Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The reelection bid of Godwin Obaseki as the governor of Edo state seems to be hanging in the balance bleak as the All Progressives Congress (APC) has granted waiver to Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu to contest the party primaries for the Edo state governorship election.
Apparently based on the waiver granted by the National Working Committee (NWC) after an emergency meeting held late Thursday evening, the Edo state guber aspirant had stormed the party headquarters on Friday evening to meet with certain chieftain of the party without picking the declarations of interest form.
A reliable source dis closed that the NWC also rose from the emergency meeting adopting direct option for the party primaries scheduled for June 22, 2020 to determine the party’s flagbearer for September 19, 2020 Edo State governorship election.
Our source further revealed that the NWC which had about eight members in attendance granted the waiver to the former Chief of Staff and Secretary to the Edo State government in view of the electoral value he will had on the fortunes of the ruling party in the state.
Ize-Iyamu, touted to be the party National Chairman’s anointed candidate, recently decamped to the ruling party in the state after running on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP’s) candidate for the 2016 Edo State governorship election.
Our spurce also disclosed that the NWC had resolved to adopt the option earlier used in the state for the governorship primary, adding that the committee will give every card carrying member of the party to determine who the flagbearer is for the state governorship election.
Meanwhile, the source noted that the NWC could not take decision on the Ondo State governorship primary slated for July 20, 2020, during the meeting.
“We have a month after Edo State primaries before Ondo State. We only delibrated on Edo State. We shall do that of Ondo very soon,” the source hinted.
When contacted on phone the National Publicity Secretary (NPS) of the party, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, confirmed the direct primary as option adopted for the party’s Edo State governorship primary.
According to him; “Yes the NWC adopted the direct primary for Edo State and we also granted wavier for a governorship aspirant,” the NPS confirmed.
Those at the NWC meeting chaired by the National Chairman, include, the Deputy National Chairman (South), Senator Abiola Ajimobi, National Vice-Chairman (North-West), Inuwa Abdulkadir and his counterpart from the South-South, Eta Hilliard.
Other are National Vice Chairman (North-Central), Wambah, the acting National Secretary, Waziri Bulama, National Organising Secretary, Emma Ibidiro and National Legal Adviser, Babatunde Ogala.
Commending what he called landmark decisions by the National Working Committee, the pro-Oshiomole Edo State APC Chairman, Hon. David Imuse in a telephone interview said the NWC did what is right for Edo State, welcoming the wavier granted Ize-Iyamu.
The APC chieftain said: “the NWC have the constitutional right to do what they have done. The adoption of direct primary is within the capacity of the committee. On Ize-Iyamu, in all political parties, anybody that is seen as an asset to the party, NWC is empowered to grant waiver and they did just that. Ize-Iyamu is an asset to the party and the waiver is welcome by the party.”