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Edo 2024: Confusion As Two Governorship Candidates Emerge From APC Parallel

Edo 2024: Confusion As Two Governorship Candidates Emerge From APC Parallel

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Confusion erupted yesterday in the Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) following the declaration of House of Representatives member Dennis Idahosa as winner of the party’s governorship primary.

Chairman of the Primary Election Committee and Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, declared Idahosa winner at Protea Hotel, Government Reservation Area (GRA), Benin at the end of the collation of results from the 18 local government areas of the state.

The result was however disputed by Senator Monday Okpebholo (Edo Central) and the immediate past Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, both of who said they won the primary election.

Idahosa, who currently represents Ovia constituency in the Green Chamber of the National Assembly, was credited with 40,453 votes.

Senator Monday Okpebholo had 100 votes.

Details of the result as announced by Uzodimma are as follows: Blessing Agbomhere – 50 votes, Maj.Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (rtd.) – 162; Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor – 180; Col. David Imuse (rtd.) – 400; Dr. Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe – 02; Gideon Ikhine – 700; Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu – 02; Anamero Dekeri – 230; Prince Clem Agba – 100 and Chief Lucky Imasuen – 02.

Uzodimma described the primary conducted by his committee as the authentic one.

He said it was peaceful in the state’s 192 wards.

However, armed thugs invaded Lushville Hotel and Suites, Gapiona Avenue, GRA, Benin, the initial collation centre at about 2.52 pm, sparking pandemonium.

The collation officers were on break when the thugs struck.

The State Collation Officer, Dr. Stanley Ughoajah, halted the live transmission of the proceeding by some national television stations.

Okpekholo, at the time of the invasion, was leading Idahosa in six of the 18 local government areas already collated.

Okpekholo was ahead in Ikpoba/Okha, Esan Southeast, Oredo, Esan West, Owan West and Esan Central, while Idahosa led in Akoko-Edo LGA and his Ovia Southwest LGA.

Journalists who had gathered to cover the process were injured and their equipment destroyed.

Party officials and other stakeholders were similarly attacked and the highbrow hotel’s facilities damaged.

The many policemen and other security operatives at the venue appeared overwhelmed by the turn of events.

Officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were present at both collation centres.

As Uzodimma was rounding off the declaration of the results, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who had withdrawn from the race on Friday, invited reporters to his residence in GRA, Benin, where Okpebholo was declared winner of the parallel election by Dr. Stanley Ugboajah, the Collation Officer.

Okpebholo, according to Ugboajah, received 12,145 votes and Idahosa 5,536 votes.

Signs of trouble had emerged earlier in the day when two more aspirants joined Ize-Iyamu in withdrawing from the primary election.

First to throw in the towel yesterday was a former deputy governor of the state, Chief Lucky Imasuen and later Dr. Ernest Umakhihe.

Imasuen in a letter addressed to his supporters said his decision to withdraw was in “the interest of peace and unity of our great party,” and because “members of our National Working Committee (NWC), in their wisdom, have expressed their preference for zoning the governorship position to Edo Central Senatorial District.”

He pledged to support “whoever emerges as our candidate in the primary election.”

Soon after pulling out of the race, Umakhihe declared support for “the choice of the party,” Idahosa.

Umakhihe, a retired federal permanent secretary, Edo North Senatorial District, said: “It has been a worthwhile journey of our resolve to make a difference in the affairs of our dear Edo State. However, following my latest interacti

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