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Guber poll: Edo APC kicks as NWC adopts direct primary

Taiwo Adebulu

The Edo state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has kicked against the decision of the national working committee (NWC) to adopt direct primary for electing the party’s candidate for the 2020 governorship election.

At a meeting in Abuja on Friday, the NWC led by Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the ruling party, agreed on the mode for the primary.

Direct primary means all card-carrying members of the party from local government areas of the state will be eligible to vote in order to produce a candidate.

Speaking with reporters, Anselm Ojezua, chairman of the APC in Edo, accused the NWC of imposing the direct method on the state as a means to target Godwin Obaseki, the governor.

Oshiomhole and Obaseki, who fell out midway into the tenure of the governor, have been in a race to outwit each other.

Ojezua said the national executive committee (NEC) of the party had clearly stated that each state is at liberty to adopt any method it prefers.

The governorship primary is slated to hold on June 22, while the election is expected to hold on September 19.

The leadership of the party has granted a waiver to Osagie Ize-Iyamu, governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2016, to partake in the primary.

Ize-Iyamu had defected to the APC in the heat of the crisis between Obaseki and Oshiomhole. He is believed to have the backing of the APC national chairman.

In the buildup to the 2019 elections, the APC in Lagos adopted direct primary, which saw Akinwunmi Ambode, the incumbent governor, losing the gubernatorial ticket.

Ambode had described direct primary as “the beginning of a revolution about the deepening of democracy in Nigeria”.

However, he lost to Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who clinched the ticket and went ahead to win the election.

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