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Edo 2020: All political parties must obey gazette in conduct of primary elections – Shaibu

… as Court restrains Oshiomhole, APC from conducting primaries in Edo

Edo State government has reiterated that all political parties in the state must obey the regulations spelt out in its gazette, aimed at curtailing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), in the conduct of their primary elections ahead of the September gubernatorial election in the state.

The deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, made the call while receiving his Bayelsa State counterpart, Lawrence Ehwujakpo, who is in the state for his party, the People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) ward congresses.

Shaibu, who commended the PDP for following the guidelines in the gazette, urged all other political parties to follow suit as the regulations will help in curtailing the spread of COVID-19 and keep Edo people safe.

“We got a letter from your party, the PDP, requesting to make use of the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium for its primary election. Governor Godwin Obaseki approved the request because the party obeyed the rules and regulations set by the Edo State Government.

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“I therefore use this opportunity to tell other political parties to obey the gazette in the state, which is now a law. Just as you have obeyed, we are asking and calling on other political parties to obey the law. Any political party that disobeys the law will not hold its primary election in the state as the gazette must be respected.”

He continued: “The life of Edo people is more important than the political ambition of any politician or wishes of political parties. We need to be alive to play politics; we need to live to vote and be voted for in the election. The rules to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in the gazette must be strictly followed to keep Edo people safe at this period.”

Shaibu commended the Bayelsa State government for the unity, progress and development the people are enjoying, noting that the Governor Godwin Obaseki led-state government is also ardently pursuing the development and progress of the state.

“Development does not have a political party, neither does progress. But parties exist to act as vehicles to actualize the wishes of the people in line with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“We would fight for the development and progress of Edo State. No element or person will stop our progress because Edo people come first in the agenda of this administration. We will stand against anything that will stop progress and development in the state,” he added.

The Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Sen. Ehwujakpo commended the developmental strides of the Obaseki-led administration, assuring of his state’s continued support for the progress in Edo State.

“We associate ourselves with progress and development. Your administration is fighting to ensure that the development of the state continues, which is commendable,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Federal High Court in Edo State has restrained the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, and the APC from conducting any mode of primary election in the state, pending the determination of the suit filed, which is now adjourned to June 11, 2020.

In his ruling, Justice M. G. Umar, gave the order in a suit filed by Kenneth O. Asekomhe and Mathew Aigbuhuenze Iduoriyekemwen.

The APC, Oshiomhole, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) are defendants in the suit, which is seeking to restrain them from proceeding with the direct mode of primary election to select a candidate to fly the APC’s flag in the September gubernatorial election.

Justice Umar said: “That all parties to this suit and their privies are hereby ordered not to do anything or proceed with any action relating to or concerning the procedure to be adopted or used by the 1st defendant to conduct or hold the 1st defendant primary election coming up next as scheduled pending the hearing and determination of this suit; that all applications in this suit and the response of parties shall be heard alongside the Originating Summons.

He added “That parties are hereby directed to file and serve their responses if any to the processes served on them within 2 days from today. That the hearing of this suit is fixed for Thursday the 11th day of June, 2020 for hearing of all the applications together with the Originating Summons.”

The legal teams representing all parties in the suit were present, including that of the INEC and others.

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