For the committee set up by the All Progressives Congress (APC), despite the party’s internal crisis and stiff external opposition, all is set for the primary election in 192 wards of Edo State.
This is coming amidst a threat by the state government urging the party to apply for a waiver before organising election in any part of Edo especially in the light of the rapid COVID-19 outbreak.
The Secretary to the Edo State Government, Osarodion Ogie, in a statement on Sunday, said “APC has refused to inform the state of its readiness to comply with the extant laws and COVID-19 regulations in the state.”
“The APC appears resolved to carry on with the conduct of their primary election in violation of the Edo State COVID-19 Quarantine Regulations and the State Government’s Gazette on political gatherings in a pandemic,” he said.
The governor of the state, Godwin Obaseki, recently dumped the party after months of acrimonious conflict with the now suspended party chairman, Adams Oshiomhole. Mr Obaseki is now with the opposition PDP.
Meanwhile, the secretary of the APC primary election Committee, Ajibola Bashiru, who doubles as the spokesperson of the Senate, speaking on Channels Television Sunday politics, said nothing will stop the election from holding on Monday.
“We are set to conduct primary in Edo State. We have met with the leadership of the state. We have appointed presiding officers in line with the guidelines of the party at local government and ward levels.
“By the grace of God, the polling will open by 8 a.m at all 192 wards in 18 local governments of the state. Security agencies have assured that they will act without fear or favour,” he said.
Speaking on compliance with the state government’s COVID-19 regulations, Mr Bashiru said only 18 persons would be allowed to gather at the same time during voting to the point of announcement of result.
“Not more than 18 persons including presiding officers and Independent National Electoral Commission observers shall be at ward voting centre at any point in time to carry out their activities without violation of the state’s COVID-19 regulations,” he said on Channels.
He enjoined voters to be peaceful and comply fully with the state’s COVID-19 regulations.
On approval by the state government, Mr Bashiru said “the committee has no obligation to tender or submit the guidelines for the party’s primary”.
“The governor is not our member. So, we cannot share our party’s information with them.”