Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC) has been accused of already penning down the outcome of the yet to be conducted direct primary of the party in Edo state.
Philip Shaibu, the deputy governor of the state who made the allegation in a statement signed on his behalf by his media aide, Benjamin Atu on Friday, said this was why the former governor is insisting on direct primary.
The APC National Working Committee (NWC) under Oshiomhole adopted direct primary as its mode for choosing its governorship candidate in the September 19 election. This came 3 days after Oshiomhole wrote to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) informing the electoral body of the yet to be taken decision of the party.
The APC helmsman and Godwin Obaseki, the state governor of Edo State, are not in good terms and the former has been working tirelessly to edge out his successor from securing another term in office.
Mr Obaseki has kicked against the direct primary adopted by the NWC, saying it will expose citizens of the state to the Coronavirus disease. The position has also been reiterated by his deputy, Mr Shaibu.
The deputy governor also accused the national chairman of attempting to take over the control of the state unlike the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which do not interfere in state affairs.
“PDP has a national chairman for instance, the national chairman of PDP doesn’t usurp the sovereignty of the PDP states,” he said in the statement.
“The sovereignty of the state can’t be submerged at this critical juncture of our lives. The indirect primary will make it more convenient for INEC to supervise and will be more transparent.
“The APC national chairman is insisting on direct primary because the result of the yet to be conducted direct primary election is already written by him, just waiting to be announced.
“The state is sovereign but not enjoying its sovereignty because some few people are determined to ruin the State by hand twisting the government and Governor as a stooge. What the APC national chairman is doing is trying to usurp the powers of the state governor by thinking and making decisions for the government of Edo state.
“John Oyegun was the former governor of Edo state and he didn’t usurp Oshiomhole’s power in the name of ex-Governor Oshiomhole is not the first ex-Governor in Nigeria. He should give the people and government of Edo state peace to enable them reason collectively together.
“Obaseki is currently the governor of Edo state and his office must be respected because we can only have one governor at a time. He has spoken and there is no going back on indirect primary. Direct primary will heighten COVID-19 transmission and infection at the community stage and the state is not ready for such emergency,” he added.
The direct primary slated for June 22. Although there are six aspirants jostling for the position, it is largely seen as a race between Mr Obaseki and Osagie Ize-iyamu, an aspirant who enjoys the support of Oshiomhole who earlier described him as a thief who should not be entrusted with public funds.