Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State on Friday kicked against the decision of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) ordering direct primary to pick the governorship candidate of the party for the September election in the state.
According to Obaseki in a statement by his media aide, Crusoe Osagie, the NWC does not have the power to decide how the party governorship primary in the state will be conducted.
Governor Obaseki and his predecessor, Oshiomhole, the National Chairman of the APC, have been locked in a protracted battle of supremacy for control of the party in the state.
Obaseki, in the statement on Friday, said the NWC could not take any decisions on the primary without the National Executive Committee of the party.
Obaseki said: “That report was a scoop, there was no meeting of the NWC in which the decision was taken. If the Oshiomhole camp is having it at the back of their minds that it is what they want to do, they don’t have the power to do that.
“The power to direct what kind of primary to do rests on NEC and NEC at the last meeting decided that because of the dissenting voices, all modes of primary should be decided by the different state chapters as it was done in Kogi and Bayelsa. In Kogi, for example, they determined the kind of primary they wanted, and in Bayelsa, the same thing happened.
“So, in Edo, the same method will be adopted, according to the rules of NEC. We will now write the NWC to say this is the mode of primary that we want.”
Osagie further noted that a statement from a senior member of the party and former governor of the state (Chief John Odigie-Oyegun) had already confirmed that the President had adopted Obaseki and Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, as the preferred candidates for the governorship elections unless they decided not to run.