Shaibu, Ighodalo, others jostle for 563 Edo PDP delegates’ votes


The Peoples Democratic Party will today (Thursday) hold its governorship primary in Edo State, with 10 aspirants battling for 563 delegates votes in the indirect primary.

The primary, holding at Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin, is expected to produce the PDP governorship candidate for the forthcoming September 21 governorship election in the state.

The 10 PDP aspirants include Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shuaibu; a former Chairman of Sterling Bank, Asue Ighodalo; and Blessing  Igbinedion, daughter of Esama of Benin Kingdom, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion.

Other aspirants are Anselm Ojezua, Felix Akhabue, Martin Uhomoibhi, Hadizat Umoru, and Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, Dr Earl Onaiwu and Arthur Esene.

A party guideline released on Wednesday by the state Organising Secretary, Tony Anenih Jr, said delegates are to report at the Edo Hotel Marque, GRA, Benin City, where their accreditation will kick off at 8 am.

Also, each delegate will be given security access cards upon accreditation after which all accredited delegates will be conveyed in dedicated buses to the venue of the governorship primary.

According to the guidelines, only designated buses carrying accredited delegates shall be allowed into  the primary’s venue.

Also, all vehicles conveying governorship aspirants will drop them and their guests off at the gate and depart thereafter.

“Delegates will be seated at the venue, local government by local government, while each aspirant will collect two security tags from the Edo PDP Secretariat, 59, Airport Road, Benin City. Each card admits one guest only.

“Only delegates, invited guests and aspirants will be allowed into the venue, while delegates, aspirants and their guests must be seated at the venue of the primary by 11 am prompt.

“Accreditation of journalists and civil society organisations will also be at the Marque. Only accredited pressmen and media outfits will be allowed into the venue,” the guideline added.

The guidelines noted that all security agencies have been activated to ensure that these guidelines are strictly followed.

The Edo State PDP Chairman, Tony Aziegbemi, said the party was ready to conduct a free, fair and credible primary election that will be a reference for future primary elections in the country.

He said, “What the NWC (National Working Committee) and the party owe the aspirants is to ratify the results of the delegate elections, which they have done and the list of delegates has been given to all the aspirants to enable them to have access to the delegates and start lobbying them before the primary election.

“Once the party does that, I don’t know what else any aspirant will want. What we know is that the list will never be altered and it is those on that list that will vote on the day of the primary election. I also enjoin our members to conduct themselves well so we can have a hitch-free primary election.”

Meanwhile, the Edo State Police Command has described last Saturday’s delegate primary election of the All Progressives Congress, as an eye-opener for it, saying would no longer treat such election as just a party affair.

The APC primary election ended in a crisis as it produced three ‘winners’.

The party is set to conduct a fresh primary today (Thursday).

The police spokesman in the state, Chidi Nwabuzor, while speaking to journalists, said, “You could remember that we had a little hitch with a particular party delegates election. That has been an eye-opener for the Edo State Police Command; that we should no longer see it as a party affair.

“They delegates are people with diverse interests, people with diverse behaviours, people with different attitudes and characters. So, this time around, we are going to ensure that the right thing is done  and protect the lives and properties of these party members.”

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