Oshiomhole still having his way in APC, Edo guber primaries
..As Eta faction inaugurates Edo election committees
Despite the affirmation of his suspension as National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) by the Court of Appeal, Adams Oshiomhole is still having his way in the affairs of the party, particularly with regards to June 22, Edo Governorship primaries.
This is evident in the inauguration of the Edo Governorship Election and Appeal Committees by Members of APC National Working Committee (NWC) loyal to Oshiomhole, led by Hilliard Eta, the party’s National Vice Chairman (South-South).
Recall that after the Appeal Court ruling on Tuesday, NWC announced that the party’s Deputy National Chairman (South), Abiola Ajimobi should assumed the position of Acting National Chairman in line with the APC constitution.
But on Wednesday, Victor Giadom, APC Deputy National Secretary assumed the position of Acting National Chairman on the basis of an earlier Court judgement while some NWC members within an hour said they had at a well-attended meeting resolved that in Ajimobi’s absence, Eta should act as National Chairman.
Giadom, leader of the anti-Oshiomhole faction, cancelled the decision of the Screening and Appeal Committees of the former Chairman of the party on the Edo primaries, in strict compliance with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that forbids anyone who is interested in a cause to be the judge in that same cause.
He directed all aspirants in the Governorship Primaries to report for a fresh screening between Wednesday and Thursday and called on all aspirants to remain in APC as his leadership would guarantee fairness and justice to all concerned, adding that schedule and time for screening of each aspirant shall be communicated.
However, the Eta faction on Thursday inaugurated the Edo Governorship Primary Election Committee chaired by Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma and Ajibola Bashiru as secretary, with Abdullahi Abass, Ibrahim Sabo, Ocho Obioma, Amina Lantana Muhammed and Gbenga Elegbeleye as members.
The Primary Election Appeal Committee also inaugurated has Yusuf Naaji as chairman, Kayode Ajulo, secretary with Umar Ahmed, Nasiru Junju and Rasaq Bamu as members.
Performing the inauguration at the APC National Secretariat, Abuja, Eta said the members were carefully selected to carry out the onerous and herculean job of nomination of Governorship for the party in Edo State.
“Their job is very simple: to carry out the process of selecting the flag bearer of the party in Edo State and we know that after that exercise, there may be concerns, disagreements, that is why we have constituted members of the APC Governorship Primary Election Appeal Committee,” he said.
Responding on behalf of the Election Committee, Governor Uzodinma insisted that despite recent developments in the party, APC would still not only field a candidate for the Edo Governorship election but win at the ballot.
“I want to assure the leadership of the party and indeed the entire membership in the country that we will go and do justice to this assignment and we will disappoint all reasonable expectations.
“We must field a candidate and our party must be ran by those elected to run the party by us. And by the Grace of God, we will win the election in Edo.
“Events of the past few days have shown that some people are after us and we must buckle our seat belts. We will face the turbulence but I’m confident that our aircraft will get to the destination.
“I want to remind all of us that APC is the party to beat anywhere in Nigeria. The party is growing from strength to strength on daily basis. The tendency for people to become envious and the process want to create distraction has also become very high but we must rise to the occasion to do just all that will make our party be what the people expect”, the Imo Governor said.
Addressing journalists after the inauguration, Uzodinma said the Committee was given the guidelines to conduct the exercise, assuring that they would abide by the Covid-19 protocols and some local legislation in Edo State such as the law that does not allow more than 20 people to gather at a place.
“That is the beauty of direct primaries. When we get to Edo we will deploy the necessary manpower to the various polling units with instruction that will not violate the local legislation that will enable our members not to gather more than 20 people at a place and by so doing, with a segmented approach, we will conduct a free and fair primary and our party will be happy that.