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Edo Labour Party division deepens, as third governorship candidate emerges



The race for governor of Edo State in the upcoming September 21st election has taken a complex turn as the Labour Party grapples with internal divisions.

This development raises critical questions about the party’s unity and potential impact on its electoral chances.


Friday: The Julius Abure-led faction of the Labour Party held a primary election, declaring former Nigerian Bar Association President Olumide Akpata as their gubernatorial candidate.

Saturday: A rival faction led by Lamidi Apapa announced the conduct of a separate primary, nominating Anderson Asemote as its candidate.

Sunday: A new twist emerged with the self-proclaimed candidacy of UK-based lawyer Hilton Idahosa, claiming to represent the Apapa faction.

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Idahosa said, “The primary election which was earlier slated for Thursday, February 21, 2024, was shifted to Saturday, February 24, to allow for exigencies. There was no primary election conducted on Thursday, February 22, as purported in the said letter from Apapa to INEC.

“The election in which I emerged as a candidate was conducted by the Labour Party state officials at the factional secretariat of the party on First East Circular Road, Benin City.

“The said letter was the handiwork of mischief makers who were bent on causing disaffection within the ranks of the party. I have the backing of the state leaders and the party members, as well as that of Apapa and his team.

“The true position will be made known in the coming days as my team is in dialogue with both the Apapa team and leaders of the party in the state.”

The emergence of three individuals claiming to be the Labour Party’s rightful candidate in Edo underscores the ongoing leadership crisis within the party at the national level. This internal conflict has now spilled over into the state’s gubernatorial race, potentially weakening the party’s overall position.

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