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Despite suspension, Airhiavbere vows to challenge Obaseki for Edo guber


A chieftain of Edo State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC), Major Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (rtd), has indicated his interest to contest the party’s governorship ticket against incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki. He stressed that the purported suspension slammed against him by ward executives would not deter him.

Airhiavbere, who also contested the 2016 Edo guber election, maintained that the party’s ticket for 2020 would be determined through a democratic process, adding that he would stop at nothing in his quest to clinch APC governorship ticket as long as the party holds a primary election in the state.

Reacting to his alleged suspension from the party, the retired military officer said no amount of intimidation by hirelings within the party and its leaders would stop him from seeking to govern Edo State, even as he vowed to continue pursuing his governorship ambition until he gets to power.

Airhiavbere spoke yesterday during his investiture as grand patron of Benin Recreation Club (BRC) in Benin City, Edo State. He said the grand plot by a group of persons and leaders in APC, who see him as a threat for the 2020 Edo governorship election, would not make him shy away from seeking the party’s ticket. While expressing optimism to emerge victorious from a credible governorship primary of APC in the state, the party stalwart said he is undaunted in his gubernatorial ambition and interest to give Edo people purposeful leadership.

He disclosed that many well heeled members of Edo APC have been inundating him with calls to contest the Edo South Senatorial seat, but said he was not interested, since according to him, running for the Senate position would take him away from his people and home soil.

His words: “I will continue to run for governor of Edo State until I get to government. No amount of intimidation will make me shy away from contesting the governorship election for 2020. Many friends and APC have asked me to go for Senate position, but I think that will take me far away from my soil.”

The veteran governorship aspirant, however, vowed to continue to push for support in his interest to be in the ballot for Edo 2020 poll until he gets to the number seat in the state.It would be recalled that Airhiavbere contested Edo State gubernatorial elections in 2012 and 2016, under the platforms of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and APC respectively. He insists that he remains a committed and loyal member of the ruling party despite his purported suspension by the Oredo Ward 1 leaders of the party.

However, some APC chieftain in the state express apprehension that the retired military officer might be a tool in the hands of opposition PDP to destabilize the party and deny Governor Obaseki a deserved second term in office.

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