By Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and National Vice-Chairman, South-south of the party, Prince Hilliard Eta, at the weekend reassured all the governorship aspirants in Edo State of a free and fair primary come June 18 this year.
The three leaders gave the assurance when they spoke at the solidarity rally of the zone held at Government House, Benin City, saying the aspirants should avoid campaigns of calumny, infighting, and bigotry.
Hilliard Eta, who spoke on behalf of the party national leadership, said it has been an established fact that in some states where the opportunity of the party to win elections through popular mandate was presented, it was rebuffed with a preference for mediocrity.
“This idea of imposition is not only unfortunate and regrettable but is one issue that we must guide against and address issue of Internal democracy in the Edo polls.
“ As we go into the primary election, one mindset is real, one of you will emerge and whoever that person is, he is a candidate of all and his subsequent victory will be for all. For us as a party, we want to come back to Edo, have a roundtable with all of the aspirants and the candidate and decide on how to jointly move Edo forward from where Governor Oshiomhole has left it.”
The National Vice Chairman of the zone reaffirms that the campaign process in Edo State must be free and fair and acceptable to the entire aspirants and their supporters.
“ The idea of getting it right on internal democracy has been our watchword and we successfully experimented with it in Kogi state, we must replicate it in Edo for us to succeed.
“Today, Edo as they say, is the last stronghold of we in the South South APC. In fact, our pride as a party in this zone is Edo and that’s why we must do all within our reach to retain and establish it as the beautiful bride that all other states in the zone would want to emulate or be attracted to. Indeed, we must stake enormous resources to Campaign in all the nooks and crannies of the state leveraging on the performance index of the APC state government.”