Ahead of the February 17, 2024 governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the Edo State governorship election, four aspirants that were screened out by the Hon. Julius Ihonvbere-led committee said they have accepted the outcome of the screening in good faith.
DAILY POST reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has slated the off-cycle governorship election in Edo State for September 21, 2024.
It was learnt that the party had set up the committee as an internal mechanism to screen and prune down the number of aspirants to a manageable level, and also to ensure a rancour free primary election.
Those that were screened out, and accepted the outcome, are Dr Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe, the immediate past Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, and Prince Kassim Afegbua, former commissioner for Information and Orientation.
Others are Mrs Victoria Amu and Hon. Victor Otaigbe Eboigbe.
In their separate reactions, they noted that no individual was bigger than the party.
They explained that since they subscribed to the setting up of the committee, they abide by its decisions.
In his statement to supporters, Afolabi said, “It’s with all sense of gratitude that I inform you all that the journey we started together has come to a temporary end last night.
“This is so because my great party, the APC, has zoned the governorship out of Edo North. It is still victory for us, as in less than three weeks, we made so much incursion into the political space of Edo State.
“We will definitely be rewarded in due time. Inform your groups, friends, and our fans, please.”
On his part, Eboigbe, an aspirant from Edo Central, in his statement titled, ‘Everyone can’t be governor at the same time’, urged his supporters to accept the outcome of the screening.
He noted that the decision of the party is more important than the ambition of individual members.
Also speaking, Amu who said she will abide by the party’s decision, as her ambition is not bigger than the party.
Amu, who underscored the importance of party unity and cohesion, emphasized that the success of the APC in Edo State is paramount.
“While I am passionate about the prospect of serving the good people of Edo State as their governor, I want to make it unequivocally clear that my ambition is not greater than the supremacy of our party.
“The APC’s collective goals and the well-being of the people of Edo State are of utmost importance to me. I am fully aligned with the party’s vision and principles,” she stated.
Afegbua, who said he was screened out of the primary, noted that he accepted the party’s decision because to him, “politics is not a do or die affair”.
Recall that the committee had earlier pruned the numbers of aspirants from 29 to 10 aspirants, and subsequently to six, with two aspirants from each of the three senatorial districts.
It further pruned the list to four with two each from Edo Central and Edo South senatorial districts, thereby screening those from Edo North senatorial district out.
The four recommended aspirants for the primary election are Senator Monday Okpebholo, Col David Imuse, from Edo Central, and Chief Lucky Imasuen and Hon. Dennis Idahosa, from Edo South.