The All Progressives Congress (APC) has refused to get a permit from Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, to organise the party primary election, which is scheduled to hold Monday, June 22, 2020.
The governor had insisted that direct primary would not hold in the state except the party got a permit from the state government.
Governor Obaseki had earlier released a press statement announcing that all political parties in Edo State must apply for permits before organising any political gathering in the state.
The governor said the decision was to curb the spread of coronavirus in the state.
APC said it did not require a permit from the governor before it could choose its candidate who would bear its standard in the state gubernatorial election scheduled for September 19, this year.
The APC also said it was only the Federal Government that could stop public gatherings in the state and not the governor.
The party said that the governor’s decision was politically-motivated.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had confirmed that 14 out of 15 political parties that registered for the election had settled for indirect primaries while only APC decided on direct primary.
The media aide to Obaseki, Crusoe Osagie, said that the governor’s ban on public gatherings was still in force and would be implemented tomorrow, Monday, June 22.
Whereas, there were credible reports that the two other APC aspirants- Osaro Obaze and Pius Odubu- had written to the national leadership of the APC, stepping down for Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the candidature of Ize-Iyamu would still need to be affirmed by party members at the primary election.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had already deployed thousands of policemen from Delta and Bayelsa States to Edo State in order to ensure free and fair primaries in the state.
The Edo State Commissioner for Police, Johnson Kokumo, disclosed this on Saturday.
This came against the backdrop of tension generated by the pushback by Governor Obaseki who moved to the opposition PDP after he was disqualified by the APC from participating in the party’s primary election on the basis of alleged discrepancies in his educational certificates.