The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has adopted a direct mode of primary for the party’s governorship shadow election slated for February 17, 2024.
A decision to this effect was reached on Monday night, January 15, at the extended Edo State stakeholders meeting with the NWC on the state gubernatorial election at the party national secretariat in Abuja.
This came on the heels of Senator Adams Oshiomole’s disclosure of the resolve of the party to reclaim the state from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the upcoming September 21 governorship election, amid 29 contenders vying for the party’s ticket.
Addressing newsmen on Tuesday, January 16, on the outcome of the stakeholders meeting, the deputy national publicity secretary, Hon. Duro Meseko who read the resolution said the NWC after consultation resolved to conduct the party’s primary through direct mode of election.
The meeting which was at the instance of the NWC resolved as follows: “After due consultations with Edo State APC stakeholders, the NWC has approved direct primaries as the mode of election to be used to produce the governorship candidate of the party for the state.
“Given the large numbers of aspirants jostling for the party’s ticket in Edo state, the NWC urged the stakeholders to unite in trimming the number of aspirants.
“The NWC urged all the governorship aspirants to exhibit party discipline and patriotism by shunning the attitude of running to the Courts at every opportunity instead of exploring internal dispute resolution mechanisms, especially after Party Primaries.
“It was resolved that for the smooth running of the party, all members should ensure strict compliance with their financial obligations to the party, in line with the party’s constitution.
“The stakeholders were urged by the NWC to promote unity within the ranks of the party to go into the election as one family bound by progressive ideals and fully geared to reclaim the party’s mandate in Edo state.”
In attendance at the briefing were the Edo state APC publicity secretary, Peter Uwadie-Igbinigie and APC director of publicity, Bala Ibrahim.
Earlier during the consultative meeting on Monday night, Senator Oshiomole told the Abdullahi Umar Ganduje-led NWC that leaders and members of the party in the state have resolved to reclaim the state, which he said originally belonged to the party.
Oshiomole said: “We are particularly determined, as you can see everybody here has a robust past and even present. We are determined to reclaim Edo State. I used the word reclaim because Edo is ours. We lost it due to several factors some of which were caused by some APC elements.”
Stressing the resolve of the party to add Edo to the APC kitty, Oshiomole said stakeholders in the state have embarked on a series of dialogues with governorship aspirants to get their understanding for a rancour-free primary and eventually win the governorship election slated for September.
He said: “On our part, we have tried to initiate dialogue among our aspirants. It is no secret, that at the time we had the dialogue, I think they (aspirants) were 27. I learned it has increased to 29 now. The process is ongoing, and the struggle continues. So we are looking forward to a healthy deliberation.”
The former governor also appreciated the role the national chairman, Dr. Ganduje played during the last governorship election in the state and said that God will crown his interests this time around as the party rejoins the progressive family under his leadership.
Counselling the delegates, the APC chairman said the party must improve internal democracy for a popular and widely acceptable candidate to emerge as the flag bearer of the party at the party’s February 17 primary election.
He noted: “We have to improve our internal democracy – we have to deepen and widen it. We need to understand the party and its manifesto; its rules and regulations. We need to understand its philosophy.
“We need to move towards having a party ideology so that we w, will not be an ordinary political association whereby everybody can come in just to win an election.
We have to be transparent and at the same time, we have to also adopt a guided democracy where we can discuss issues so that we limit if possible the number of contestants.
“The chairman then assured that APC is taking Edo state back come September 2024.
He stated: “Edo is an APC state. Now we have to take Edo back. We have only one state from the South-South for the greatest party in Africa which is not acceptable. We were able to get only Cross River State; after crossing so many rivers we succeeded in getting Cross River. But Edo State, we Isha Allah must get it.”