A political showdown is set to happen in Edo State as the Governorship primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is slated for Monday, June 22 amid COVID-19 Lockdown measures in Edo state.
The direct primaries is expected to hold in the 192 wards of the State as directed by the Chairman of the party election committee, Governor Hope Uzodinma.
The Government of Edo State has however insisted that the APC applies for a special waiver if it intends to hold primaries in all the local government wards in the state.
This it said is because of the COVID-19 restrictions currently in place in Edo State.
According to a new gazette published by the government, any large gathering in the state has to be with the permission of state officials and must be held in one place rather than different venues.
The state government also alleged that APC had imported thugs into the state to cause mayhem.
The party however issued a statement on Sunday saying the exercise will go on as planned because it has been designed in line with COVID-19 rules in the state.
According to the party secretary, Ajibola Basiru, voting will commence at 8am and only 18 people will be allowed into the voting arena at the same time.
Excerpts from the statement read;
“That the process of the election of the candidate of the party shall commence at 8am on Monday, June 22, 2020 at the various wards in all the local government areas with strict compliance with Edo State’s extant law prohibiting gathering of more than 20 persons.
“Not more than 18 persons including Presiding Officers and Independent National Electoral Commission observers shall be at ward voting centre at any point in time.
There shall be simultaneous accreditation and voting in batches as aforesaid until all eligible members have cast their votes without violation of the state’s COVID-19 regulations.
“Not more than 18 persons shall be in attendance for the announcement of results at all ward centres and collation of results at all levels including the state collation.
“All members of the party and members of the public are enjoined to be peaceful and comply fully with the state’s COVID-19 regulations.”
Responding to the APC however, Governor Obaseki stated through his his special adviser on Media, Crusoe Osagie that the party needs to share details of its guidelines with the government.
He stated that the party was yet to apply for a Government permit and it was behaving as if it was above the law.
“They have not intimated the government of what they want to do in Edo. All the information they have released as guidelines is the kind of information they would have shared with the government so that the government will know exactly what they are doing and if it fits the regulation we allow them to go ahead, but if it does not fit we tell them to make some amends. They are acting as if they are above the law.”