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Edo PDP Crisis: Guber Aspirant Shuns Party Secretariat, Declares Intention At Another Venue

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state party executives, others shun declaration venue

Contrary to insinuations in some quarters that the factionalised members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have put their differences aside after a recent visit by Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State to leader of the other faction known as Legacy Group, Chief Dan Orbih, during which they both embraced and laughed together, strong indication emerged on Monday that all is not well within the umbrella party in the state.

This is because a member of the Legacy Group and a governorship aspirant of the party, Engineer Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, while formally making his intention to contest the governorship ticket known on Monday , shunned the party’s secretariat on Airport Road, and used Bishop Kelly Pastoral as his declaration venue.

Ogbeide-Ihama who represented Oredo Federal Constituency at the 8 & 9th National Assembly, arrived at the Benin Airport at exactly 12:30 pm, and was received by a momoth crowd in a carnival-like ceremony after which he trekked from Airport to Ring Road as a way of announcing his arrival in Benin after obtaining his Expression of Interest form at the national secretariat of the party.

READ ALSO: Obaseki Betrayed 2020 Agreement With Ogbeide-Ihama – Wike

The former lawmaker, however, shunned the state party secretariat on the same Airport Road and used Bishop Kelly Pastoral along the same Airport Road axis.

The Engineer-turned-politician was received by senatorial party leaders and party leaders from Oredo local government area at the Bishop Kelly Pastoral. However, none of the State Working Committee members of the party was there at his declaration of interest.

Speaking during his declaration, Ogbeide-Ihama said if the PDP can do well by giving him the governorship ticket, winning the election would be as easy as a ‘walk -over.”

He said as a loyal member of the party who has remained in the party since 1998 without any record of defection, he’s the best man for the job, insisting that he has what it takes to govern Edo and attract development to the state.

READ ALSO: Edo Guber: PDP Leaders Canvass Ogbeide-Ihama As Division Erupts Over Zoning

This is a formal notification and a passionate appeal to leadership of the party to support me for my governorship ambition in the year 2024. There have been speculations and questions if Ogbeide-Ihama is interested in the governorship race or not. I want to formally notify you that I am contesting, and I need your support.

“Since 1998 till now that I have registered as a member of the party, I have remained in the party. I am a loyal member of my party. So, if we are to talk about loyalty, I am the person,” he claimed.

He added: “If you talk about experience, I have the political and managerial experience to govern Edo. I have the managerial skills to manage humans and resources of Edo. I have the human relationship. I want to be governor of Edo and not a senatorial district. I am fully ready. All I need is your support and prayers. I will be governor of the whole Edo State and not a senatorial district.

“I want to bring development to Edo State. I want to empower our youths so they can stand on their own. I want to stop child mortality. There is no reason why anyone above 70 years in Edo should lack healthcare. I want to give good free healthcare to our aged parents. Edo will be a state all of us would be proud of with Ogbeide-Ihama.”

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Edo Guber: Oshiomhole Breaks Silence On Zoning

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Former governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, on Wednesday said that President Bola Tinubu has affirmed that he is committed only to free and fair primaries not based on zoning.

Oshiomhole also kicked against the contentious zoning of the governorship slot in Edo State and queried the All Progressives Congress, APC, on its insistence in zoning in the state but looked the other way in Kogi where the kinsman of former Governor Yahaya Bello took over from him.

He maintained that it will be unfair for the APC to implement zoning in the party’s rescheduled primary for the forthcoming gubernatorial election when it did not do so in Kogi and Benue states.

READ ALSO: Primary: Four Edo APC Governorship Aspirants Reject Uzodimma

Oshiomhole, who is representing Edo North Senatorial District, stated this while speaking with State House correspondents after he met behind closed-doors with President Tinubu at the presidential Villa Abuja.

He said the Edo state chapter of the ruling party is not interested in “turn-by-turn democracy.”

His visit to the president came on the heels of the controversy surrounding the emergence of about three aspirants claiming to be winners in the last Saturday’s primaries

Hon. Denise Idahosa, who is said to be the candidate of Senator Oshiomhole was declared by the chairman of the primaries and governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma, while two other candidates including Senator Monday Okpebholo and Sunday Dekeri also claimed victory as they accused the former governor of trying to impose Idahosa.

READ ALSO: Edo Primary: APC Bows To Pressure, Replaces Uzodimma As Chairman [FULL LIST]

Edo APC stakeholders opposed to Idahosa have cited the fact that he is from the same Edo South Senatorial District as the incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki who is completing his two-term eight years tenure, advocating that power should move to a different zone.

