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APC Members Grumble, Protest Outcome Of Primary Election In Edo

Lucky Obukohwo, Reporting

Some aggrieved members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, have continued to protest the outcome of the last Saturday’s governorship primary election of the APC that threw up Sen. Monday Okpebholo as the governorship candidate of the party ahead of the September 21 governorship election in the state.

Speaking on behalf of the protesters at the Edo State Council Secretariat  of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Hon Harrison Okpamen said the exercise that produced Idahosa as the candidate of the party is the authentic result and that the exercise that was conducted on Saturday was a mere allocation of votes alleging that while they were in the field to conclude the exercise as directed by the party, the others in connivance with member of the electoral committee led by the governor of Cross Rivers State, Sen. Bassey Otu were just allocating figures to aspirants.

In an address to the National Chairman of the APC which was read to journalists, Okpamen said in the earlier exercise, “They threw caution to the winds and began to announce the fake results.

The National Publicity Secretary of the party issued a public statement to the effect that only the Hope Uzodinma Committee had the powers to announce results.

“Notwithstanding this, they gathered in the house of one of the aspirants at midnight to announce the fake results.

“They declared one Senator Monday Okpebholo as the elected candidate of the party for the said governorship elections”

He said on the day of the rescheduled exercise, “Governor Otu directed that party members should report at their wards for the conduct of the primaries.

“Aspirants began fresh mobilization and thousands of members were gathered at their various wards.

“To their surprise, no Returning Officers were deployed to these wards to conduct the primaries.

” Party members, after waiting in vain for the arrival of the election officials, began to queue behind posters of their preferred aspirants.

” It was clear that Hon. Dennis Idahosa was the preferred candidate of a vast majority of party members.

“Curiously, Governor Otu went out of circulation while the so-called LGA Returning Officers were enjoying the comfort of their hotel rooms with funds paid by aspirants for collection of nomination forms.

“Party leaders brought the results from their various LGAs to the collation center and there was no one to hand them to.

“Worried party members waited in the vicinity of the collation center in vain. Suddenly, Governor Otu arrived and ordered armed soldiers to evacuate party members.

“After scattering party members disrespectfully like goats, he then announced some figures conjured from nowhere as votes scored in the said direct primaries.

“They turned out to be the same votes allocated to Senator Okpebholo at midnight in the  primary election of 17th February, 2024 which  was discredited by the party and upon which they ordered a proper completion of the said primaries.

“The party members present to vote did not have their votes cast recorded by any known officers of the party’s National Secretariat.

“Quite clearly the result sheets used for the announcement of results were completed in the National Secretariat of the party as it did not flow from the reality on ground in Edo State.

“The said primaries of 17th and 22nd February, 2024 were not conducted by open secret ballot by APC as required by relevant provisions of APC constitution and the declaration of Senator Monday Okpebholo is not only unlawful, but a crass violation of the APC constitution.

“Our strong prayer is that the injustice perpetrated by the Governor Otu committee be set aside”, Okpamen said.

Recall that Okoebholo emerged after an initial exercise two days earlier that led to three aspirants Okpebholo, Hon Dennis Idahosa and Hon Anamero Dakeri being declared winners by different members of the committee.

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