Obaseki Loses Out As INEC Jettisons List of Factional Candidates for Orbih’s  

  …State Chairman Says Governor’s Faction Awaits Supreme Court

The Governor Godwin Obaseki-led faction of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Edo State seems to have lost out in the battle for which side produces the candidates for the National and State Assembly elections in the 2023 general election.

The list, published on Tuesday by the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) officially recognised the list submitted by the faction led by the Vice Chairman, South-South zone of the party, Dan Osi Orbih.

Recall that the PDP held its primary elections nationwide in May 2021, with Edo State holding parallel primaries thus producing candidates for the different elective positions, leading to litigations and judgements from different courts.

But the list pasted on Tuesday on the notice board at the state INEC headquarters in Benin City, apparently gave the Orbih-led faction the upper hand. The INEC indicated in the published list that its action was in line with court order.

Meanwhile, mixed reactions have trailed the published list by the electoral umpire with the Orbih faction which produced the recognised candidates heaving a sigh of relief, while the governor’s faction is waiting on the apex court for its final resolution of the controversy. 

In his reaction, the State Deputy Chairman, Harrison Omagbon, said the development had put paid to the recent presentation of certificates to candidates of the Obaseki-led faction by the State Chairman of the party. 

According to Omagbon, “This put paid to what the Chairman did the other time. Some of us called the chairman that what he was doing was ultra vires. We didn’t want to take him up because it would have amounted to contempt on his part because the matter was in court. 

“Article 84 (1) of the Electoral Act says that INEC shall (must) monitor all primaries, and the constitution of the PDP says that the chairman of the ward is the chairman of the Congress Committee. The list of candidates they are parading, which ward chairman monitored their Congress?” Omagbon queried. 

On his part, the state chairman of the PDP,  Dr. Tony Aziegbemi, urged members of Obaseki’s faction to remain calm and await the final court decision on the matter. Azeigbemi said issues were still in court, and the candidates would exhaust all available legal means.

“I am sure you know that there are court cases pending. INEC is obeying the court order by publishing these names, but until the candidates exhaust all their cases in court, there cannot be a final opinion on this. 

“Until all the parties exhaust their cases in court, we are PDP, and we will wait for the final judgement; so, there is nothing much”, Aziegbemi stated.

On his part, the candidate for Egor/Ikpoba-Okha Federal constituency, Nosa Adams, said it was victory for the party.

Adam’s said “It is basically a situation of victory for the PDP. For me, it is a situation of no victor, no vanquished. All I am concerned about is how we can win the elections for PDP. Our target is for our party to win the elections; produce the president, the members of Senate, and the House of Representatives. 

“Nobody has been defeated. Truly, PDP has won because in the PDP, we believe in the rule of law which is the beacon of any democracy. All of us should be prepared to go for the election and win for PDP.”

For the All Progressives Congress, (APC) all its candidates who emerged at the primary elections, including the former national chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, for the Edo North senatorial district, and deputy majority leader of the House of Representatives for Akoko-Edo Federal Constituency, Peter Akpatason, were also displayed.

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