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The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, Monday Okpebholo, on Saturday received his certificate of return from the leadership of the party.
Okpebholo last Thursday defeated Dennis Idahosa and 10 other aspirants to emerge the party’s candidate in the forthcoming governorship election.
The presentation of certificate comes in the wake of protest and threat of litigation by Idahosa who claimed the re-run poll was a sham, deliberately arranged by the National Working Committee to favour the winner.
The certificate was presented at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja by the National Chairman, Abdullahi Ganduje, who was accompanied by the National Secretary, Ajibola Basiru and some NWC members.
Addressing the media after the presentation, Ganduje expressed optimism that the APC will record overwhelming victory in the September governorship poll in the state.
The party chairman also dismissed insinuation that the contest may have been overturned to favour Okpebholo, adding that he has records and video evidence to back up his claim.
He said, “The full cooperation, harmony and unity of all aspirants and members of our party is all we need now to win Edo in the coming election now that the primary is over.
“The party has a product that is refined, well packaged and sellable to the electorate in the person of Okpebholo and is therefore ready to win Edo.”
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“I am not here to make trouble, I am a lawmaker but one thing is that we want is justice,” said Idahosa.
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The National Chairman of the Labour Party, Julius Abure, has extended his congratulations to Olumide Akpata for clinching victory in the party’s governorship primary held in Edo State on Friday.
Akpata, who previously served as the president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), secured a notable win with 316 votes, significantly outpacing his contenders, Ken Imasuangbon and Prof Sunny Eromosele, who each garnered seven votes.
Sergius Ògún received four votes, while Earnest Àyègbè got three votes. Paul Iseghohi opted to withdraw from the race.
In a gesture aimed at fostering unity and strengthening the party’s position ahead of the gubernatorial election slated for September 2024, Abure urged other aspirants to set aside any differences.
He encouraged them to integrate their support structures into the campaign for Akpata, emphasizing the need for a collective effort to ensure the Labour Party’s success at the polls.
Abure’s call for unity was articulated in a congratulatory message disseminated by his media team in Abuja on Saturday.
The Labour Party chairman expressed his confidence in Akpata’s ability to lead a successful campaign and ultimately secure the governorship seat, highlighting Akpata’s potential to effect significant change in Edo State.
The endorsement of Olumide Akpata by the Labour Party’s national leadership underscores the party’s commitment to presenting a formidable challenge in the upcoming governorship election.
As preparations for the electoral contest intensify, the Labour Party aims to galvanize support around its candidate, leveraging Akpata’s legal expertise and leadership experience to appeal to the electorate in Edo State.
He said, “I want to congratulate the Labour Party for having a free, fair and seamless primaries. You recall that I have always called and stood for a free, fair and credible elections and that is what has played out in our primaries.
“I therefore want to congratulate the winner of the primary election, Olumide Akpata, for recording the highest number of votes which made him the candidate of the party. I want to assure him of all our supports to ensure that we win the governorship election in September, 2024. We will not rest on our oars until that is achieved.
“We believe that Edo State at this point in time needs the best of the bests to man the Osadebey Avenue and today, Labour Party has selected one of its bests as the candidate of the party. If you juxtapose him with all other candidates that have emerged from the other political parties, it is clear that he stands out. We therefore congratulate him and we all will work towards the success of his candidacy in governorship election.
“Primary election usually comes with a lot of tension, bickering, politicking and horse-trading. However, now that the primary is over and a candidate has emerged, I want to call on all Labour Party faithful, particularly, those who have lost at the primaries to team up with the candidate so that we can all work in unity and togetherness for the victory of the party.
“Whatever errors we have made or pains any party member may have suffered in the process of this party primaries, we want to call on all and sundry to put it behind them and let us all come together as a united family to work for the success of the party ahead of the election.
“We equally call on the candidate to be magnanimous in victory by reaching out to all aggrieved members of the party. He must realise that he needs the support of all party members to win the general election.”
Meanwhile, the Lamidi Apapa-led faction of the party has disowned Akpata, saying he is not their candidate in the state.
In a letter dated February 22 and addressed to the National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, the faction identified Anderson Asemota as its governorship candidate and Monday Mawah as his running mate.
The spokesman for the Lamidi Apapa camp, Abayomi Arabambi who spoke with Punch confirmed that the two politicians are their chosen candidates.
He said, “The only Labour Party candidate we know is Barrister Anderson Asemota and his running mate, Monday Mawah. We don’t know anything about Akpata and where they got him from.”
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