By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN—AHEAD of the 2016 governorship election in Edo State, the Chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state, Mr. Anslem Ojezua, has warned party members against misconstruing Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s seeming preference for Mr Godwin Obaseki as candidate of the party as an imposition.
He explained that it was the governor’s right to state who he prefers as his successor, “but that will not stop the party from conducting primaries and providing a level playing field for everybody.”
He warned that the party may sanction those threatening and abusing the governor over his preference for Obaseki.
Ojezua who addressed newsmen in Benin City, yesterday, said that it will be naive and unthinkable not to expect a sitting governor to have interest in who succeeds him in the governorship election.
He said: “It is not true that the governor decided not to conduct primaries or whatever processes that may lead to the emergence of a candidate. I took it upon myself and I told the governor that we cannot leave this process open without managing it and that it is the job of the state executive to ensure stability.
“Now we have almost 20 people parading themselves as aspirants in this party. If you don’t manage such a situation well you will be creating crisis. I pleaded with the governor to invite leaders of our party to consult with them and do an assessment of all the aspirants as we know them. The guidelines are not farfetched. How much contributions have they made to the upliftment of our great party?
“The leaders will ask which role have you played, what have you contributed to the party materially and in terms of effort? Those who should know are the leaders and they are currently doing the assessment. I am not aware that any statement has been made in terms of endorsement. But I can tell you now that if an endorsement is made, it will be legitimate. Endorsement is not imposition, it is a statement of expressing preference without prejudice to the processes of our party,” he stated.