February 22, 2024

Edo APC Primary: Osunbor withdraws as elders council warn Oshiomhole against interference

Adams Oshiomhole


Omeiza Ajayi

A former Governor of Edo state and one of the aspirants in the ongoing All Progressives Congress APC Governorship Primary Election, Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor, has withdrawn from the race, saying his participation would mean legitimizing an illegitimate exercise.

The development came as leaders of the party in the State raised an alarm over plans by Senator Adams Oshiomhole, a former governor of the State, to determine the outcome of the process.

The leaders who are members of Edo APC Elders’ Stakeholders Forum, in a statement on Thursday called on President Bola Tinubu and the National Chairman of APC, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, to call Oshiomhole and “his boys to order”.

Pascal Osadolor, one of the leaders who signed the statement, said Oshiomhole, in company of Dennis Idahosa, another aspirant, arrived at the venue of the collation centre, Lushville Hotel in Benin in the early hours of Thursday.

He said Oshiomhole who was sighted inside his Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), didn’t alight, but his political godson, Idahosa was seen with some people moving into the venue.

Osadolor said Oshiomhole’s desperation to flout the order of President Tinubu that the process should be fair and zoning must be respected, must not go unpunished.

He said: “President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has made it clear that the process that will produce the governorship candidate of the APC in Edo State must be free and fair. He also said zoning must be respected.

“But Oshiomhole believes that he’s bigger than President Tinubu and he’s trying to undermine him. His foot soldiers are desperate in Benin. We will resist him.

“We are sending out this statement to alert President Tinubu and the national chairman of the APC to call Oshiomhole to order. He wants to throw Edo APC and the entire State into chaos just to have his way. This time, he will fail,” Osadolor noted.

Illegitimate process

Osunbor in a letter to Ganduje said his attention was drawn to a Press Statement by Felix Morka, the APC Publicity Secretary, to the effect that the National Working Committee of the party has resolved “that the Edo State Governorship Primary Election has not been completed, and has now fixed Thursday February 22, 2024 for, the completion of the Primary Election Process”.

According to him, the primary election purportedly conducted last Saturday 17 February 2024 was an exercise in illegality, shameful and a reckless and total disregard of the procedure under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Electoral Act, the APC Constitution, and the Guidelines for the Conduct of the Governorship primaries.

“To suggest or imply, as the statement seems to convey, that the National Working Committee desires to complete a totally flawed process goes against my principles of integrity, transparency and all the values that I hold dear.

“Accordingly, I hereby give you notice that I do not wish to participate in the process which I see as an attempt to legitimise the illegitimate exercise of last Saturday. It is an attempt to build something on nothing.

“Kindly therefore remove my name from the list of aspirants forthwith”, he demanded.