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Edo APC overrules Gov. Uzodimma, declares Sen. Okpebholo winner of guber party primary

The National Publicity Secretary of the ruling party, Felix Morka, also emphasized in a statement made in Abuja on Saturday night that the Edo State APC Governorship Primary Committee, chaired by Uzodinma, had the legal authority to handle the exercise and the dissemination of the primary results in the state.

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The leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State has rejected the results of the party primary for the September governorship poll earlier announced by the Chairman of the State Governorship Primary Election Committee, Gov. Hope Uzodimma of Imo State.

Consequently, Sen. Monday Okpebholo was proclaimed the winner of the same election by Dr. Stanley Ugboajah as the Chief Returning Officer.

Uzodimma had announced Rep. Denis Idahosa as the winner of the APC governorship primary.

The National Publicity Secretary of the ruling party, Felix Morka, also emphasized in a statement made in Abuja on Saturday night that the Edo State APC Governorship Primary Committee, chaired by Uzodinma, had the legal authority to handle the exercise and the dissemination of the primary results in the state.

However, the State Publicity Secretary, Prince Peter Enosoregbe Uwadiae, refuted Morka’s assertion, stating that he is in a better position to explain the situation’s reality because he is on the ground. This obviously favoured Senator Monday “Akpakomiza” Okpebholo.

Strangely, the National Publicity Secretary of the ruling party claimed that it was unlawful for Dr. Ugboajah, who had been properly chosen as the Chief Returning Officer by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC), to broadcast the results live on major national television stations and internet news sources.

Morka said: “We wish to state categorically that only the Governor Hope Uzodinma-led Edo State APC Governorship Primary Election Committee is duly authorized to undertake the final collation and announcement of the results of the primary election in the state.

“We urge all party members, officials in the state, and the general public to disregard the said announcement of results by these unauthorized persons.”

Igbinigie, however, countered, noting that trouble started during the collation and announcement of results with Senator Okpebholo in clear lead in eight local government areas.

According to him, thugs allegedly commissioned by one of the losing aspirants stormed the venue of the state collation and disrupted the process by beating up collation officials and representatives of the APC NWC, who were simply carrying out their legitimate duties.

He said that the conduct of Uzodimma was most embarrassing, unfortunate, and bizarre, as he abandoned them instead of sympathizing with the returning officers.

He alleged that the Imo State governor singlehandedly relocated the collation centre upon learning that his preferred aspirant was not winning and then unilaterally assumed the role of the state’s returning officer without recourse to inputs from the local government collation agents as well as the chief returning officer of the exercise.

He said: “In desperation, he [Uzodimma] shamelessly appointed one Charity Amayaenvbo, the campaign manager of Hon. Dennis Idahosa, to read the results from a piece of paper.

“As the Chairman of the APC Governor’s Forum, one would have expected him to retain his status as an umpire, to sue for peace, and not to grossly abuse and ridicule the privilege of his exalted office.

“Recall that some aspirants had earlier protested his appointment as chairman of this committee.”

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