Edo election: Tinubu hosts APC gubernatorial aspirant, stakeholders

By Kunle Sanni

Ahead of the Edo State gubernatorial election set for September 21, President Bola Tinubu convened a closed-door meeting at the Presidential Villa on Friday with key All Progressives Congress (APC) candidates.

The meeting included Sen. Monday Okpebholo, the APC gubernatorial candidate, and Dennis Idahosa, his running mate. They were accompanied by the Minister for Niger Delta Development, Abubakar Momoh, and former state governor Adams Oshiomhole, who is also the state party chairman.

This meeting followed the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) primary poll, which ended in controversy as a Federal High Court in Abuja deemed the selection of Asue Ighodalo as the party’s flag bearer flawed.

After the meeting, gubernatorial aspirant Okpebholo declined to provide details, labeling the discussion as “private”.

However, Oshiomhole was forthcoming, as he expressed confidence in the APC’s chances in the upcoming election, emphasizing the internal strife within the PDP as a significant advantage for the APC.

“I think you should dismiss that because this is PDP versus PDP. Another party cannot intervene in intra-party conflicts in court. The division within the Edo PDP before and after their primaries is well-known. The issues are clear, and the APC is not involved,” Oshiomhole stated.

Commenting on the internal conflicts within the PDP, he mentioned that the party’s legacy group felt sidelined, revealing the APC had recently welcomed disillusioned PDP members.

“We picked them one by one. Don’t forget, those in Osadebe Avenue were my creation as I supported Obaseki to become governor,” he added.

He emphasized the importance of parties adhering to their constitutions and the Electoral Act to ensure fair play during primaries. “The rules are meant to be obeyed,” he said.

The purpose of the visit, according to Oshiomhole, was to update President Tinubu on the campaign progress and the increasing number of people defecting to the APC.

“We went with the candidate and the running mate to brief the President, the leader of the party, on our campaign activities and successes,” he explained.

On his part, Minister Momoh voiced optimism about the APC’s chances in the election.

“Whether court judgment or no court judgment, we are very hopeful and optimistic that on September 21, Obaseki will be preparing to leave the Government House,” he asserted.

As the gubernatorial election approaches, the APC appears poised to capitalize on the PDP’s internal discord, setting the stage for a fiercely contested race in Edo State.

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