Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), informed INEC that the party had agreed to choose its governorship candidate for the Edo election through direct primary, even before the national working committee of the party took the decision.
The NWC, headed by Oshiomhole, reached the decision on May 22 but Oshiomhole had written to Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, three days earlier.
In the letter dated May 19, Oshiomhole said the party had agreed that direct primary would be conducted in 192 wards.
“I convey to you my compliments and wish to respectfully inform you that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has decided to conduct direct primary for the Edo state governorship election on Monday, 22 of June. 2020,” the letter read.
“To this end we have put in place modalities to ensure strict compliance with the COVID-19 prevention guidelines as announced by the COVID-19 presidential task force (PTF) and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
“Therefore, direct primaries will be conducted in one hundred and ninety two wards (192). We accordingly invite you as observers of the primaries with full compliance with the All Progressives Congress constitution and the electoral act.”
In a direct primary election, all card-carrying members of the party from local government areas of the state will be eligible to vote for the candidate of their choice but indirect primary involves selected delegates.
Many governors prefer indirect primary as they can easily sway the delegates to their side.
Although six aspirants have indicated interest in the primary election, the race is between Godwin Obaseki, the governor, and Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who is believed to have the backing of Oshiomhole.
Obaseki has been at loggerheads with Oshiomhole, and this has divided the party in the state.
Oshiomhole’s faction had picked Osagie Ize-Iyamu who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the heat of the crisis between Obaseki and the APC national chairman.