The Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has amid controversies commenced primary elections to elect candidates for the 24 seats in the State House of Assembly and nine constituencies of the Federal House of Representatives.
The party has been in crisis as a result of the supremacy battle between the state Governor, Godwin Obaseki, and the South-South National Vice-Chairman of the party, Dan Orbih, which led to indecision on a date for the primaries.
The national body of the party had announced May 22 for the primaries while a new date surfaced on social media on the eve of the primaries that it would hold on May 24.
However, the state party chairman, Tony Aziegbemi, said the election would hold in line with the date announced by the national body of the party
A visit to the Oredo secretariat of the PDP and the venue of the primary election in the Egor Local Government Area indicated that the election had started in the early hours of Sunday amid heavy security presence, including the Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Services, Edo State vigilante network and officials of the Edo State Public Works Volunteers.
Responding to the alleged parallel primary election, Andrew Emwanta, the Commissioner for Communications and Orientation, described it as hearsay.
He said, “This is the venue that was designated for the election. INEC officials came here in the morning before the proper commencement of the exercise. The official took permission to go for lunch but he didn’t show up again.”