Tinubu Receives Okpebholo, Oshiomhole, Momoh, Others

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State after visiting President Bola Tinubu, has expressed strong confidence in securing victory in the forthcoming governorship election, attributing its optimism to the current turmoil within the ranks of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

A recent ruling by the Abuja Federal High Court, which declared the PDP’s primary election invalid, has intensified the political dynamics in Edo State.

The court cited the disenfranchisement of authentic delegates during the primary that selected Mr. Asuen Ighodalo as the PDP’s governorship candidate. This legal complication for the PDP has seemingly tilted the scales in favour of the APC.

In a strategic move, the APC is positioning its candidate, Senator Monday Okpebholo, as a grassroots politician with a strong connection to the state’s electorate.

This contrasts sharply with the PDP’s candidate, whom the APC criticizes as being detached from the populace.

Speaking at the State House in Abuja, Senator Adams Oshiomhole, a prominent APC leader in Edo, alongside the Minister of Niger Delta Development, Abubakar Momoh, outlined the reasons they believe the APC will triumph in the upcoming September 2024 elections.

The APC delegation, including Senator Okpebholo and his running mate, Dennis Idahosa, were in attendance.

Addressing the media, Oshiomhole refuted claims suggesting that the APC had a hand in the PDP’s primary election woes, describing the issues as stemming from internal conflicts within the PDP.

Reacting to allegations the PDP primary election crisis was orchestrated by the APC, Oshiomhole said: “I think you should dismiss that because this is PDP versus PDP, and you know that by the law, another party cannot go into intra-party conflicts in court. So if it is convenient for them to explain that, you can dismiss it without asking me.

“The fact that there had been division in Edo before their primaries and after their primaries is an open secret, and the issues in dispute are also very open. The PDP legacy group complained that the man they gave their master bedroom has completely chased them out of the building, and now they’re under the rain, and as we speak they are still trying to settle.

“Those who couldn’t find accommodation, we picked them one by one and don’t forget that those in that Osadebe Avenue were my own creation in the sense that I supported Obeseki to become governor and so I have people who still have affection for me.

“Edo people won’t forget in the hurry what I did when I was governor and those of them who didn’t quite readily appreciate now compared the past with the present. So if they have disputes or disagreements which they couldn’t settle and they choose to settle it in the court and the court nullifies the process…

“I mean you read the judgment so is not me. How can anybody say… if you know Dan Orbih, the leader of Legacy Group, he was my fierce critic, when I was in government, so what power do I have? How can we, non-state group, have power to influence a seasoned politician to move against themselves?

“So this is purely PDP intra-party, and I think the lesson is very clear, namely that parties must be encouraged to obey the laws that regulate the conduct of primaries, and that rules are meant to be obeyed if you formulate your constitution.

“It is the base of the contract between party members. Now, the Electoral Act is meant to ensure that everybody played the game within, you know, within the rules, so we have nothing to do with it.”

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On why the visit and how the parties stand for the upcoming election, Senator Oshiomhole said, “we went with the candidate and the running mate to give the President… he is the leader of the party to give him an update on the campaigns going on what we are doing and the fact that we are harvesting more are more people every day decamping.

“I’m surprised that rather than speculating about who will face what, you are not a witness to the fact that the entire PDP in Egor a month ago all the wards decamped to APC. Just last week in my local government, the remaining remnants of PDP decamped to APC and across Edo Central, the same thing. Where have you heard the APC people decamping to? People are jumping out because the umbrella is leaking and this is raining season.”

Minister of Niger Delta Development, Momoh, further spoke of the field advantage of the APC over the PDP and Labour Party’s candidate, Olumide Akpata, saying his party’s candidate already had Edo North and Central Senatorial Districts locked down, adding that the South Senatorial District would be the only battleground where the three parties will share votes.

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“Well, that’s not correct. The reason being that we have been in the politics of the state long before now. First, let nobody make mistake by using the election of 2024 to judge what is going to happen as far as the votes of Oreedo and other local government in Benin City will be. First to answer your question.

“Yes, Edo north is a no go area because my leader, myself and a host of others including Dan Orbih today who’s coming from the legacy group, we are from Edo north, anytime any day maximally we can deliver Edo North. Edo Central there is no doubt that our candidates Senator Monday Okpebholo, will sweep Edo Central because he’s a homeboy.

“He’s a senator, elected as a Senator for the very first time since 1999. This is the very first person who hass won of one electotion outside the PDP cycle. So such person you should know that he’s loved by the people. And anytime any day they will vote for him because you will speak to them in their dialect, but the other man can’t do that. The Esan man will tell you I cannot be a stranger in government house in Osadebe avenue. Let me better vote for the person who can always say Hara and the person will respond.

“Then, on the issue of Edo South, we have been doing election, the margin of water so will be small. And if you want to go into real analysis today, the deputy of APC is from Edo south, who already has two local government, a member of the House of Representatives, Dennis Idahosa, so he is a member of the House of Representatives, two terms, any time any day he will always win the two local governments and he has fought and defeated very powerful people is that in that local governments, are you now going to say that now that he has been made a running mate that will not deliver those to local governments? we already whatever you have to local governments in our pockets.

“Then if you want real analysis, Orhionmwon local government that is where you have Dr. Pius Odubu, the deputy to our leader and that is where you have Pastor Izze Iyamu, we have a host number of politicians who of course anytime any day they will deliver that local government. The only area that is going to bebattle field for the three political parties.

“Don’t forget that the Labour candidate is from that area too. So it’s not entirely for the PDP, while the labour man will be dragging to get some votes in Oredo and Ikpoba-Okha, the APC will also be dragging some votes there because there we have a running mate and so also PDP. So that place is going to be a battlefield and by the grace of God, APC is still going to win. And if we don’t win, those three local governments, with what we have gotten in Edo North, Edo Central and what we are going to get in local government.

“In fact, don’t make the mistake that we are not going to win. So as far as we are concerned, whether court judgment or no court judgment, we are very hopeful and optimistic that 21s September this year, Obaseki will be preparing to leave the Government House,” Momoh said.

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