Tony Osauzo, Benin
The consensus arrangement put in place by a faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) sympathetic to the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, ahead of the September 19 election, appeared to have hit the rock.
Few days after Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who emerged as the consensus candidate of the faction, others aspirants including those who had earlier congratulated him on his emergence have made a U-turn and obtained expression of interest form.
Those who recently bought nomination and expression of interest forms to contest the party’s primaries included former deputy governor, Dr. Pius Odubu, Chris Ogiemwonyi, and former chairman of Oredo Local Government Council, Osaro Obazee.
Governor Godwin Obaseki, Ize-Iyamu and former Majority Leader of the House of Assembly, Matthew Iduoriyekemwen were the first set of aspirants to purchase nomination forms.
Meanwhile, Ize-Iyamu has described the emergence of more aspirants as a welcome development that will strengthen the party’s internal democracy.
“As I have said before, I remain resolute on the fact that we are all driven by a shared desire of developing Edo State, improving the standards of living of our people, and offering a better alternative to an incumbent that has failed our party and state.
“I believe that their participation will strengthen the internal democracy of our party and help us demonstrate once again that ambitions can be pursued without rancour.”
A chieftain of the party and leader in Igueben Local Government Area, Ken Ihensekhien, has clarified that Pastor Ize-Iyamu remains the unanimous choice of party members despite the emergence of new entrants into the party ticket race.
Meanwhile, the Federal High Court sitting in Benin City, yesterday, reserved legal arguments on an exparte motion seeking to prevent the use of direct primaries to elect candidate of the party till next Monday.
Joined in the suit, is the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Factional state deputy chairman of the party, Pastor Kenneth Asemokhai and Iduoriyekemwen are seeking to restrain the APC from adopting the direct mode of primaries.
Consequently, the presiding Judge, Justice M.D Umar, declined to grant the exparte motion but instead gave the defendants three days to file their papers to show cause why the injunction should not be granted and adjourned the case till next week Monday.