By Osaigbovo Iguobaro
Automatic tickets return for the 14 Edo State House of Assembly members-elect to the house in the 2023 general election allegedly ordered by the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State, is causing ripples in the party.
Recalled that 12 members-elect were absent when the 7th Assembly was inaugurated on June 17, 2019, following a proclamation letter that was issued by Governor Obaseki which had been dogged in controversy while two others — Mr. Uyi Ekhosuehi and Mr. Eric Okaka who won Oredo East and Owan East Constituencies respectively had their seats declared vacant for failing to meet the mandatory 180 sitting days as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended).
To this end, 12 APC aspirants vying for the State house of Assembly, described the alleged decision of the party leadership as undemocratic, insisting that they will go ahead to contest the primary election.
Addressing journalists on Monday in Benin City, Victory Amu, alleged that the State party Chairman, Col. David Imuse (Rted) in Benin City where they were allegedly told not to contest the APC primary election.
Amu, an APC aspirant vying for Owan West Constituency seat in the State house of Assembly, denied any consensus arrangement by the party leadership and rejected attempts to impose the 14 aspirants on them, insisting that a primary election should be conducted.
She also alleged that one of the members-elect had presented himself for the inauguration and had been sworn in.
According to her, “We held a meeting today when the riot act was read to us because of the 14-members elect who were given automatic tickets by out party…One of the young men from my Constituency is presently in London. Yet, you keep a seat for him at the detriment of others?
“The National Working Committee of the party had said that there is no consensus. All the women have been gagged into a corner. Do you mean that the women in Edo State do not have capacity?”, she queried.
On his part, APC aspirant vying for Ovia North East Constituency seat in the State house of Assembly, Franklyn Uyi, lamented their predicament, adding that the leadership ought to have worked for the inauguration of the absentee lawmakers instead of embarking on a wise goose chase.
He admitted that the embattled members-elect have the Constitutional rights like themselves to vie for any position if they are qualified, ‘but he insists that we are angry over that the State Chairman of the party is doing.