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APC May Convene Emergency NEC Meeting Over Edo Primaries Crisis

LAGOS/ABUJA – The ruling All Progres­sives Congress (APC) may summon an emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting to find a solution to the protracted political crisis rocking the Edo State chapter of the party ahead of the gov­ernorship primaries slated for June 22.

Speaking with Daily Inde­pendent on Monday, a mem­ber of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC), who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “The meet­ing has become imperative as the presidency appears to be in a quandary over the issue”.

The Edo chapter of the APC and the national leader­ship of the party are current­ly locked in a battle on the mode of primary to be used in choosing the flagbearer of the party.

While Edo APC led by An­selm Ojezua said it is adopt­ing the indirect primary method for the emergence of the party’s flagbearer in the September 19, 2020 governor­ship election in the state, the NWC led by Adams Oshiom­hole had written to the Inde­pendent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on May 19, saying it has adopted the direct primary option.

Despite interventions by President Muhammadu Bu­hari, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the party’s National Leader and governors elected on the party’s platform last week, the stakeholders are still spoiling for battle while no agreement has been reached on the mode of primaries to be adopted.

According to our source, “The Edo APC is calling for indirect primary while the NWC has adopted direct method. But Abuja (presiden­cy) is interested in a system of primary that will main­tain social distancing so that COVID-19 will not spread as a result of the primaries.

“What a lot of people do not know is that the system that can maintain social dis­tancing is the direct primary method. This is because un­der direct primary method, people will be required to vote in their various wards.

“In most cases, direct elec­tions are done in public plac­es maybe schools. The voters will be asked to queue up and maintain physical distancing from one another".

Under the indirect pri­mary method, you are going to make use of delegates. Over 50,000 of them will be required to gather in one place and the COVID-19 pro­tocol said more than 50 peo­ple must gather together in one place.

“So, right now, Abuja is in a quandary and it is likely a NEC meeting will be sum­moned on the matter. But contrary to the impression that it is indirect primary method that will encourage social distancing, it is actu­ally the direct method”, he said.

Also on Monday, the Edo State government said it has alerted the Commissioner of Police in the state and other security agencies of plans by loyalists of Comrade Ad­ams Oshiomhole and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, a gover­norship aspirant in APC, to import thugs from the Ni­ger-Delta into the state.

Speaking with Daily In­dependent, Crusoe Osagie, Special Adviser to the Edo State Governor on Media and Communication Strat­egy, said those behind the move are planning to cause mayhem in the state so as to make it difficult for the state government to enforce the guidelines on COVID-19.

According to him, Gover­nor Obaseki is putting every necessary measures in place in order to ensure that the primary exercise and the gov­ernorship election is peaceful and violence-free.

“We have received a lot of intelligence that Ize-Iyamu and other people who are representing Adams Osh­iomhole in Edo State are procuring arms and ammu­nitions, and they are import­ing thugs from parts of the Niger-Delta with the view to cause mayhem in Edo State and make it impossible for the government to enforce the regulations on the move­ment of people with respect to the spread of COVID-19.

“I’m sure you are aware that the state government has made a law that prevents political gatherings that can endanger the lives of people with respect to the spread of coronavirus. On their part, they feel that law will prevent them from having their way in the primaries on June 22.

“To that extent, they have now gone to states within the Niger-Delta, especially from Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa to import thugs and bring them to different locations within the state, with arms and ammunitions in order to un­leash mayhem on the state. Their primary mission is to make impossible for the state to enforce that law”.

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