Barely two weeks to the September 19 governorship election in Edo State, the leadership of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) in the State has vowed to stand against what it described as an intended time bomb and seeds of calamity being sowed by certain elements at the national level of the party, which if unchecked it said is capable of derailing the country’s democracy as well as breed insecurity in Edo State.
The party’s State leadership declared that the plans of the elements at the national secretariat of the party to interfere, derail and sabotage the workings of the State leadership of the party with a view to hoodwinking and hijacking the party for personal gains would be resisted.
Party Chairman Dr Samson Falana Isibor, who gave the warning at a press conference in Benin City, attributed the looming crisis at the Edo State chapter of the APM to undue interference in the running of the party by some national officials ahead of the State governorship election.
‘We in Edo State have refused a forced agenda which, to us, is anti-democratic and capable of derailing the electoral and democratic process in the State,’ he said.
‘Our discontentment started from the primary for the governorship election, which was solely funded by the state Leadership, when and where a candidate who is virtually unknown to Edo State chapter. Mr Igbineweka Osamede, was forced on us by some elements at the National Secretariat.
‘This imposed candidate disappeared as soon as we reluctantly accepted his candidacy for the governorship election slated for 19th September, 2020.
‘His disappearance left us with no other choice but to accept that he has naturally and voluntarily withdrawn from the race until few days ago when he resurfaced to say he is still interested in the race thus breeding a suspicion of a funny game.
‘It will interest you to know that while the party’s former candidate absconded, we the state executive kept the faith, running the party, attending all relevant functions expected of state Leadership of a party in an election process as well as picking relevant bills without any support from the candidate or the National Secretariat.
‘The resurfacing of the former candidate did not come without a threat to our lives as he and some National officers threatened fire and brimstone which has made the state Leadership to formally make official protest to relevant security agencies.’
According to Dr Isibor: ‘Another issue which has given Edo State leadership of the party concern is a supposed hidden agenda nurtured by the elements at the national Secretariat designed to distract whosoever is elected in the September 19th governorship election, irrespective of the party, from performing, as well as, negotiate for personal and selfish financial gains which we have found out to be their stock-in-trade in all states where they ever fielded a candidate. This may have also informed their look warm attitude towards campaigning.’
They party called on its national leadership to call the elements it cited to order in the interest of continued peaceful coexistence and the growth of democracy in Nigeria.
It also resolved to defend democracy, the electoral process and the people of Edo State.