrieved aspirants however suggested that “in view of the incessant harassment and intimidation of delegates, the party should ensure that the right of the delegates to vote in secrecy is protected an guaranteed.

“That the National Working Committee should direct all those in possession of PVCs belonging to any delegate (s) or any person to return he PVCs to their owners forthwith or face sanction from the party.

“That the National Working Committee shoul direct the Nigeria Police and other security agencies to arrest, investigate and prosecute all those involved in the collection or purchase of PVCs in Edo State.

They also asked the National Working Committee to engage the security agencies including the Army before, during and after the primaries with a view to providing profound security cover to all the participants at the June 18th, 2016 primaries.

However, one of the aspirants, Barr. Imansuagbon, on Friday lamented the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari from the country at a time the party in Edo State was to conduct its primary.

Barr. Imansuagbon was caught in a video on the internet showing him in tears inside a commercial flight, shouting “why Buhari should be ill this time?”.

In the video, Imansuagbon was heard saying, “Why is Buhari ill now that I want to win election”.

Confirming the contents of the video in a telephone chat, Imansuagbon said the absence of Buhari caused what is happening within the Edo State APC.

He stated that Buhari’s presence in the country would have stopped the purchase of Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) and a situation where aspirants were not given equal opportunities.

Imansuagbon accused Governor Adams Oshiomhole of using state machinery to intimidate delegates as well as camping them in a hotel without access.

He expressed confidence in the Alhaji Aminu Masari-led committee in conducting a free and fair primaries.
According to him, “I was crying because those that truncated democracy wanted to shake hands with me.”
“If Buhari were here, I don’t think what is happening now will happen when aspirants are not given equal opportunities.

Oshiomhole is using state resources to finance one aspirant. It is an abuse of due process.”
Edo state government last night reacted to Barrister Imansuangbon’s allegations against the governor, describing him as a frustrated contestant.

The reaction was contained in a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Peter Okhiria.
According to the statement, “It is irresponsible for Mr. Kenneth Imansuangbon to accuse Governor Adams Oshiomhole of using state resources to finance an aspirant.

“The Governor is too prudent to use state resources to finance any aspirant. If he didn’t use state resources to finance his own re-election in 2012, he would not do so now that he is not a contestant.

“Instead of trying to heap blames on the Governor on the eve of the primaries, Imansuagbon should have gone round the state to woo the delegates like other aspirants did.

“Now that he has seen a clear handwriting on the wall of an impending defeat in the primaries due to his poor preparations, he wants to find a scapegoat to blame his woes on.

“Kenneth Imansuagbon’s outburst is the frustration of a man who knows he has lost even before the first ballot is cast.
Kenneth Imansuagbon is only crying wolf where there is none”, the statement declared.
However, security has been beefed up at the Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia stadium, venue of the APC primaries.
Combined team of military police has started making preparations for condoning off the area ahead of the primaries.