Choice of consensus Edo guber candidate tears Ize-Iyamu, others apart
The choice of a consensus candidate for the governorship election holding this year in Edo has thrown a faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state loyal to the party’s National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole into disarray. A disagreement among the four major aspirants yesterday deadlocked the supposed ‘political family meeting’.
The contenders, who have from the onset been united in denying Governor Godwin Obaseki a second term in office, are currently at crossroads, disagreeing over whom the cap fits.
The meeting, which held at the home of a former deputy governor and a frontline member of Edo People’s Movement (EMP), Lucky Imasuen, was convened to nominate one from the quartet.
The aspirants include immediate past Deputy Governor Pius Odubu, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Chris Ogiemwonyi and Maj.-Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (rtd). They had forged a common front to confront the incumbent in the election proper, with each promising to queue behind whoever wins the ticket.
It was, however, gathered that thugs allegedly sponsored by one of the hopefuls, invaded the venue, sacking the ‘family meeting’ and dispersing those in attendance.
Another known member of the movement and a staunch supporter of one of the contestants, Henry Idahagbon, nevertheless denied the alleged invasion, while some other attendees claimed “heavy financial inducement” by two of the aspirants.
It was further learnt that Ize-Iyamu loyalists had, in the last 24 hours, fine-tuned plans to secure the endorsement of EPM leaders, a development that was allegedly frowned on by others.
The group’s co-convener, Idahagbon, while fielding questions from The Guardian, said the meeting deadlocked for “lack of transparency” by the organisers.
His words: “In their attempt to choose a consensus candidate, the meeting ended in a deadlock because the process was not transparent.“We have only asked that the leadership should go back to the drawing board to make it transparent.”
Insisting that no sponsored hoodlums disrupted proceedings, Idahagbon added: “All the four aspirants came together and addressed the leadership about their concerns. Thereafter, they left.
“The leadership adjourned the sitting and they reconvened at 1:00pm at another location. “There were no thugs, no intimidation. The meeting ended with fun, backslapping and laughter. We are all friends. There is no rancour whatsoever.”
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