- Ogiemwonyi, Imansuangbon reject outcome of APC primary
Adibe Emenyonu in Benin
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) nominee for the Edo State governorship election, Mr. Osagie Ize-Iyamu, monday said he accepted his nomination with deep appreciation and great humility, saying the September 10 election is the party’s chance to keep the aspiration and hope of the good people of Edo State alive and carry out the real change they deserve.
Ize-Iyamu was declared winner of the governorship primary held in Benin City after he pulled a total of 584 votes to beat the two other contestants, Matthew Iduoriyemwen and Dr. Solomon Edebiri who scored 91 votes and 38 votes respectively.
Declaring Ize-Iyamu winner, the Returning Officer and Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, said a total of 751 delegates were registered for the primaries, while 713 delegates turned up for accreditation with no void vote in the exercise.
According to Umeahi, “Edebiri scored 38 votes, Iduoriyekemwen scored 91 votes, and the winner is Ize-Iyamu who scored 584 votes.”
Speaking further, the Ebonyi governor, after announcing the result, admonished the aspirants to work as a family following the emergence of the candidate, assuring that the PDP governors will give them all the support.
He commended the delegates for the way and manner they conducted themselves and urged all of them to face the general election with all seriousness so as to achieve victory for the PDP.
According to him, “Every process of this primary, we carried everybody along and they truly gave us their words. We are very excited with the conduct of the delegates, we are very excited with the seriousness of the governors. We want to plead with the aspirants to support the candidate that emerged so that the will of God will be with Edo State.”
Also in his remarks, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State who expressed the determination of the party to win the state back to the PDP, asserted that “as PDP members, you will never be intimidated because I know some persons will intimidate you. Edo State has always been a PDP state and it will go back to PDP this time.”
In his acceptance speech, Ize-Iyamu, who commended the committee members for the transparency exhibited in the conduct of the primaries, described the exercise as very transparent.
According to him, “At a time when people thought the PDP was finished, we were showing strength. Anybody who will want to point accusing fingers at the state chairman of our party will be very unfair. He has been very transparent at every stage.
“He never campaigned for any aspirant, he has worked so hard to make our party what it is. Not only is he looking after PDP members but the suffering people of Edo go to his house and they get food. The only reward we can give to you for all you have done is to assure you that we will not rest until our state is rescued from the hands of APC.
“There can be no continuity, Oshiomhole, your eight years has come to an end. Today there is no winner no loser, it is a family affair. The real battle will be in the days and weeks ahead. And I want to assure all of you that we will not fail. I will appeal to our people to go back to their wards and units and ensure that they register.”
However, two other aspirants of the party, Iduoriyekemwen and Edebiri, who walked out of the stadium before the results were declared, have rejected the results, alleging that the leadership of the party in the state led by Chief Dan Orbih threatened delegates to vote for Ize-Iyamu or they will be removed as delegates.
Reacting, Edebiri who said the exercise was a conspiracy from the leadership of the party in the state to impose Ize-Iyamu, said: “Orbih threatened few weeks ago that he would make sure that I do not get the ticket because he accused me of working against him during party chairmanship congress. He promised that he would ensure I do not get the ticket.
“Last week. he started giving directives to party leaders to deliver Ize-Iyamu.”
Meanwhile, the announcement of the outcome of last Saturday’s All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary which saw the emergence of Godwin Obaseki as the winner has provoked condemnation by the Ogiemwonyi and Imansuangbon Campaign Organisations, alleging that the figures were electronically manipulated.
In a joint press briefing by Dr. Chris Ogiemwonyi and Kenneth Imsnsusngbon in Benin-City monday, both politicians called for total cancellation of the entire result.
They also called on the national leadership of the APC and the party Primary Appeal Panel to order the repeat and resorting of all the ballot papers used for the primaries as well as the forensic analysis of all the ballot papers and finger print on the ballot papers.
According to them, the demands became necessary and urgent because majority of the delegates believe that the ballot papers used for the primaries have been compromised.
The duo however said they do not in any way suggest the lack of confidence in the committee that conducted the primaries, but an alarm that calls for the thorough investigation of the source and credibility of the ballot papers for a transparent primaries.
“A criminal investigation has become necessary because the party members hold strong views that no one individual or group should be allowed to destroy the good image of APC and its leadership which is committed to free and fair primaries, internal democracy and democratisation in Nigeria,” Ogiemwonyi and Imansuangbon stated.
Besides, they accused agents of the state government led by Governor Adams Oshiomhole of victimising party officials and delegates before and during the party primaries who they perceived were not in support of the position on imposition of the “anointed candidate.”
For instance, Ogiemwonyi and Imansuangbon claimed that some of these victimisations included the illegal suspension of some ward chairmen, the unlawful removal of Orhionmwon Local Government Area party Chairman, Mr. Matthew Ehigie, and the unlawful suspension of the Edo South Senatorial chairman of the party, Mr. Gentleman Amegor.
They also cited several attempts by the same agents of state government to substitute names of authentic delegates for the primaries, a manner both noted subverted the conduct of a peaceful, free and fair primaries.
“We are grateful to the national leadership of our party because of the inability of these agents of the state to achieve their subversive aim as listed above, which was as a result of the principled stand and determination of the national leadership to sustain internal democracy in our party and ensure the conduct of transparent primaries.
“However, and most sadly, these agents of state government were not ready to give up their desperate ambition to impose a candidate on all good men and women of APC. Surprisingly, the next step of these agents was to forcefully seize the Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVC) of APC delegates for the gubernatorial primaries.
“There was never a time APC delegates voluntarily and willingly surrendered their PVCs to these agents of the state government. All the PVCs that were obtained was by the process of the application of the coercive apparatus of the state government.
“The intimidation of APC delegates by the state government heightened few days to the gubernatorial primaries, when the APC delegates were arrested and conveyed into different locations that served as camps and temporary prisons. The delegates were not allowed to communicate with the outside world and regular sermons were delivered to them by their captors, on the dangers that will befall them if they refuse to vote the anointed candidate, if and whenever they are released,” the politicians alleged.