By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN—FOLLOWING the violence that had engulfed the Edo State chapter of the Acton Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in the on-going registration of party members, which had led to the killing of no fewer than two persons, a national leader of the party and former Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Tom Ikimi, weekend, warned that there would be no party primaries in the state unless all party members were duly registered.
The political tension in the state heightened since the registration of party members commenced last week, as different factions in the party battle for the soul of the party. The Political Adviser to the Governor, Mr Charles Idahosa, who condemned the violence, weekend, however, said that it was not unexpected, since every body in the state wants to associate him or herselves with the Governor, “who is performing magic in the state.”
However, Chief Ikimi who spoke to Vanguard, condemned the violence, lamenting “may be, the people who were saddled with the responsibility of distributing the cards did not do their jobs”. According to him, “party registration is the entitlement of every member, It is not for a few people.
I warned earlier that they should not allow candidates to hijack the process and I believe that is what is causing the problem now. ”
“It is unfortunate that they have allowed party chairmen and secretaries in the various local government areas to handle it, which is not supposed to be the case because they all have their vested interest,” he added.
“But I want to assure that all those who are yet to be registered will have the opportunity to register because it is their civic right. They must have the franchise. There will be no primaries in the state unless every body is given the opportunity to register.”
This card is not meant for any particular leader alone, it is for every body and I will not support any attempt to de_register members of the party” he asserted.