The Edo State deputy governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu, has expressed confidence that Governor Godwin Obaseki would win any form of primary election in the state, even with just 24-hour notification.
The deputy governor, in a statement issued in Abuja by his Special Assistant on Media, Benjamin Atu, said the administration’s performance in office was sufficient to guarantee victory at any poll even with a short notice.
He, however, noted that the Obaseki administration would prefer that the party, All Progressives Congress (APC), conducted an indirect mode of primary election, saying this would be the only appropriate method in view of the committed efforts and precautionary guidelines and directives, put in place to curtail the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
“Despite this confidence and assurance that the victory of Governor Obaseki is not in doubt, we are not ready to go the way of the Direct Primary.
“Our preference for indirect primary is because we don’t want to secure victory at the expense of the health of those we are seeking to lead”, he said.
He maintained that some media mercenaries who had been in the business of to creating negative impressions, provoke as we as ignite tension and apprehension across the state, had outlasted their usefulness, adding that Governor Obaseki would win even if the election was to be held the next day.
According to him, the Governor owed the State the responsibility of safeguarding the people against any form of hazard like COVID-19 and other situations that may endanger their lives and the Governor will not relinquish such important decision for others to decide for him.
“As the Chief Security officer of the State and first among equals, the Governor has decided to conduct the affairs of the State in the way that will ensure safety of its citizens.
“As at today, Godwin Obaseki is the Governor of Edo State and has the capacity to determine the direction of the State. That doesn’t amount to fear of failure in facing any election but rather putting the interest of the public above desperation to win an election.
“PDP has a National Chairman for instance, the National Chairman of PDP doesn’t usurp the Sovereignty of the PDP States. The Sovereignty of the State can’t be submerged at this critical juncture of our lives. The indirect primary will make it more convenient for INEC to supervise and will be more transparent.
“The APC National Chairman is insisting on direct primary because the result of the yet to be conducted direct Primary election is already written by him, just waiting to be announced.
“The State is sovereign but not enjoying its sovereignty because some few people are determined to ruin the State by hand twisting the government and Governor as a stooge.
“What the APC National Chairman is doing is trying to usurp the powers of the State Governor by thinking and making decisions for the Government of Edo State.
“John Oyegun was the former Governor of Edo State and he didn’t usurp Oshiomhole’s power in the name of ex- Governor. Oshiomhole is not the first ex-Governor in Nigeria. He should give the people and Government of Edo State peace to enable them reason collectively together.
“Obaseki is currently the Governor of Edo State and his office must be respected because we can only have one Governor at a time. He has spoken and there is no going back on indirect primary. Direct Primary will heighten Covid 19 transmission and infection at the community stage and the State is not ready for such emergency,” Comrade Shaibu said.