Former All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman Chief John Odigie-Oyegun on Wednesday called for a free and fair governorship primary in Edo State.
He lauded the decision by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct elections in Edo and Ondo states, despite the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.
Odigie-Oyegun reminded President Muhammadu Buhari about the outcome of reconciliation in the ruling party, stressing that part of the agreement was the decision to give automatic second term tickets to Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki and his Ondo State counterpart, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
He said Obaseki deserved reelection because he has neither offended party constitution nor brought the party into disrepute.
Odigie-Oyegun also said the governor has fought infrastructure battle in Edo and presided over a peaceful state.
To the party chieftain, Edo must prove that democracy can survive without creating a situation whereby an individual or a small group can make or unmask the governor or other elected officials at will.
However, he said if Obaseki cannot be the consensus candidate, those creating crisis in the state must not be allowed to plan, participate or supervise the APC primary.
Odigie-Oyegun said: “Transparency must start with guidelines as to how the primary elections will be conducted. This is yet to be issued, even though dates have been announced. The nature of the primary election in Edo State will determine the shape and survival of APC as a political party.
“It will show Nigerians, and indeed the world whether APC is a party of truth, change and progress, driven by the principles of fairness, social justice and equity, of it is has become a party that believes and promotes business as usual.”