The 29 governorship aspirants on the platform of the All Progressives Congress in Edo State have been reduced to four ahead of the February 17 primary election.
Publicity Secretary of Edo APC, Peter Uwadia-Igbinigie, disclosed this in a statement on Monday.
The four leading aspirants are former Edo deputy governor, Lucky Imasuen; the representative of Ovia constituency of Edo state in the House of Representatives, Dennis Idahosa; the immediate Edo chairman of APC, Col. David Imuse (rtd.); and the representative of Edo Central Senatorial District, Senator Monday Okpekholo.
Of the four governorship aspirants, two (Imasuen and Idahosa) are from the Edo South senatorial district, while the other two (Imuse and Okpekholo) hail from the Edo Central senatorial district.
The statement said, “The advisory committee, led by the representative of Owan Federal Constituency of Edo State in the House of Representatives, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, had a primary objective of encouraging aspirants vying for the party’s ticket to consider a reduction in their numbers.
“In the screening, the four governorship aspirants received a positive evaluation. The advisory committee operated within its terms of reference for efficient primary management.
“The initiative does not undermine the governorship aspirants’ constitutional rights in their pursuit of APC’s ticket in Edo State, evident in their procurement of the expression of interest and nomination forms.”
The APC spokesperson also reassured all the governorship aspirants who had purchased the party’s expression of interest and nomination forms of a level-playing ground.
He urged the aspirants to be ready to appear before the screening committee, put in place by the National Working Committee (NWC) of APC, between February 8 and 9, 2024, while adhering to the party’s timetable.
Uwadiae-Igbinigie noted that the intervention was to dispel any misconception surrounding the Ihonvbere’s committee’s purpose while emphasizing fairness and adherence to established procedures.
The publicity secretary of APC in Edo also stated that as the APC would be navigating its internal procedures, it had a commitment to transparency and equity in the election of its governorship candidate.