The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has approved the direct primaries for the Edo State All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primaries scheduled for 19th September 2020.
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye announced this on Tuesday in Abuja at the end of the INEC virtual management meeting.
This development now mean that the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomole has won the first major battle in his bid to unseat his one time political godson and the incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki.
INEC said its approval followed Sections 85 and 87 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) as 15 out of the 18 registered political parties notified it of their intention to conduct primaries for the purpose of nominating candidates for the Edo governorship election.
By the Timetable and Schedule of Activities issued by the commission on 6 February 2020, party primaries for the Edo Governorship election will take place between 2 and 27 June 2020
Justifying the decisions on mode of primaries approved for the parties, Okoye said:
“In our rules and regulations, the letter to this effect is signed by the National Chairman and National Secretary of political parties indicating the date, time and venue for the conduct of party primaries and the mode of the primaries.
“The mode of primaries to be adopted by political parties is a function of their constitution, the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) and the regulations and guidelines issued by INEC. So, we don’t have business with state branches of political parties because our rules, regulations and law.”
There has been intriguing battle over the choice of mode of primaries in Edo State with Gov. Obaseki earlier in the week gazetting rule which prohibits the APC National Working Committee from conducting its preferred direct primary election.