By Lucky Isibor,
Reports reaching Summit News, a frontline online news medium, indicates that thugs allegedly sponsored by forces loyal to one of the governorship aspirants in the the Edo Peoples Movement, EPM faction of the Edo state chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC have sacked members of Edo Peoples Movement, EPM that were gathered in the premises of Mr. Lucky Imasuen to pick a consensus candidate to confront the incumbent governor, Mr. Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki.
Today’s ugly incident is the culmination of weeks of zealous planning by camps of four major contenders under the All Progressives Congress National chairman, Mr. Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole.
Event heightened in the last 24 hours when loyalists to Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu fine tuned plans to secure the endorsement of EPM leaders that were handpicked with the approval of Mr. Oshiomhole.
Unconfirmed reports points to heavy financial inducement by two of the aspirants. Summit News is unable to confirm at the moment why the so-called family political meeting degenerated into an open fight.
Those that spoke to Midwest Herald questioned the modalities that the APC national chairman used in selecting the ‘delegate’ list. They were also openly chanting that “without a particular aspirant, no governorship election in APC”.
It will be recalled that one of the aspirants, General (rtd) Charles Airhiavbere had dismissed the prospect of Ize-Iyamu as inconsequential.
Airhiavbere told the News Agency of Nigeria that, Ize-Iyamu had been out of the APC before deciding to return to the party recently.
He added that Ize-Iyamu was “merely re-establishing his membership in the APC.
“…We have been here. We started the Edo State People’s Movement, which will be a year older in a few days.
“Pius Odubu, Chris Ogiemwonyi and myself founded the Help Edo Remove Obaseki Coalition. So we believe that anybody coming in is to strengthen the coalition.
“We expect that more aspirants will still come to join the race before the primaries are expected to be conducted between June 2 and June 27.” The retired military officer said.
Airhiavbere pointed out that he was the first of five candidates to declare his interest to challenge the incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki for the APC ticket.
An unverified list containing some names that were invited for today’s meeting in possession of Summit News shows frontline members of the disbanded EPM. The invitees cut across the three Senatorial District.
Prominent names on the list include Prof Julius Ihonvbere, Col David Imuse, Mr. Thomas Okosun, Chief Francis Inegbeneki, Mr. Patrick Ikhariale and Mr. Benson Edosomwan.
Also listed are: Mr. Lawrence Okah, Patrick Obahiagbon, Mr. Samson Esemuede, Mr. Osakpamwan Eriyo and host, Mr. Lucky Imasuen.