The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Lanre Issa-Onilu, has explained that lessons drawn from mistakes made during the 2018 governorship primary in Rivers State influenced the decision of its NWC to choose direct primary in Edo State. He added that the COVID-19 pandemic also played a role in the party’s decision.
He added, “Even if there was no crisis in Edo, the direct primary will still be the safest mode for this election for us to avoid any booby trap from past shocking experiences.
“The last time we did primary in Edo, it was direct primary. We don’t have to start something new.”
He said if the party had held direct primary in Rivers State, it would have avoided what befell it after. “The same foundation has been laid for a repeat of this situation in Edo State with a disputed executive and they are in court with multiple cases. It is in the best interest of our party to do that which cannot be affected by any litigation,” he added.
He said it would not make much sense now to bring together over 5,000 delegates into a single venue which the indirect method would require.
Asked why the NWC chose the direct mode contrary to the choice made by the state chapter of the party, he said, “The courtesy to allow the local players make input is part of our way of ensuring the smooth participation of everyone. At the end of the day, the buck stops at our desk to ensure that we do what is in the best interest of the party. As it is now, direct primary is what is best for the party in Edo.”
We have strategy to win Edo gov election, says PDP
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Prince Uche Secondus, has said the party has the strategy that will enable it to win the Edo governorship election.
He said a committee was being set up to harmonise different strategies to enable them to win the election.
Secondus, who spoke with one of our correspondents, said his party was popular in the state and would capitalise on the crisis rocking the APC to build on the performance of the PDP in the last general election.
He said, “We have the strategy that will give us victory in the election. We are already putting good heads together to harmonise the many strategies we have on the election.
“Out of the three senators from the state, we have two and we have four out of the nine members of the House of Representatives. Yet, the state had a sitting governor who was a member of the APC then. At that time, there was no crisis or division within the APC. Now, the centre cannot hold as both the national chairman and the governor do not see eye-to-eye.”
He said the party had set up a five-member committee headed by the Governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Fintiri, to handle the election of three ad hoc ward delegates in the 192 wards in the state. Other committee members are Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State; Mrs Mobolaji Lamuye, Chukwwuma Onyema and Senator Samuel Anyanwu.
The exercise holds in the state on Tuesday.
APC, Obaseki’s lawyers storm court Monday
The legal battle between Obaseki and Oshiomhole over the mode of primary begins on Monday (tomorrow) at the Federal High Court, Benin.
The court sitting in Benin had on Tuesday last week adjourned legal arguments on the ex parte motion seeking to prevent the NWC and Oshiomhole from using direct primaries to elect the governorship candidate of the party till Monday.
In a suit filed by the factional state deputy chairman of the party, Pastor Kenneth Asemokhai, and a governorship aspirant of the party, Matthew Iduoriyekemwen, the duo are seeking to restrain the APC from adopting the direct mode of primaries. Also joined in the suit is INEC.
The presiding Judge, Justice Mohammed Umar, declined to grant the ex parte motion. He gave the defendants three days to file their papers to show why the injunction should not be granted and adjourned the case till Monday (tomorrow).
By Oyetunji Abioye, John Alechenu, Friday Olokor, Tunde Ajaja and Sola Shittu