The Chairman of the seven-member Committee for the Edo State All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship Primary Election, Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari on Monday submitted the Committee’s report of June 18, 2016 governorship primaries held in the Edo State Capital, Benin City.
This is coming as some of the aspirants who lost out in the primary election have kicked against it and calling for a repeat of the exercise.
APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun who received the Committee’s report at the Party’s National Secretariat in Abuja thanked the Masari-led seven-member Election Committee for successfully conducting the governorship primaries in Edo State.
The Masari-led seven-member Election Committee included: Hon. Andrew Uchendu (Secretary), Hon. Yusuf Maianguwa, Dr. Tunde Esan, Alh. Shuaibu Musa, Alh. Ibrahim Soja and Mr. Amara Iwuanyanwu.
The Committee’s five-page report recommended that the party’s leadership convenes a reconciliatory meeting with aspirants and other stakeholders. The report also commended the Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and the security outfits in the state for their support during the governorship primaries.
According to the committee, “There is an urgent need for the party to set up a high-powered reconciliation team to meet with the state governor, all aspirants and other critical stakeholders in order to strengthen the party and restore harmony for a successful [governorship] election.
“The committee commends the efforts of the Commissioner of Police, the Director State Security Service, the Commandant-General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and their men for the remarkable way they handled the entire exercise.
“The committee hereby expresses its appreciation to the Party for finding its members worthy of such important assignment, and pledge the loyalty and commitment of all its members to the Party and the Nation.
“The committee also appreciates the support of the Government of Edo State which aided it in the discharge of this assignment.”
Meanwhile, Chief Chris Ogiemwonyi and Barrister Kenneth Imansuangbon, APC aspirants in the Primary have rejected the results declared and the candidate that emerged, Godwin Obaseki.
In a joint press briefing on Monday at the campaign Secretariat of Ogiemwonyi, they called on the National leadership of the party and APC Edo State Primaries Appeal Panel to order the repeat and resorting of all the ballots papers, used for the primaries.
They also called for the Forensic Analysis of the ballot papers and the finger print on the ballot papers.
Chief Ogiemwonyi who spoke said a criminal investigation has become necessary because the party members hold the view that no one individual or group should be allowed to destroy the good image of APC and its leadership that is committed to free and fair primaries.
Ogiemwonyi said that the announcement of the final result immediately provoked a general condemnation and rejection of the results by delegates of the primary.
“The delegates are unanimous that the figures that were allocated to the various aspirants were electronically manipulated and in clear contradiction of the pattern of their votes for their preferred aspirants.
“The smuggling of non delegates into the venue of the primary to vote was a sign of desperate measures by the governor and its agent. They were successful in this bid because Edo State government was in full control of the venue of the primary
“The open and direct interference into the voting process by the Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, on several occasions took the protest of some of is aspirants and the intervention of the Chairman of the Primaries committee, Alhaji Aminu Masari to persuade the Edo State Governor to stay away from the table that was meant for the thumb printing of ballot papers by the delegates. The governor did not pretend over his desire to intimidate the voters”, he said.
According to Ogiemwonyi, “This imply the confidence we have in the National leadership to conduct free and fair Primaries and our loyalty to the party and patience to tolerate the visible desperation of the agents of Edo State government to undermine the philosophy of the APC in the conduct of free and fair Primaries.