More protests trail Obaseki’s emergence
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja and Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
The All Progressives Congress (APC) Appeal Panel for the Edo State governorship election primaries has said that it would invite all stakeholders involved in the just concluded primary election, including the Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Masari who chaired the election committee to clarify issues.
Addressing journalists yesterday at the APC national secretariat in Abuja, the Chairman of the Appeal Committee, Hon. Opayemi Bamidele, said he has so far received petitions from two APC governorship aspirants, Mr. Kenneth Imansuagbon and Chris Ogiemwonyi.
In their petition, both aspirants who addressed press conferences, tried rubbish the process adopted by the Masari-committee and subsequently rejected the outcome of the governorship primaries.
Speaking on the content of the petitions, Bamidele said the two aspirants were complaining of perceived irregularities and about possible manipulation of the electoral processes.
“We confirmed as a committee that we have received two petitions and the National Chairman of the party was also copied and the party has given us the go ahead and a freehand to conduct our sittings.
“What is important is that we will be inviting them to come and try to substantiate the allegation and to provide detail of the fact. We will also be inviting other relevant stakeholders. From the National Secretariat of the party and from all the other stakeholders who participated in the process of the primaries so that at the end of the day, we will be in position to write a balanced report,” he said.
Opayemi assured everyone that his panel will give them a free and fair hearing, adding that the panel had “also have gotten in touch with the two aspirants who sent in their petitions to explain the position you know and timing of our sitting and by the grace of God both of them would also be appearing before us tomorrow.
“And definitely, all issues raised in their petitions would be addressed, you know there is really nothing to be agitated about. You know, it is also normal for people to feel aggrieved and they should a process and the party made the arrangement for the process, you know for the appeal and they are availing themselves for that opportunity and we will also ensure that promptly that the issue are dealt with,” he said.
On whether the Masari-led Committee will be summoned in the course of the panel’s sitting, Opayemi said all relevant stakeholders would be contacted and would appear to shed more light.
“Well, definitely, these are issues of detail that we will also make available tomorrow as we commence our sitting. As you can see we have been here for a while, we will also going to continue with our preliminary discussion.
“Some of the people that would appear, we have already contacted them and the ones that we need the support of the party to also get in touch with, we have discussed extensively with the National Organising Secretary of the party on behalf of the National Working Committee of the party and the party would also you know activate the machinery of trying to invite everybody. Be rest assured that all relevant stakeholders would be contacted and would appear to shed more light,” he said.
More condemnation has continue to greet last Saturday’s Edo State governorship primary of the APC where Godwin Obaseki emerged as its standard bearer for the September 10 governorship election.
An aide to the state Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, Mrs. Evelyn Igbafe, who double as the Executive Director, Poverty Alleviation and Women Mobilizer, called for immediate cancellation of the primaries in the interest of justice and fair play, saying what transpired at the primaries was a total charade.
Tasking APC leaders and members to emulate the PDP crisis-free primaries, which Pastor Ize -Iyamu emerged as the party’s candidate, she described APC governorship candidate as unsellable and a disaster waiting to consume the APC in the forthcoming election.
“If the party continues with the choice of Obaseki as its standard bearer, I pity APC at the governorship polls because the defeat will be a land-slide as I know that APC will fail with Obaseki. The reason we are not accepting Obaseki is because APC manipulated the primary.
“APC have disappointed the Edo people. I have never seen a situation where primary will be conducted in the night after delegates were accredited during the day and election took place at night,”Igbafe noted.
The APC Chieftain added that the Edo people are not happy with the conduct of the primary, noting that: “In any environment where injustice strive, silence is a crime!”
Although she pledged to remain in APC, noting that the reconciliation move by Obaseki and his campaign team moving from house to house begging some of the aggrieved APC aspirants to work for the party is an exercise in futility, Igbafe and her cohorts, THISDAY learnt, had concluded plans to dump APC for another political party that would be named in few days.