Re-scheduled Primary: Four Edo APC Governorship Aspirants Reject Uzodimma

Four leading Edo All Progressives Congress governorship aspirants have rejected the Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma, as Chairman of the Elections Committee.

Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State

Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Chief Lucky Imasuen, Senator Monday Okpebholo and General Charles Airhiavbere (retd.) said they do not trust his ability to conduct a free and fair election following the controversy that trailed Saturday’s poll.

The development came barely 24 hours to the re-run of the governorship primary in the state.

The APC had announced on Tuesday after an emergency meeting at the secretariat in Abuja that the shadow election was inconclusive and a fresh poll would be conducted on February 22.

The previous poll, which was conducted on February 17, had produced three winners.

Uzodimma had announced Dennis Idahosa as a winner, while returning officer, Stanley Ugboaja, declared Monday Okpebholo as a winner.

Elsewhere, Ojo Babatunde, who claimed to be representing the returning officers in all the local governments, declared Anamero Dekeri as the winner of the election.

Reacting to the re-run election in a joint statement, the four aspirants insisted that they no longer have confidence in the capacity of Uzodimma’s committee to conduct the election.

In addition, Ize-Iyamu, Imasuen, Okpebholo and Airhiavbere argued that Uzodimma did not observe the minimum requirements for compliance with the relevant provisions of the laws and regulations guiding the election as provided both in the Electoral Act and in the APC Constitution.

The statement read, “We strongly believe that whatever was responsible for his flagrant disregard for due process and unusual hasty declaration of unconfirmed fictitious results of the primaries outside the designated collation centre may not have abated from his mind, and therefore may be repeated if given the opportunity to play the same role as chairman in the process.

“In the circumstance, we are calling on Mr. President to kindly use his good offices to replace Senator Hope Uzodimma with any other respected member of our great party, as chairman whom the President strongly believes will comply with the law, maintain internal democracy, protect and defend the integrity and goodwill of the President which he has attained over the years that endeared him to both national and international stakeholders.

“Furthermore, we believe that this is the only way to remedy the ridicule and embarrassment that Uzodimma’s tactless and overzealous behaviour, which in the view of keen observers of happenings in the ongoing process of nominating a viable candidate of our party, runs within the borderline of mischief and clotted with antidemocratic vestments, unknown to law.

“We have implicit confidence in Mr. President’s devotion to justice, equity, and fairness in the process that will produce the governorship candidate of our party in Edo State which is now rescheduled for tomorrow 22nd February 2024, and also ensure victory for our party in the governorship election that is scheduled for September 2024.”

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