But Oshiomhole insisted that after discussing the zoning question with President Tinubu, the president expressed his commitment only to free and fair primary.

He said Tinubu told him that the rescheduled primary should not be based on zoning but the will of the majority of APC.

Oshiomhole contended that after allowing Kogi State Governor Usman Ododo to succeed Yahaya Bello even though they are from the same senatorial district, and also not stop the Tiv’s from dominating Benue State governorship elections, the APC cannot single out Edo State for zoning.

 

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Edo Primary: APC Bows To Pressure, Replaces Uzodimma As Chairman [FULL LIST]

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Following the controversy that trailed Saturday’s governorship primary in Edo State, the ruling All Progressives Congress has removed Governor Hope Uzodimma as Chairman of the Elections Committee.

The Imo State governor was replaced with his counterpart from Cross River State, Bassey Otu, who was formerly the deputy chairman of the seven-member committee.

This was disclosed in a statement issued on Wednesday by the APC National Organising Secretary, Sulaiman Argungu.

Argungu disclosed that Otu has now been saddled with the responsibility of conducting the re-run poll slated for Thursday, February 22.

READ ALSO: Primary: Four Edo APC Governorship Aspirants Reject Uzodimma

Other members of the Primary Election Committee include former Osun State deputy governor, Mrs Titilayo Laoye-Tomori; APC’s flagbearer in the Plateau State 2023 governorship election, Nentanwe Goshwe; Umar Musa; Lawan Garba and Rabiu Suleiman who will serve as the Secretary.

The changes were made a few hours after four leading aspirants called for Uzodimma’s replacement.

Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Chief Lucky Imasuen, Senator Monday Okpebholo and General Charles Airhiavbere (retd.) said they no longer trust his ability to conduct a free and fair election following the controversy that trailed Saturday’s poll.

 

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Primary: Four Edo APC Governorship Aspirants Reject Uzodimma

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Four leading Edo All Progressives Congress governorship aspirants have rejected the Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma, as Chairman of the Elections Committee.

Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Chief Lucky Imasuen, Senator Monday Okpebholo and General Charles Airhiavbere (retd.) said they do not trust his ability to conduct a free and fair election following the controversy that trailed Saturday’s poll.

The development came barely 24 hours to the re-run of the governorship primary in the state.

The APC had announced on Tuesday after an emergency meeting at the secretariat in Abuja that the shadow election was inconclusive and a fresh poll would be conducted on February 22.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Tinubu In Talks with Gowon At Aso Rock Villa

The previous poll, which was conducted on February 17, had produced three winners.

Uzodimma had announced Dennis Idahosa as a winner, while returning officer, Stanley Ugboaja, declared Monday Okpebholo as a winner.

Elsewhere, Ojo Babatunde, who claimed to be representing the returning officers in all the local governments, declared Anamero Dekeri as the winner of the election.

Reacting to the re-run election in a joint statement, the four aspirants insisted that they no longer have confidence in the capacity of Uzodimma’s committee to conduct the election.

In addition, Ize-Iyamu, Imasuen, Okpebholo and Airhiavbere argued that Uzodimma did not observe the minimum requirements for compliance with the relevant provisions of the laws and regulations guiding the election as provided both in the Electoral Act and in the APC Constitution.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Tinubu Appoints New Immigration CG

The statement read, “We strongly believe that whatever was responsible for his flagrant disregard for due process and unusual hasty declaration of unconfirmed fictitious results of the primaries outside the designated collation centre may not have abated from his mind, and therefore may be repeated if given the opportunity to play the same role as chairman in the process.

“In the circumstance, we are calling on Mr. President to kindly use his good offices to replace Senator Hope Uzodimma with any other respected member of our great party, as chairman whom the President strongly believes will comply with the law, maintain internal democracy, protect and defend the integrity and goodwill of the President which he has attained over the years that endeared him to both national and international stakeholders.

“Furthermore, we believe that this is the only way to remedy the ridicule and embarrassment that Uzodimma’s tactless and overzealous behaviour, which in the view of keen observers of happenings in the ongoing process of nominating a viable candidate of our party, runs within the borderline of mischief and clotted with antidemocratic vestments, unknown to law.

“We have implicit confidence in Mr. President’s devotion to justice, equity, and fairness in the process that will produce the governorship candidate of our party in Edo State which is now rescheduled for tomorrow 22nd February 2024, and also ensure victory for our party in the governorship election that is scheduled for September 2024.”

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