The All Progressives Congress (APC) has written to Police Inspector-General Mohammed Adamu and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 for clearance to conduct its governorship primary in Edo State.
Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State met with the IGP yesterday in connection with preparation for the primary which is scheduled for Monday in Benin.
Leaders of the party who had been locked in a faceoff prior to the resignation of Governor Godwin Obaseki from the APC are said to be closing ranks to enable the party retain control of Edo State in the September election.
The development has left the Deputy National Secretary, Victor Giadom, who declared himself as acting National Chairman, stranded because no member of the National Working Committee (NWC) was with him at press time.
Giadom, who had threatened to take over as Acting National Chairman of APC, appeared to have chickened out at the last minute after the National Vice Chairman(North-East), Comrade Mustapha Salihu disowned the court order which Giadom was brandishing .
The National Secretary of the party, Arc. Waziri Bulama, said yesterday that the party was set for the Edo governorship primary.
“There is calm and normalcy now at the National Headquarters of our party and we are prepared for the governorship primary election in Edo State. There is excitement and confidence in and around the secretariat,” he told The Nation.
“Our operation and administration are going on unperturbed by political turmoil and squabbling because the National Working Committee is united to protect the party from disintegration.
“For a rancour free primary, we have written the IGP for adequate security for members of the Primary Election Committee, headed by Governor Hope Uzodinma; the Primary Election Appeal Committee, led by Prof. Mustapha Bello; and members of the APC in Edo State.
“We have also reached out to the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to seek clearance for the conduct of the party’s governorship primary in Edo State in line with the enabling guidelines.
“We got in touch with PTF following rumours that the state government might not allow the primary to hold by giving COVID-19 pandemic as a reason.
“We have received reports that the Primary Election Committee and Appeal Committee have been meeting to strategize on how to execute their tasks.”
Responding to a question, Bulama said: “We have thrown open our doors to observers to monitor our Primary Election in Edo State. In fact, the National Democratic Institute has written us to monitor the poll and we have accredited it accordingly.
“I am hopeful that we will come out of whatever challenge we have in Edo State stronger.”
A member of the NWC said: “In fact, to show our commitment to a peaceful primary election, Governor Babagana Zulum met with the Inspector-General of Police to provide adequate security.
“The police also reinforced security on Friday at the national secretariat of APC as a matter of routine security surveillance.”
Meanwhile, the Deputy National Secretary of APC, Victor Giadom yesterday chickened out of his plans to take over as the Acting National Chairman of APC.
It was gathered that Giadom, who had planned to storm the secretariat, was stranded by the declaration of the plaintiff, the National Vice Chairman(North-East), Comrade Mustapha Salihu, that he did not obtain any fresh order from Justice Samiru Umar Bature of the Federal Capital Territory High Court.
A top party source said: “The declaration by Comrade Salihu jolted Giadom and his sponsors on Friday. They mounted pressure on Salihu to recant his statement of Thursday night but he refused to do so. He said he was part of the North-East zonal meeting which made Arc. Waziri Bulama the National Secretary of the party and he could not have asked the court to declare him as the National Secretary of APC.”
“So, Giadom called off his plans to assume duties because he was not a party to the suit filed by Salihu. Also, the plaintiff never got any order not to talk of making Giadom a beneficiary. Giadom became stranded because you cannot build something on nothing.
“It is a different legal matter on how Giadom got the purported order which made him the acting National Chairman. Those who were begging Salihu said he should try to protect those behind the purported application for the order.
“What made it difficult for Giadom was that no NWC member was with him in his aspiration to be the APC national chairman.”
From all indications, the APC primary is likely to be a walk in the park for Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu following the withdrawal of former deputy governor Pius Odubu and Osaro Obazee from the race.
Six men originally showed interest but three –Godwim Obaseki, Chris Ogiemwonyi, and Matthew Iduoriyekemwen- were disqualified leaving Ize-Iyamu,Odubu and Obazee.