A faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo at the weekend ruled out an automatic ticket for any of the aspirants running under the party for this year’s governorship election in the state, maintaining that the lucky person must emerge through a credible primary that fulfils the spirit and letter of the constitution of the ruling political grouping.
The factional chairman, Col. David Imuse (rtd), at a press conference in Benin City, insisted that all contenders must submit themselves a properly organised primary.
He noted that Governor Godwin Obaseki would not be exempted “if he chooses to remain in the APC.”
Imuse claimed: “All indications are that Obaseki has been going around shopping for a political party that will accept him to foist himself on the political class to actualise his desperate bid for a second term in office.
“There will be no right of first refusal, no sacred cows, and no reserved slots. Our party ticket will go to the person who is able to persuade members that he deserves their trust and confidence. We shall not be harassed, bombed, intimidated or arm-twisted to give our support to any person.”
Other aspirants, including Maj.-Gen. Charles Airhiavbere; Chris Ogiemwonyi; former Deputy Governor Pius Odubu and erstwhile Secretary to State Government (SSG), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, alongside leaders and supporters across the three senatorial districts solidarised with the party’s embattled National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
Reacting, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, said: “Col. David Imuse is not an executive member of the Edo State chapter of the APC and has no right to make statements on behalf of the party in the state.”
In a statement, he described the retired military officer as “a product of the misadventure of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and his co-dissidents in the Edo Peoples Movement (EPM), a body which he tried to use to factionalise the Edo APC.”
He added: “One Col. Imuse addressed the press today (weekend) purportedly speaking on behalf of the Edo APC. We want to inform the public and Edo people that Col. Imuse is not an executive member of the APC in Edo State, and he has no right to make any statement on behalf of the party. He is an impostor and a product of the ill-fated plot of the suspended National Chairman to destabilise the APC in Edo State.
“We urge all well-meaning members of the APC in Edo State, Edo State indigenes and residents and Nigerians in general to disregard his comments, as they are not only a nullity but of no effect whatsoever.”