The Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, has stated that the Adams Oshiomhole-led All Progressives Congress, APC, National Working Committee, NWC, has no power to decide how the Edo State APC Governorship primary election be conducted.
The primary has been scheduled to hold next month, with the Governorship election slated for September.
The APC NWC headed by its National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, had ordered direct primary election for picking the Governorship Candidate for the election in the State, earlier on Friday, which the Edo State APC completely rejected, later on Friday.
Obaseki has been locked in a fierce battle with Oshiomhole, over the control of the party in the State.
The Governor, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media and Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, on Friday, said that the NWC could not take any decisions on the primary election in the State, without the National Executive Committee, NEC, of the party.
His words: “That report was a scoop, there was no meeting of the NWC, in which the decision was taken. If the Oshiomhole camp is having it at the back of their minds that it is what they want to do, they do not have the power to do that.
“The power to direct what kind of primary to do rests on NEC, and NEC at the last meeting, decided that because of the dissenting voices, all modes of primary should be decided by the different State Chapters, as it was done in Kogi and Bayelsa. In Kogi, for example, they determined the kind of primary they wanted, and in Bayelsa, the same thing happened.
“So, in Edo, the same method will be adopted, according to the rules of NEC. We will now write the NWC, to say this is the mode of primary that we want.”
Osagie added that a statement from a senior member of the party, former Governor of the State and former National Chairman of the APC, John Odigie-Oyegun, had already confirmed that the President had adopted Obaseki and Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, as the preferred Candidates for the Governorship elections, unless they decide not to run.
The issue of the conduct of the primary has become a major topic among political observers in the State, even as the various political groups strategise towards presenting a formidable Aspirant against Obaseki in the primary.