Edo 2024: Tinubu meets APC guber candidate, Okpebholo, Oshiomhole

Kunle Sanni

President Bola Tinubu met behind closed doors at the Presidential Villa on Friday with Sen. Monday Okpebholo, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and Dennis Idahosa, his running partner, ahead of the Edo State gubernatorial election that is set for September 21.

The candidates were escorted to the Villa by the Minister for Niger Delta Development, Abubakar Momoh, and former Edo state governor Adams Oshiomhole, who is also the state party chairman.

The meeting took place just a day after the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) primary poll, which resulted in Asue Ighodalo being chosen as the party’s flag bearer, was deemed flawed by a Federal High Court in Abuja.

Following the meeting, Okpebholo declined to comment further when reporters contacted him, describing it as private.

Speaking afterward, Oshiomhole, however, expressed confidence that the APC will prevail in the September election because it intended to take advantage of the chaos inside the PDP.

He said that because the Edo PDP problems were solely an internal dispute, the APC was not involved.

Oshiomhole said: “I think you should dismiss that because this is PDP versus PDP and you know that by the law, another party cannot go into intra-party conflicts in court. So, if it is convenient for them to explain that you can dismissed it without asking me.

“The fact that there had been division in Edo before their primaries and after their primaries is an open secret, and the issues in dispute are also very open.

“The PDP legacy group complained that the man they gave their master bedroom has completely chased them out of the building and now they’re under the rain and as we speak they are still trying to settle.

“Those who couldn’t find accommodation, we picked them one by one and don’t forget that those in that Osadebe Avenue were my own creation in the sense that I supported Obaseki to become governor and so I have people who still have affection for me.”

“So, this is purely PDP intra-party, and I think the lesson is very clear, namely that parties must be encouraged to obey the laws that regulate the conduct of primaries, and that rules are meant to be obeyed if you formulate your constitution.

“It is the base of the contract between party members. Now, the Electoral Act is meant to ensure that everybody played the game within the rules. So we have nothing to do about it,” he added.

On the reason for the visit, the former governor explained: “We went with the candidate and the running mate to give the President… he is the leader of the party to give him an update on the campaigns going on; what we are doing and the fact that we are harvesting more and more people are every day decamping.”

Speaking as well was Momoh, the Minister of Niger Delta Development, who confirmed that the APC will win the upcoming election.

“So, as far as we are concerned, whether court judgment or no court judgment, we are very hopeful and optimistic that on 21st September this year, Obaseki will be preparing to leave the Government House,” Momoh said.

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