The National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday put to rest the controversy surrounding last month’s governorship primary in Edo state when it endorsed the candidacy of Godwin Obaseki as the party’s flag bearer in the September 10 governorship election in the state.
The party said the declared that even though there were issues raised by some of the aspirants after the conduct of the primary, they were not compelling enough to warrant a cancellation of the primary and called for greater unity within the party to ensure a landslide victory in the election.
Congratulating Obaseki for his emergence as the party candidate, National chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun called on Party stakeholders to close ranks and support the candidature of Mr. Godwin Obaseki in the lead-up to the forthcoming Edo State Governorship elections.
He also congratulated the Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari-led seven-member Election Committee for successfully conducting a very transparent, free, fair and credible governorship primaries in Edo State, while thanking the Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele-led three-member Edo State governorship Election Appeal Committee for successfully carrying out its assignment and submitting a report.
He said “As the Party prepares for the September 10, 2016 governorship election in Edo State, I call on all aspirants, party leaders, stakeholders and teeming members of our great Party to close ranks and unite as a strong political fighting force behind the candidature of Mr. Godwin Obaseki for a landslide victory at the forthcoming Edo State governorship election.
“The request by the aspirants was that the Edo State APC governorship election primaries should be transparent, free, fair and credible. This, the Party achieved creditably during the primaries. Going forward, we should avoid triumphalist actions and avoid creating new stresses within the Party. We should all seek to reunify the Party to face the September 10, 2016 governorship election.”
In its report to the National Working Committee, the Appeals Committee said the Edo State 2016 APC Governorship primaries were valid pointing out that while not dismissing the seriousness of the allegations and claims of the Petitioners, the issues raised were not compelling as to warrant the cancellation of the Primary Election.
The report called on all APC stakeholders in Edo State to put the Party’s interest over and above personal interests in ensuring a speedy and amicable reconciliation and recommended that the leadership of the party should step up diplomacy in trying to reconcile stakeholders in Edo State.
The Committee also recommended that a high-powered committee be set up by the Party to reach out and mediate between the Edo State Governor, His Excellency, Adams Oshiomhole, and all aspirants who participated in the Primary election.