Exclusion Of Edo North And Its Aspirants From APC Guber Race Is Undemocratic And Against The Party’s Non-Zoning Principle – APC Group

The Concerned APC Members, a group of faithful of the Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has declared the purported report of the Professor Julius Ihonvbere-led Screening/Pruning Committee that has allegedly excluded Edo North Senatorial zone from the race for the All Progressives Congress [APC] governorship ticket of the state, as retrogressive, undemocratic and patently against the non-zoning principle of the party.

This and other assertions were made by the group, which members cut across the three senatorial districts of the state, in a press statement signed by Dr. Osemwegie Irobun and Mr. Isigo Eromosele, its Coordinator and Secretary, respectively

“The so-called list of four aspirants with only Edo South and Edo Central zones with their two aspirants apiece in it, if it is the product of the Committee, trumps equity and vitiates the basis of equality of zones in the quest to seamlessly aid the guber nomination process of the party,” the statement said.

The group also pointed out that the unofficial list, which had been clandestinely released into and doing the rounds in the social media space, was creating a negative impression.

“As the rumour around the unofficial list in the social media report on the said exclusion of the two officially screened aspirants from the Northern district was circulated, a series of rebuttals had come from one of the two apirants, APC stakeholders, political observers and members of the public, who regarded it as fake, tendentious, divisive and intended to throw the Edo APC into confusion,” thr group said in the statement.

The group further regretted that is was apparent that some stakeholders in the party were not satisfied with the peace in the party, and had hence decided to take it through the now familiar ignoble pathway, which made the party to lose the state to the opposition party in the 2020 governorship election.

It added that “With the official declaration that two aspirants of the district were already cleared to vie in the party primary election, preparatory to the general election, the outcome was largely considered to be fair- featuring two aspirants each per the three senatorial zones”

The group also regretted that APC leaders and members from Edo North were shocked by the unofficial list that excluded the zone and did, therefore, demand to know the basis of the exclusion.

The APC pressure group said that while the news of the false disqualification was still being treated with incredulity, it was also irtitating and unacceptable that it was made a subject matter of a television network discussion programme, which
amounted to a tacit endorsement of the unofficial disqualification of Edo North zone from a process that was open to all the zones to participate in, by reading out only the names of the other four aspirants from South and Central, thus excluding the two from the Edo North zone.

It said mischief makers had succeeded in taking their mischief a notch up and this would not augur well for unity and fairness in the party.

The group thereby posed a question; “For the sanctification of democratic norms and the firm positioning of the APC National Working Committee and its state’s chapter, would it not amount to double standards for an entire North senatorial district, which gave APC the mandatory presidential winning, and the highest votes in the 2020 guber poll to be excluded from an important governorship election, where its two aspirants are the most qualified?”

“Now that the two aspirants and the district are being frustrated from the race, what happens to the APC’s standing principle that it is free contest for all the aspirants and that zoning of the governorship slot, along senatorial districts be jettisoned, when Edo North district, which is the stronghold of the APC and its most qualified aspirants are kicked out from the contest?” the group further queried.

The group finally declared that as concerned stakeholders of the party, “it calls on all APC faithful, defenders of democracy and good governance, to take the false disqualification for what it is: fake. Let us remain calm and optimistic that the APC, being a progressive party of disciplined leaders and members, would review its “decision” and not progress in error by finding amicable ways out of the logjam being orchestrared by few desperate and undemocratic party men, who are being driven by selfish and pecuniary interests.”