APC 2,873 delegates, 12 aspirants prepare for Edo Guber primaries

Inaugurating the committees, the APC Deputy National Chairman (South), Mr Segun Oni, charged the committee members to be diligent in the discharge of their duties.

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The National Organising Secretary of All Progressives Congress (APC), Sen. Osita Izunaso, on Thursday said 2,873 delegates would converge on Benin on Saturday to elect the party’s candidate for the Edo elections.

Izunaso said this at the inauguration of the Election and Election Appeal Committees in Abuja.

''There are 2,873 delegates expected to vote at the primary that will be contested by 12 aspirants.

"We have the ward delegates comprising 12 persons per ward multiplied by 192 wards in Edo state.

''We also have local government delegates, 26 persons per local government multiplied by 18 local governments.

''Also, there are the state executive delegates, 35, and statutory delegates, 66, totaling 2,873 delegates in all.''

Inaugurating the committees, the APC Deputy National Chairman (South), Mr Segun Oni, charged the committee members to be diligent in the discharge of their duties.

The seven-member Election Committee is chaired by Katsina State Governor Aminu Bello Masari.

Other members are Rep. Andrew Uchendu (Secretary), Rep. Yusuf Maianguwa, Dr Tunde Esan, Alhaji Shuaibu Musa, Alhaji Ibrahim Soja and Mr Amara Iwuanyanwu.

The three-member Election Appeal Committee is chaired by Mr Opeyemi Bamidele while members are Alhaji Mustapha Salisu and Mrs Ekwy Onyido.

In his acceptance, Chairman of the Election Committee said he had no preferred candidate and the committee would ensure justice and fairness to all the contestants.

He said: ''I want to also assure you that we will do our best and produce the best and we hope that there will be no work for the Appeals Committee.

''We are going to do a thorough job. I also want to use this opportunity to assure that we will do justice to all.

''We have no preferred candidate, we have no friends and what we will be doing in Edo, we will be doing for APC, for Nigeria and for the Edo people.

''What is most important is that we have gone through this process. I have had a bitter experience of this process and I know how a party can lose election through an unfair and unjust primary.

''It has happened in my state and in so many states. This is a very critical and important assignment considering the number of candidates and the strength of our party and that of the opposition in the state.

''That will make us do what is right for the people of Edo state and for APC as a political party.

''I am assuring you that what will come out of this exercise will be a result that can stand in any court of law because you cannot rule out the possibility of somebody going on appeal.''

Also speaking at the inauguration, Chairman of the Appeal Committee, expressed confidence that there would be no reason for appeal after the primary.

''I want to thank the leadership of our party for the opportunity to also add value in our own little way.

''The constitution of our country is very clear and in cases that has been decided by Election Petition Tribunals, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court is very clear that before any aspirant can come to court, you must not only explore, but must have exhausted the internal mechanism available within the party of trying to protest or complain before coming to the court room.

''It is in that regard that we see the assignment given to us by the party as a very sensitive one.''

It would be recalled that 12 aspirants, 11 males and 1 female, collected the APC Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms for the Edo state governorship election.

They are Mr Blessing Agbomhere; Maj.- Gen. Charles Airhiavbere; Prof. Fredrick Amadasun; Rep. Emmanuel Arigbe-Osula; Mr Austin Emuan and Mr Peter Esele.

Others are Mr Kenneth Imansuangbon; Mr Godwin Obaseki; Mrs Agbarha Justina; Mr Christopher Ogiemwonyi; Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor and the incumbent deputy governor Mr Pius Odubu.

All candidates were successfully screened by the Chibudum Nwuche-led seven-member Committee.

The election comes up on Sept. 10.

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