Edo 2020: Oshiomhole wins first round against Obaseki

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, appears to have won the first battle of political wit between him and his estranged political son, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state on the modality to adopt for the party’s primary slated for June 22.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the weekend backed the National Working Committee of the party led by Oshiomhole on the direct primary adopted by it for the Edo State governorship primary.

INEC has said it will only honour the mode of primary submitted to it by the national chairman of the party.

INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said in Abuja that the commission’s rules, regulations and laws allowed it to only relate with the national chairman and national secretary of political parties.

Okoye said that, regardless of what was happening in state branches of parties, the commission was bound to recognise the date, venue and mode of primary submitted to it by the two national officers.

It would be recalled that the APC’s NWC led by Adams Oshiomhole, has approved direct primary to choose the party’s candidate in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state.

Oshiomhole conveyed the party’s decision to INEC in a letter dated May 19.

But the governor, on the other hand, suspecting a plot to deny him a second term in office, kicked.

He insisted that he would not allow direct primary method to be used for the primaries. Rather, he prefers the indirect selection method.

To achieve his objective, Obaseki, in a gazette signed on May 28 and published on Friday, banned political gatherings that could make direct primary possible in the state.

State chairman of the party, Anselm Ojezua, a supporter of the governor, said the party’s State Working Committee had chosen indirect primary.

The governorship election is slated for 19 September 2020.