All Progressives Congress said on Sunday that it does not need any approval from Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, to hold its June 22 governorship primary in the state.
Secretary, Edo APC Primary Election Committee, Senator Ajibola Bashiru, stated this while featuring on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.
Disagreement between APC and Obaseki resulted in the governor being disqualified by the party governor and the latter defecting to the opposition PDP.
Recall that Obaseki said while other political parties conducting primary elections in the state had notified his government of their readiness to comply with the state COVID-19 guidelines, the APC had yet to do so.
But speaking on the programme about the APC’s preparation for Tuesday’s primary, Bashiru said, “We are conducting this primary in line with the Covid-19 regulations of the Edo State Government.
“For instance, in each of our polling centres in 192 wards, there will not be a congregation of more than 18 people including observers and our presiding officers at any point in time. The voting will be in line with Covid regulations.
“We have been able to study the regulations. We are a law-abiding party. We will not contravene the Covid Regulations even though it was intended thinking there is no way around it in order to disallow our party from conducting a peaceful primary.”
On the insistence by the Edo State Government that the APC must obtain permit for the primary from the state government, Bashiru said, “I have a Ph.D. in law and I say with all sense of modesty that I have studied the regulation. The regulation only requires anybody that intends to have a political gathering in excess of 20 people to seek permission.
“The regulation does not require approval from anybody. It’s only when you are doing what is outside what has been stipulated that you require approval.
“We have met the leaders of security agencies. We have shared our regulations with them.
“Governor Obaseki cannot be the one making the law, interpreting the law, and implementing the law. We read the guidelines very well and we structured our guidelines very well to make our primary within the ambit of the law.
“So, we don’t need his approval. There is nothing in that regulation that says when you are having a gathering of less than 20 people, you need an approval.
“Our guidelines which I signed with the authority of my Chairman, Governor Hope Uzodinma, stipulate that at any point in time, we should not have more than 18 people at any ward.”