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Edo APC faction opposes parallel primaries as Ize-Iyamu mulls endorsement

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Consequent upon the election timetable released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the Edo gubernatorial contest this year, the factional chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Col. David Imuse (rtd), has ruled out parallel primaries by the ruling party contrary to widespread insinuations in certain quarters.

In an exclusive interview with The Guardian, Imuse enthused that the crisis facing the Edo chapter of the political group would be a thing of the past when nominations end in June.

His words: “All the infighting now in the state chapter of the APC would come to an end after the party’s primaries in June. We are going to have a very successful exercise.

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“Whatever we are witnessing now is just a prelude to the primaries. After the process, the party would move on as a united family.“But, we have always stressed to our people that there is no need for violence. We have told all those perpetrating violence that it would not be in their interest.”

On his rival, Anselm Ojezua’s alleged suspension, the retired military personnel maintained that “a vote of no confidence was passed on him by the required majority of the State Working Committee.”

He added: “That decision was ratified by the National Working Committee of the party. Going by that, he stands removed from office and also suspended. So, as at today (yesterday), he is not a member of the APC.”

On the upcoming exercise, Imuse asserted: “Those saddled with the responsibility of conducting the primaries would in due course let the party know if anything like parallel ones were possible.”

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The electoral umpire has, however, fixed September 19 and October 10 this year for the governorship contests in Edo and Ondo states.It mandated the participating political parties to conduct their primaries and resolve accompanying disputes between June 2 and 27 while campaigns begin on the 21st of same month.

According to the schedule, Edo is to end electioneering on September 17 in deference to “Section 99(1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) which provides 90 days for the commencement of campaigns by political parties and end of same 24 hours before polling day.”

For Ondo, INEC fixed July 2 to 25 for the conduct of primaries and resolution of disputes arising from the exercise “to enable political parties democratically nominate candidates for the election as required by Section 87 of the Electoral Act 2010.”

Subsequently, the commission named October 8 for end of campaigns while the election holds on the 10th of same month. Meanwhile, a governorship hopeful on the APC platform in Edo, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, yesterday, alluded to a consensus arrangement among the faction’s four leading aspirants.

Besides him, the other three are Maj.-Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (rtd), Chris Ogiemwonyi, and former Deputy Governor Pius Odubu.Ize-Iyamu, who spoke in Benin City, stated: “For many of us, we are ready to concede to the party’s position. “Whoever the party wants is final. And if by the grace of God, it happens the party also chooses us, we also expect the same level of grace from them and that means to concede.”

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