Guber Election: Edo APC Rejects NWC-Imposed Direct Primary

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The decision of the national working committee (NWC) to apply direct primary for the election of the party’s candidate for the 2020 governorship election appears unacceptable to the Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) which has promptly kicked against it.

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 the Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki.

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 was at liberty to adopt any method it prefers.

The governorship primary is slated to hold on June 22, while the election is expected to take place 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 build-up 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”. But he lost to Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who clinched the ticket and went ahead to win the election.

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