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Fayemi blasts Oshiomhole over Edo APC guber primary crisis

Former Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, has lambasted Adams Oshiomhole, a senator and former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), for allegedly trying…

Former Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, has lambasted Adams Oshiomhole, a senator and former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), for allegedly trying to impose a gubernatorial candidate on the party in the state.

Fayemi said Oshiomhole played a “disruptive” role in the APC governorship primary election held on February 17, 2024, in Edo, ahead of the September 21, 2024, governorship election in the state.

The primary election was marred by confusion and controversy, as three different aspirants were declared winners by three different umpires.

Hope Uzodinma, Governor of Imo State and Chairman of the Primary Election Committee, announced Dennis Idahosa, a member of the House of Representatives, as the winner of the election.

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However, Ojo Babatunde, spokesperson of the returning officers, declared Sunday Dekeri, a lawmaker representing Etsako federal constituency in the House of Representatives, as the winner of the primary.

In another twist of events, Monday Okpebholo, the senator representing Edo Central, claimed that he won the election with over 6,000 votes.

Before the election, at least three aspirants withdrew from the race, including Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the APC candidate in the 2020 governorship election.

On Tuesday, the national leadership of the APC declared that the primary election was inconclusive and fixed Thursday, February 22, 2024, as the new date for the completion of the primary election process.

The party also appointed Bassey Otu, Governor of Cross River State, as the Chairman of the Primary Election Committee to replace Uzodinma

On Wednesday, Oshiomhole visited President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the presidential villa over the Edo primary election.

The senator said the president expressed his commitment to a free and fair primary and that he was not in support of zoning the party’s ticket.

In a statement by Ahmad Sajoh, his media aide, Fayemi accused Oshiomhole of ousting Governor Godwin Obaseki from the party during the buildup to the 2020 gubernatorial poll in the state.

He said Oshiomhole should have ensured a level playing field for all aspirants in 2024 instead of trying to impose a candidate.

“Earlier, Oshiomhole had attempted to eliminate some aspirants from contesting the primaries but failed. This is reminiscent of his high-handedness as national chairman when he manipulatively schemed Governor Godwin Obaseki out of the electoral process. That action led to the unfortunate loss of Edo State by the APC,” Fayemi said.

“It would appear the ground was being prepared by Oshiomhole yet again for the APC to lose the coming election in Edo State because of his unconscionable behaviour.

“However, the party has demonstrated independence and impartiality in cancelling and reordering the primaries.

“We hope the fresh primaries will now take place in an atmosphere deemed free and fair by all, for the sake of our great party.

“Oshiomhole may decide to support any of the aspirants if he chooses not to be neutral but the process must be open, free, and transparent, following the laid down rules.

“My interest is the APC and the party must put its best foot forward in the forthcoming elections.”

Fayemi commended the national leadership of the APC for rescheduling the primary election.

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