Edo guber poll: Ogiemwonyi disagrees with on APC position on direct primaries
Two Edo state All progressive Congress (APC) governorship aspirants, Mesrs Chris Ogiemwonyi and Mathew Iduoriyekemwen have disagreed over the decision by the party to use the direct mode of primaries to pick the flag bearer of the party on 22nd of this month.
While Ogiemwonyi is in support of the direct mode primaries, Iduoriyekemwen expressed preference for the indirect mode of primaries.
The duo spoke separately to reporters shortly after submitting their expression of interest and nomination forms at the national secretariat the party in Abuja.
Ogiemwonyi who was former minister of state for works explained that the direct primary mode would afford aspirants to test their popularity without undue interference from the incumbent or outgoing Governor of the state
According to him: “I am a socialist, I am a democrat. I saw what indirect primaries did to me in 2016. I nurtured so called delegates for 9 months. I was giving soft loans. The shock I had was for me to hear the delegates saying ‘Governor said it should be Obaseki” Obaseki wasn’t a player in 2016.
” It was between myself and Odubu. They couldn’t vote for me because of the body language of the Governor (Comrade Adams Oshiomhole at the time). Godwin did not campaign Oshiomhole gave him so much gratitude but he has shown him alot of ingratitude to Oshiomhole.
“He got that job without sweat. But I believe with this direct primaries now people will have their way. Don’t use government apparatus to suppress one person.”
On why he made a U-turn to join the race after he was said to have endorsed Pastor Ize-Iyamu as consensus candidate, he said: “We started with consensus candidate because we believe in unity we can remove the current Governor. However when there were some indications that the consensus candidate or aspirant was inviting another person to join and because I was number two in the screening process we did. We were seven that took part in that process last week and we were graded.
“He was the first person, I was number two but when we got the call that the number one person was inviting another person outside the seven aspirants that went for the interview, I told him that was unfair to me. If at all somebody become, I should be the one because I was number two.’
But Iduoriyekemwen who is believed to be sympathetic to the second term bid of Governor Godwin Obaseki said: “The Governance of Edo is opened to every Edo Person if you believe that you have the capacity. Yes it is true that I supported the Obaseki government.
“As a politician who is not self serving I believe that the Governor should have the right of first refusal but when the party now made it open that it has to be contested for as I said I have contested primary twice in Edo and I have look at all other aspirants and have not seen any of them that have better capacity than me to deliver to Edo people.
“I opted for indirect primaries. I feel that it is the most logical thing to do right now. In my place where you have thousands of polling units how do you get people for example in the face of the pandemic which the Federal Government is confronting frontally.”