February 25, 2024

Edo Primaries Fallout: Idahosa kicks as Okpebholo gets certificate of return

Edo Primaries Fallout: Idahosa kicks as Okpebholo gets certificate of return

•PDP can’t win election without me – Philip Shaibu

By Henry Umoru & Omeiza Ajayi

Ahead of September 21 governorship poll in Edo State, an aspirant for the ticket of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr Dennis Idahosa, yesterday, led a protest to the National Secretariat of the party to demand cancellation of the primary after APC’s National Chairman, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, presented certificate of return to Senator Monday Okpebholo, winner of the primary election.

This happened on a day the deputy governor of Edo State, Mr Philip Shaibu, said without him, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, will be defeated in the forthcoming election.

While describing the exercise that produced Mr Asue Ighodalo as flagbearer laughable, Shaibu termed the PDP an owambe party, saying the purported impeachment plot against him because he contested was “a joke carried too far.”

Shaibu said: “I am appealing to the PDP National Working Committee that if they want to win Edo State, they should just abide by what has happened. They should support my candidacy and PDP will win Edo State. You can see how the primaries have gone now in Edo. Labour Party, LP, has Olu Akpata from Edo South and APC has Monday Okpebholo from Edo Central, a Senator from Edo Central. Now, I am from Edo North. It shows that the three senatorial districts now have candidates.

“The outcomes of the election point to something that I have been saying which is that we have not met or we are yet to agree on zoning. If we are meant to have a convention to say we now have zoning formula, when it leaves here, it goes here.
By now, nobody will be contesting in the three senatorial districts. All political parties will know that in the next election, it is this senatorial district that we will be looking at for our candidates. But because we have not actually met as a people and there is no convention or any agreement to say there is zoning, everybody is eligible to vote. And that is where parties now look at the best of their own, those that can win elections to vote them forward as their aspirants.

“LP has voted in Benin now. If not that, APC primaries was rescheduled, that was adjudged inconclusive, already, their candidate was also coming from Edo South senatorial district that presently has the governor of Edo State. So what is now important is competence. For those that are clamouring for zoning, I am with them in terms of zoning, so that everybody will have a fair share, but we must agree. I am not against zoning. I am saying for now, we don’t have zoning. We have not agreed on a zoning formula until we sit down as a people. And I think those are some of the things I am going to address when I win and when I am sworn-in. I will bring Edo people together to say okay, now the issue of zoning was one of those issues in the last election, let’s now agree on what to do going forward.”

Primary won, lost — Okpebholo

On his part, Okpebholo, while receiving his return certificate, said: “Primaries have been won and lost. It is time to begin the real process of saving Edo State from the hands of clueless leaders who have failed to meet the expectations of the people. President Bola Tinubu’s role in ensuring a level-playing field is something I treasure. I want to also appreciate the National Chairman of the APC and other members of the National Working Committee, NWC, for standing with the people of Edo State.

“In the coming days, we will speak more on developments and carry our people along on a list of things we intend to do that will rescue Edo State from the present quagmire. We deserve better and we will get a better deal.”

Idahosa kicks

Meanwhile, Idahosa kicked against the primaries that produced Okpebholo and asked the APC to restore the mandate given him in the election.

Idahosa, who threatened court action should his demands remained unmet, also appealed to Tinubu to call the NWC to order.