Edo 2024: APC settles for direct primary, rules out zoning, Ganduje, Oshiomhole vow to reclaim state

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Tuesday ruled out zoning its ticket in the forthcoming September governorship election to produce its flag bearer, vowing to reclaim the state from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

The party also announced that direct mode of primary election will be employed to determine its governorship candidate.

Addressing a press conference at the party’s national secretariat, APC Deputy National Publicity Secretary Duro Meseko said about 29 aspirants were jostling to pick the ticket, but that only one of them had so far paid N50 million nomination form.

Meseko said: “As preparations towards a hitch-free Governorship Primary Election in Edo State intensifies, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) held a consultative meeting with stakeholders of the Party from the state on Monday, 15th January, 2024 and resolved as follows:

“That after due consultations with Edo State APC stakeholders, the NWC has approved direct primaries as the mode of election to be used to produce the Governorship candidate of the Party for the state. 

“In view of the large numbers of aspirants jostling for the Party’s ticket in Edo State, the NWC urged the stakeholders to unite in trimming the number of aspirants. 

“The NWC urged all the Governorship aspirants to exhibit Party discipline and patriotism by shunning the attitude of running to the Courts at every opportunity instead of exploring internal dispute resolution mechanisms, especially after Party Primaries.

“It was resolved that for the smooth running of the Party, all members should ensure strict compliance with their financial obligations to the Party, in line with the Party’s Constitution. 

“The NWC also resolved that for want of time, the E-registration exercise of the Party for fresh members be conducted after the Primaries in order not to derail the smooth conduct of the Primaries.

“The stakeholders were urged by the NWC to promote unity within the ranks of the Party in order to go into the election as one family bound by progressive ideals and fully geared to reclaim the Party’s mandate in Edo state.”

When asked whether there will be punishment for any aspirant who goes to court after the primary election, the APC spokesperson said: “The NWC has resolved to produce a form to be attached to the nomination form to serve as undertaking for all the aspirants.”

… Ganduje, Oshiomhole

Meanwhile, the National Chairman of the party, Abdullahi Ganduje and the APC former national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole have charged stakeholders from the state to ensure that the state is delivered to the party during the forthcoming state governorship election.

The two leaders spoke Monday night at the extended Edo state stakeholders meeting with the National Working Committee (NWC) on the state gubernatorial election at the party national secretariat in Abuja.

Oshiomhole said: “We are particularly determined, as you can see everybody here has a robust past and even present. We are determined to reclaim Edo State. I used the word reclaim because Edo is ours. We lost it due to several factors some of which were caused by some APC elements.”

Counselling the delegates, the APC national chairman said the party must improve internal democracy for a popular and widely acceptable candidate to emerge as the flag bearer of the party at the party’s February 17 primary election.

He said: “We have to improve our internal democracy – we have to deepen and widen it. We need to understand the party and its manifesto; its rules and regulations. We need to understand its philosophy.

“We need to move towards having a party ideology so that we will not be an ordinary political association whereby everybody can come in just to win an election.

“We have to be transparent and at the same time we have to also adopt a guided democracy where we can discuss issues so that we limit if possible the number of contestants.”

The chairman then assured that APC was taking back Edo state come September 2024.

“Edo is an APC state. Now we have to take Edo back. We have only one state from the South South for the greatest party in Africa which is not acceptable. We were able to get only Cross River State; after crossing so many rivers we succeeded in getting Cross River. But Edo State, In shaa Allah must get it,” he said.