Out Chairs Edo APC Re-run Primary

The All Progressives Congress’s (APC) National Working Committee (NWC) has removed Senator Hope Uzodimma, the governor of Imo State, from her position as head of the committee overseeing the Edo State governorship primary in response to grievances from candidates, stakeholders, and elders.

The NWC designated Cross River State Governor Bassey Otu to adjudicate the primaries after declaring late Tuesday night that the Saturday contests were inconclusive and setting today as the exercise’s end date. As the committee’s secretary, Rabiu Sulaiman, a former secretary to the Kano State government, Mrs. Titilayo Tomori, Hon. Umar Hassan, Lawal Garba, and others are also on the committee.

The National Organising Secretary of the party, Sulaiman Argungu, released a document titled “Revised 2024 Edo State Gubernatorial Primary Election and Appeal Committees,” which indicated that Senator Bassey Out, the governor of Cross Rivers State, would now chair the seven-member committee that will conclude the APC governorship primaries.

A few APC candidates for governor of Edo State went back to the drawing board yesterday in order to organize their fans and supporters for the current election. The three candidates who declared victory in the exercise held last Saturday, Senator Monday Okpebholo, Representative Dennis Idahosa, and Hon. Anamero Dekeri, assured that they would receive the APC ticket at the conclusion of today’s activity because they had instructed their coordinators to mobilize party members.

According to Paul Ohonbamu, one of Senator Okpebholo’s organizers, they were hopeful that Okpebholo would win the nomination as “he was already leading in the eight local government areas already announced and I believe he would continue in that trend.” In an announcement, Dekeri gave the order for “all LGA coordinators, Ward coordinators, and Ward canvassers to immediately begin fresh mobilization ahead of another round of primaries scheduled for Thursday, February 22, 2024.”

Prior to the APC NWC dismissing Uzodimma, the governor of Imo State was rejected as head of the elections committee by prominent candidates, who sought President Bola Tinubu to intervene. 

In a joint statement signed by Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Chief Lucky Imasuen, Senator Monday Okpebholo and General Charles Airhiavbere, retd, the aspirants, said Uzodinma did not observe the minimum requirements for compliance with the relevant provisions of the extant laws and regulations guiding the election as provided both in the Electoral Act and in the APC Constitution. In their statement, the aspirants said: “We strongly believe that whatever was responsible for his (Uzodimma’s) flagrant disregard for due process and unusual hasty declaration of unconfirmed fictitious results of the primaries outside the designated collation centre may not have abated from his mind, and therefore may be repeated if given the opportunity to play the same role as chairman in the process.

“In the circumstance, we are calling on Mr President to kindly use his good offices to replace Senator Hope Uzodinma with any other respected member of our great party, as chairman whom the President strongly believes will comply with the law, maintain internal democracy, protect and defend the integrity and goodwill of the President which he has attained over the years that endeared him to both national and international stakeholders.”

 As anticipated, the NWC complied and made the choice late on Tuesday following an urgent meeting in Abuja. Addressing newsmen after the meeting, which lasted for about three hours, APC Spokesman, Felix Morka, said: “The NWC resolves that the Edo State governorship primary election has not been completed and has now fixed Thursday, February 22, 2024 for the completion of the APC primary election process.”

Details from the re-run polls will be updated.

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