Edo: Tinubu To Obaseki: Go And Face Direct Primary

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has been denied a chance at getting the advantageous ‘right of first refusal’ which would give him an automatic ticket for the forthcoming governorship election in the state.

Eight governors under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had met with National Leader of the party, Bola Tinubu, on Sunday.

The governors were concerned about the impending governorship primaries in Edo and Ondo States.

The governors, who represented their colleagues on the party’s platform were the Chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, Senator Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Alhaji Sani Bello (Niger) and Muhammad Abubakar (Jigawa).

Others are Mr. Solomon Lalong (Plateau), Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola (Osun), Mr. Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Chief Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo) and their host, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

Sources close to the meeting say the governors proposed to grant the incumbents, Obaseki and Akeredolu, the right of first refusal but Tinubu pointed out to them that once other party members indicate interest, the democratic thing to do in the circumstances would be to allow the primaries to hold.

The governors, who favoured the indirect primary mode, were told that the direct mode of primary is more effective as it gives the candidates and the party the opportunity to test their electoral machinery and popularity.

Tinubu assured them that he would prevail on the party leadership to ensure that the process, whichever mode is deployed, is free and fair to all the aspirants.

Recall that the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC had earlier approved the direct primary mode for the June 22, primary election in Edo State.

Obaseki is not favoured to obtain the APC ticket as a result of his rift with National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole. Some party leaders in the state are reportedly backing his opponent, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

On the other hand, Obaseki’s counterpart in Ondo, Akeredolu has declared that he is not bothered over which system of primaries will be adopted by the APC.

On Saturday, Commissioner for Information in Ondo, Donald Ojogo, who spoke on Akeredolu’s behalf in Akure, the state capital, dismissed the insinuation that he was afraid of direct primary election.

The governor, who boasted of his popularity, said that most advocates of the direct primary election do not have structures to win any contest in the party.

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