There is growing tension in the Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as 10 aspirants on the platform of the party have protested alleged intimidation as the June 18governorship election primaries approach.
The aspirants, in a June 9, 2016 letter, alleged that government appointees and party officials have been under constant harassment and intimidation over which aspirant to support at the primary election scheduled to hold in Benin City.
The protesting aspirants included Prof. Osermiemen Osunbor, Dr. Pius Odubu, Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi, Gen. Charles Airhiavbere, Barr. Ken Imasuagbon, Arc. Austin Emuan, Chief Blessing Agbomhere, Mrs. Tina Agbarha, Emmanuel Arigbe-Osula and Comrade Peter Esele.
The aspirants said efforts by the leadership of the party in the state to ensure credible election had not yielded results.
“The latest of the acts of impunity and desperation to win at all cost is the purchase and or collection of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) by force or inducement by agents of a particular aspirant with a view to undermining a free and fair process of nomination beginning with accreditation of delegates.
“That most of the aspirants have been denied access to delegates during campaigns by a certain notorious thug who has consistently threatened delegates against meeting with aspirants other than his preferred aspirant.”
The aspirants, while proffering solution to the situation, called on the party to ensure that it protects the right of delegates to vote in secret, while also appealing to the National Working Committee, NWC of the party to engage security agencies, including the Army, to provide security before, during and after the election for participants.
The aspirants further demanded: “That the National Working Committee should direct all those in possession of PVCs belonging to any delegate (s) or any person to return the PVCs to their owners forthwith or face sanction from the party.
“That the National Working Committee should direct the police and other security agencies to arrest, investigate and prosecute all those involved in the collection or purchase of PVCs in Edo State.”
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