The national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, and Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State. may begin the real war, testing the battlefield, when the APC commences the screening of governorship aspirants for the September election in Edo State.
APC National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, in a statement on Friday, disclosed that six governorship aspirants are to be screened for the primary election of the party on June 22 to elect a candidate for the September election in Edo State.
The APC National Publicity Secretary indicated that the six governorship aspirants have bought, completed, and submitted the party’s expression of interest and nomination forms.
The aspirants were identified to include Governor Godwin Obaseki, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Dr Pius Odubu, Chris Ogiemwonyi, Osaro Obazee, and Matthew Iduoriyekemwen.
The rift between the national chairman, Oshiomhole, and the Edo governor, Obaseki, over the APC governorship ticket in Edo State has caused deep friction in the party. Oshiomhole is leading a faction of Edo APC sponsoring Pastor Ize-Iyamu. There is suspicion the national chairman would manipulate the primary election process to ensure the victory of his anointed aspirant.
However, Issa-Onilu has assured that the APC is committed to ensuring due diligence and transparency in the screening exercise and learning from its recent shocking experiences in some states.
The National Publicity Secretary added that towards ensuring transparency of the process, APC circulated the submitted information and documents of the governorship aspirants among party members and the public for verification of claims.
He declared: “Consequently, the various submissions will be displayed at the Party’s National Secretariat in Abuja and in Benin City, the Edo State capital from Monday 8th to Tuesday 9th June 2020 for claims and objections.
“We are inviting party members and indeed members of the public to assist the screening committee by scrutinising the information, credentials and documents provided by the governorship aspirants and availing the Screening Committee of counter and correct information, if applicable.”
The screening of the aspirants may mark the beginning of combatant war between the national chairman and the Edo governor.