The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun Wednesday assured close political watchers of the forthcoming governorship election in Edo State that the party does not have an anointed candidate to succeed Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
With elections scheduled to hold later in July, the race for the Edo Government House has gained momentum with APC being the toast of aspirants, if the number of politicians jostling to pick its ticket is anything to go by.
Speaking at a meeting with APC governorship aspirants in Edo at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja yesterday, Mr. Odigie-Oyegun assured them that to ensure a level playing ground, the list of delegates to be used for the primaries would be the one compiled during the interim leadership of the party by the interim national chairman, Chief Bisi Akande.
“Once I open my mouth to support any candidate, it hampers my ability to be objective and fair in the process. The minute you begin to tell anybody why dont you step down, the next question is what is in for me?
“The APC has recorded credible primaries with examples being the presidential primaries and primaries in Kogi and Bayelsa state. Even in the case of Bayelsa state where there were issues, the party cancelled the first primaries and ordered a fresh exercise – all in a bid to achieve credible primaries.
“The party assures of credible primaries for the Edo state governorship when the time comes and may the best candidate with the right credentials and capacity emerge”, the APC National Chairman said.
Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting, an aspirant Arc. Ilenre Austin Emuan said: “All aspirants were invited for a meeting with the National leadership of the APC to come and have a chat as far as the campaigns for the Edo State gubernatorial elections are concerned and it was a very fruitful meeting.
“As we know, the political climate in the state (Edo) is getting warmer hence the party felt we had to meet so that we could be reminded of the party manifesto, ideology and the fact that everyone should embrace the rule of fair play and above all, to assure everyone of us that all the aspirants will be given a level playing field.
“Of course there are a lot of insinuations going around that there is an anointed candidate but today all that has been laid to rest. I can say that many of us left with so much confidence about the APC and in the process of the forthcoming primaries in Edo State.” he stressed.
Aspirants present at the meeting were: Arc. Ilenre Austin Emuan; Dr. Don Pedro Obaseki; Sen (Prof) Oserheimen Osunbor; Kenneth Imasuagbon; Omon-Irabor Casely; Chris Iyare; Chris Ogiemwonyi; Gen Charles Airhiavbere; Prof. Ebegue Amadasun and Blessing Agbomhere.