PDP, APC renews rivalry in Edo and Ondo states

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As INEC prepares for the gubernatorial
elections in both Edo and Ondo states,
writes that
it’s a two party affair.
Independent National
Electoral Commission, INEC,
fixing the Edo and Ondo states
governorship elections for
September 10 and November 26
respectively, all is now set for a
political show down in those two
The battle, as always, will be
between candidates of the Peoples
Democratic Part, PDP, and The
All progressive congress, APC,
though over 21 political parties
will be contesting.
Even though they have not
yet made nominations, it is now
pertinent to do so and the two
parties have commenced moves
for the exercise.
APC have slated March 2016
for their primaries. The party

stated.that it will adhere to the 2014
delegates list, even as it assured
party faithful that the conduct of
the exercise will be transparent,
free and fair.
State publicity secretary of the
party in Edo State, Mr Godwin
Erhahon, in a statement in Benin,
stated.that the National Chairman
of the party, Chief John Odigie-
Oyegun, had already assured that
the list of delegates elected at the
2014 congress remains intact and
Nigerian Pilot Sunday gathered
that the leadership of the party in
Edo State have been in Abuja for
the last one week trying to impress
on the national leaders of the
party why the 2014 delegates list
should be altered. It was, however

arned that the national
leadership of the party refused
to shift grounds on the issue.
Erhahon’s clarification was
sequel to allegations that
attempts were being made by
some officials of the party in the
state to alter the 2014 delegates
list to accommodate those
not qualified for the delegate
A chieftain of the party
alleged that a particular party
member from Oredo local
government area of the state,
was busy suspending and
removing members of the party
and substituting the names
of those who have died and
were part of the 2014 delegates
list with a view of supporting
a particular governorship
aspirant to emerge as the
party’s flag bearer.
However, Erhahon explained
that, “All elected delegates
who are still members of the
party will be the voters at the
primaries. Those who are no
more in APC either by reason
of death or defection cannot be
replaced till after the primaries.
“This reassurance has
become necessary to douse
tension over rumours, boasts
or threats from various
quarters that attempts are
being made by some persons
to alter the list of delegates. All
governorship aspirants and
their promoters are advised to
humble themselves to existing
party leadership including the
delegates rather than sponsor
suspension of party officials or
replacement of delegates which
can only backfire on them in
the end.
“Edo State leadership of APC
will not tolerate any attempt
to discredit the national
leadership of the party which
is the maker and custodian of
the list of delegates,” the source
PDP on its own, through its
National Working Committee,
NWC, has approved March
14 for conduct of the party’s
congress in Edo.
Chief Olisa Metuh, the PDP
national publicity secretary,
stated.in a statement in Abuja
that the NWC also approved
the conduct of other congresses
in the state.
“Ward congress in the
state holds on March 5, local
government congress holds
on March 10, while the state
congress is scheduled for
March 14, 2016.
“The congresses will be
conducted by congress
committees from the National
Secretariat, Abuja, because the
state executive of the party has
since expired.”
It advised all members of the
party in Edo to be guided by
this statement.
Similarly, national leadership
of PDP in another statement
approved the appointment
of Mr Inuwa Bwala as the
Special Assistant (Media) to
the National Chairman of PDP,
Sen. Ali Modu-Sheriff.
The statement, signed by
Prof. Adewale Oladipo, PDP
National Secretary, stated.the
appointment of Mr Shettima
Shehu as the Special Assistant
to the National Chairman
on Special Duties was also
It stated.that the appointments
took immediate effect.
The two states are
currently held by both parties
respectively Edo State by
Adams Oshiomole of APC
and Ondo by Segun Mimiko of
INEC, through its Deputy
Director of Publicity and Voter
Education, Nick Dazang, made
the disclosure .
Dazang stated.the timetable
for the elections would soon be
made public.
“When the timetable for
the elections is out, we will
commence the processes for
budgeting and implementation
for the elections,” Dazang stated.
Commenting on the conduct
of the re-run elections so far,
Dazang stated.the exercises had
been successful and peaceful
except in Kogi Central and Imo
State where little challenges
were witnessed.
He said: “The re-run elections
we have had from January 27
have been peaceful except that
challenge we had in Kogi.
“Otherwise, generally it has
been peaceful.
“Those of Gombe, Adamawa,
Taraba and Niger States were
“The only place we had
challenges was Kogi Centr

Adavi Local Government
– where our office was burnt
down before the election.
“Fortunately, that did not
affect the election in the area
because by that time we had not
taken the sensitive materials to
the office.
“In one of the wards in the
same senatorial district, some
hoodlums confiscated the
result sheet and tore it.
“That was why as at that
time we were unable to make a
return of the election.
“But fortunately, we fell back
on the duplicates.
“Based on that, we were able
to declare a winner.”
Dazang stated.in Imo State,
the commission suspended
one senatorial and three state
House of Assembly elections
based on security advice.
He stated.people in the
state were demonstrating
and making all sorts of
allegations against INEC
staff but investigation by the
commission revealed that the
allegations were baseless.
He said: “They just wanted
to make use of that to stop the
“So they started
“Given that, the commission
suspended the re-run election
in the state indefinitely, based
on advice from the security
Dazang added that the
commission was preparing
to conduct the remaining
elections in other states in a
free, fair and credible manner.
He said: “The major one will
be that of Rivers, on March
19, where we have three
senatorial districts, one Federal
Constituency and House of
Assembly elections.
“Already the commission
has identified electoral officers
that are going to conduct
the elections and they have
reported at the state capital,
Port-Harcourt, for training.”
Dazang stated.after their
training, the personnel would
train other workers that would
be participating in the conduct
of the elections in the state.
He urged all stakeholders
to collaborate with the
commission in ensu

Nigerian Pilot

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