Governorship primaries: Edo APC disowns Uzodimma, insists Okpebholo won


Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State

By Jethro Ibileke

The leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, has disowned the result announced by the State Governorship Primary Election Committee Chairman, Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo state.

Uzodimma had announced Denis Idahosa winner of the APC governorship primary election in Edo, while the chief returning officer for the primary, Dr. Stanley Ugboajah, declared Senator Monday Okpebholo as winner of the same election.

Felix Morka, the ruling party’s National Publicity Secretary, had also in a statement in Abuja Saturday night, insisted that the Uzodinma-led Edo State APC Governorship Primary Committee was duly authorized to undertake final collation and announcement of results of the primary in the state.

But, countering Morka’s statement, the state Publicity Secretary, Prince Peter Enosoregbe Uwadiae, disagreed with his national counterpart, insisting that being on the ground, he is in a better position to explain the reality of the situation., which, of course, clearly favoured Senator Monday “Akpakomiza” Okpebholo.

Curiously, the ruling party National Publicity Secretary said that the live broadcast of the result by Dr. Ugboajah, who was duly appointed as the Chief Returning Officer by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) on major national television stations and online news outlets was unauthorized.

Morka said: “We wish to state categorically that only the Governor Hope Uzodinma-led Edo State APC Governorship Primary Election Committee is duly authorized to undertake final collation and announcement of results of the Primary Election in the state. We urge all party members, officials in the state, and the general public to disregard the said announcement of results by these unauthorized persons.”

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Igbinigie, however, countered, noting that trouble started during the collation and announcement of results with Senator Okpebholo in clear lead in eight local government areas.

According to him, thugs allegedly commissioned by one of the losing aspirants, stormed the venue of the state collation and disrupted the process by beating up collation officials/representatives of the APC NWC, who were simply carrying out their legitimate duties.

He said that the conduct of Uzodimma was most embarrassing, unfortunate and bizarre as he abandoned them, instead of sympathizing with the returning officers.

Continuing, he alleged that the Imo State governor singlehandedly relocated the collation center upon learning that his preferred aspirant was not winning and then unilaterally assumed the role of the state’s returning officer without recourse to inputs from the local government collation agents as well as the chief returning officer of the exercise.

He said: “In desperation, he [Uzodimma] shamelessly appointed one Charity Amayaenvbo, the campaign manager of Hon. Dennis Idahosa to read the results from a piece of paper.

“As the Chairman of APC Governor’s Forum, one would have expected him to retain his status as an umpire, to sue for peace, and not to grossly abuse and ridicule the privilege of his exalted office. Recall that some aspirants had earlier protested his appointment as chairman of this committee.”


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