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Edo APC LG primaries; Aggrieved parties protest results

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Some supporters of All Progressives Congress, APC, in Owan East Local Government Area of Edo State, led by Mr. Roland Edeki, yesterday, besieged the APC secretariat in Benin City, following the conduct of parallel primaries in the council and demanded for justice.

They alleged imposition of candidates for the March 3 council elections by some leaders against the wishes of the people.

During the parallel primaries in the council, two candidates, Victor Ohiosumuan and Andrew Osigbe emerged at the two different primaries held at Afuze and Warrake communities respectively. The protesters said the party primaries held at Warrake was illegal.

Meanwhile, there was tension in Egor Local Government Area of the state, yesterday, after some persons led by one Efe Stewart, held leaders of the party hostage shortly after the leaders endorsed Eghe Ogbemudia as the chairmanship candidate of the party.

Edo State Police Commissioner, Babatunde Kokumo, had deployed a crack team of policemen to the area while men of the Department of State Security, DSS, who arrived the scene arrested the said Stewart and others and are currently in custody.

Edeki, Aledu Bello and others, alleged: “We are here to protest the illegal primaries that were conducted by Edo State Deputy Governor, Mr. Philip Shaibu, in Owan East council. The primaries were to be conducted at a designated venue. What happened at the mini stadium in Afuze is the correct primaries but some people went to a private residence in Warrake to hold an illegal primary.

Edeki, Aledu Bello and others, alleged: “We are here to protest the illegal primaries that were conducted by Edo State Deputy Governor, Mr. Philip Shaibu, in Owan East council. The primaries were to be conducted at a designated venue. What happened at the mini stadium in Afuze is the correct primaries but some people went to a private residence in Warrake to hold an illegal primary.

“The party directed that the primaries should be conducted at the mini stadium. The only candidate that emerged from the primaries is Victor Ohiosuma. Any other person purported to have been elected is illegal.”

Meanwhile, it should be recalled that the Edo APC publicity secretary, Mr. Chris Azebamwan in a statement thursday, gave credit to the primaries as very peaceful, insisting that the exercise was not only peaceful but that the outcome demonstrated the will of the people.

According to him, “The party primary elections across the different parts of the state were generally peaceful and we appreciate all members of the party for conducting themselves as responsible and law-abiding citizens throughout the exercise.

“I dare reiterate that the exercise was peaceful, free and fair and many of the party members will attest to this. The pictures are everywhere in the newspapers where the party members dutifully queued to cast their votes. So, we wonder where the crisis came from.”  Mr. Azebamwan said.

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