Governorship aspirants under the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State have vowed to support whoever amongst them emerged as the flagbearer of the party in the June 2, 2020 governorship primary election of the party.
The aspirants, Chris Ogiemwonyi, Dr. Pius Odubu, Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (rtd.), and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, stated this after a meeting with some party leaders in the state, where they also rose in support of the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
The aspirants and leaders described Oshiomhole, who is the immediate past governor of the state as a committed and focused leader, who should be adequately supported to succeed.
Leaders of the party present at the meeting were Saturday Idehen, Rev. Peter Obadan, Lucky Imasuen, Senator Francis Alimikhena and Pally Iriase.
Others were Peter Akpatason, Johnson Oghuma, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, Gen. Cecil Esekhaegbe (rtd.), Henry Idahagbon, Chief Francis Inegbeniki, Patrick Obahiagbon, Ken Ihiesenkhien, Thomas Okosun and Patrick Ikhariale.
According to the aspirants and leaders of the party, they were committed to the motto and slogan of APC: justice, peace, unity and change respectively, in order to foster a common purpose towards the success of the great party in the September 19, 2020 governorship elections in the state.
A statement released after the meeting reads: “As aspirants seeking to contest the office of Governor of Edo State, we recognise that only one person can be fielded and we hereby pledge to support whoever emerges among us, as the candidate of the party.
“We remain united in the pursuit of a common goal of ensuring that our party wins the governorship election in Edo State, coming up in September this year. As loyal party members and leaders, we are committed to a free and fair process of selecting the governorship standard bearer of the party and we are all committed to abiding by the process.
“Reports from Governor Godwin Obaseki’s Secretary to Government, Osarodion Ogie, and Media Adviser, Crusoe Osagie, purporting to accuse our amiable and indefatigable National Chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, of masterminding the process of selecting a candidate through mock primaries, thereby breaching guidelines for the containment of COVID-19, are not only malicious, vexatious and untrue, but extremely irresponsible on the part of Edo State government that has failed abysmally to diligently address and implement the guidelines issued by the Federal Government through the Presidential Task Force (PTF) On COVID-19 and the Nigeria Centre For Disease Control (NCDC).
“There was never a time the members and leaders of the APC, Edo State chapter, engaged in any activity that contravened any guideline for the management of the COVID-19 pandemic and the National Chairman of APC has not visited Edo State since the break of the Coronavirus pandemic in February 2020.
“Governor Obaseki’s hypocrisy is legendary, as he has continued, even while on self-isolation, to hold meetings with politicians to campaign for his re-election and he may be possibly responsible for infecting some government officials who tested positive to Coronavirus, as he refused to disclose his status, after submitting his samples for test. This is reminiscent of the lack of transparency in the governance of Edo State.
“As party members and leaders seeking to give Edo people responsible governance from November 12, 2020, we are deeply concerned about the gross violations of the fundamental human rights of citizens of Edo State through the false declaration and stigmatisation of innocent persons, all in the pretence of combating the spread of COVID-19 and the near absence of basic Personal Protective Equipment(PPE) for our medical personnel, which the Association of Resident Doctors in Edo has criticised the government for not providing for health workers
“We salute the gallant efforts of all health workers in Edo State for putting their lives on the line, in the fight against coronavirus pandemic.
“We wish to restate our unalloyed commitment to the leadership of Comrade Oshiomhole as the National Chairman of the APC and to warn the Governor of Edo State to desist from his unpatriotic activities of sponsoring attacks on him and financing his removal from office.”
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