April 17, 2024

Edo 2024: APC Must Screen Aspirants and Enrol Those with Clean Records for Primaries

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All Progressives Congress

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By Victor Ofure Osehobo

Aspirants jostling for the 2024 Edo state governorship ticket on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) must be properly screened to ensure that only those with clean moral or academic records are cleared to participate in the primaries.

A Cross Section of Members at the event

Such aspirants must also not have doubtful credentials or criminal allegations or convictions either in Nigeria or abroad, if they do, they should be advised to withdraw from the race.

This is one of many submissions that emerged today at a Political Conference tagged: “Edo2024: A Must Win for APC”, put together by the Pius Alile Coalition Initiative in Benin City today, Friday 27, October 2023.

Dr Samson Osagie

Dr Samson Osagie, a former Minority whip of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Abuja while speaking, said such screening will help APC win the 2024 Governorship elections in the state.

A Cross Section of Members at the event

Furthermore he said, “The candidate of the party that will eventually emerge will need to have the capacity to mobilize huge funds but no matter how wealthy a candidate may be, he alone cannot fund an election of the magnitude we are preparing for.”

On funding for the elections, Dr Osagie reiterated that, “We cannot underplay the strategic importance of funding in an election, especially, a governorship election.

“In 2020, we were lucky to have successful businessmen who supported the party. Even though we lost that election, we all know that a major cause of that defeat was the internal sabotage by most of the governors and leaders of the party particularly at the national level.”

He was also of the view that the party must immediately institute a committee to do a SWOT (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of the APC across the state. The findings according to him, must be submitted to the party leadership for planning and preparation for the election.

On the vexed issue of zoning the Governorship ticket, Dr Osagie said the party should as a matter of fact make its position known in order to build a consensus around a possible candidate although not without opposition from within the party.

He said, “Already, the government in power in Edo State has given indication of the candidate its party is likely to field and consensus is being built around the candidate, again not without opposition from within the party.

“The party cannot afford to take the risk of participating in an election with a candidate who the opponents will pull the rug from under his feet by unveiling his or her previous tainted records.” Dr Osagie reiterated.

According to him, “The party must begin the process of mass mobilization at the grass-roots to enable the electorate appreciate the necessity for a change of government from the Obaseki Peoples Democratic Party to the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole led APC.”

This he said is because, “It is important to remind the people of the dividends of good governance under the administration of Senator Adams Oshiomhole, and such messages should be disseminated in order to get the people to appreciate the good old days of governance in the APC administration in Edo State.”

“The party must plan very serious engagement with interest groups in the state ahead of the election. To do this, we should not even wait until our candidate emerges.

“This is necessary in order to get their commitment to the alternative our party is presenting to the Obaseki misrule in Edo State”, Dr Osagie said.

He therefore called on Edo APC, “To seriously engage the aspirants with a view to sensitizing them on the need to imbibe the spirit of sportsmanship after the primaries.

“To this end, the party must prepare for a free and fair primaries that will leave no one in doubt as to the credibility of the process and this will make it easier for aspirants to accept the outcome of the primaries.”

This he said can done with the Leaders of the three Senatorial Districts and the various Local Government Areas who must begin the process of reaching out to members of the other political parties in their respective districts and Local Government Areas with a view to wooing them to join the APC.

“Already the division in the other parties has become very potent such that any meaningful engagement with some of their critical stakeholders with electoral values can yield positive results for the party.

“Consequently”, he said, “The party will need to begin the process of mobilizing resources ahead of time in order that it is not caught napping at critical hours.

“We must understand that the level of resource deployment by the Obaseki government to the electorate is huge and the party needs to be more aggressive in countering this threat from the government.”

Concluding, Dr Osagie said the Governorship election in Edo State come 2024, is a must win for the APC, but argues that, “beyond this fantasy, lies the incredible task of fielding the right candidate, adopting an all inclusive party and election management strategy and deploying a continuous media presence as an opposition party in the state.”

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