- It’s the only acceptable list, Odigie-Oyegun insists
Ahead of the 2016 governorship election in Edo State, the ruling All Progressives Congress has started taking steps to resolve a raging crisis that may mar the conduct of its governorship primaries slated for next month.
Already, there is uproar in the party over the delegates list for the shadow election, as the party insists on the 2014 delegates list, as against the view that new names should be added to the list, so as not to disenfranchise new entrants to the party, who are prospective delegates.
However, the party has assured that the primaries will be transparent and credible.
In a chat with The Point in Benin, the state Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Godwin Erhahon, said the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, had considered it imperative that the 2014 lists of the elected delegates should remain sacrosanct and intact, which means there is no need for a delegates’ list.
ABUJA IN FAVOUR OF OLD LIST
Findings, meanwhile, revealed that some persons within the leadership of the party in the
state had gone to Abuja in an attempt to persuade the national leaders of the party to endorse the use of the 2014 delegates list. But ‘Abuja’, it was learnt, did not listen to the group.
Also, there were allegations that some officials of the party in the state wanted to alter the 2014 delegates list so as to give those who were unqualified for the delegate conference a chance. However, a top official of the party in the state, who opted to speak on the condition of anonymity, told The Point that a particular party member from the Oredo Local Government area of the state was strategising on how to see to the suspension of some party members with a view to substituting their names. This,is aside from the ready-made replacements for some delegates that had died.
This, it was learnt, was being perpetrated in support of a particular aspirant who had been favoured to carry the governorship flag.
HOW YOUTHS SACKED PARTY ELDERS
It was also gathered that some youths in the state, having sympathy for a particular governorship aspirant who is not likely to be favoured by the old delegates list, disrupted a meeting scheduled by the leaders of the Edo South Senatorial District.
The youths, numbering well over 400, were chanting war songs and laid siege to the private residence of the embattled Edo South Senatorial District leader of the party, Mr. Gentleman Amegor, along Siluko Road, Benin City, where the meeting was scheduled to take place.
The APC youths used several branded vehicles, belonging to one of the gubernatorial aspirants of the party and did not waste time in making the party leaders disperse as they brandished guns, cutlasses and other dangerous weapons. Some
of the party leaders, in running for dear life, fell down and sustained bruises, while some abandoned their shoes, caps.
Some of their vehicles were also vandalised as a result of the invasion of the unruly
youths. The incident paralysed activities in the area for hours. Besides, some of the Journalists, who were at the venue of the aborted political meeting, also had a bitter experience from the irate youths as some managed to escape being lynched but sustained injuries in the process.
Among the affected journalists are state correspondents of The Nation newspaper, Ben
Ogbemudia; Ebojele Akhere of The Champion newspaper; Patrick Ochoga of The Leadership newspaper; a Channels Television reporter, Ike, and his cameraman, Osato Egbe, among others.