A meeting of loyalists of the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, to select a consensus aspirant that will battle incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki for the ticket of the party for the forthcoming governorship election in Edo State has ended in deadlock.
It was learnt that the meeting ended midway over alleged irregularities and lack of transparence noticed by some of the aspirants gunning to sweep the Edo APC ticket off the hands of Obaseki who had indicated to contest the 2020 governorship election.
The meeting which was held at the the residence of a former Deputy Governor of the state and a frontline member of Edo People’s Movement (EMP), Mr. Lucky Imasuen, was convened to choose one of the four aspirants loyal to the national chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
They include former Deputy Governor Pius Odubu, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Chris Ogiemwonyi and Charles Airhiavbere, who forged a common front to confront incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki in the election, with each promising to queue behind whoever wins the ticket.
It was reported that thugs allegedly sponsored by one of the aspirants, invaded the venue, sacked the family meeting and dispersed those in attendance.
A frontline member of EMP and a staunch supporter of one of the aspirants, Barr. Henry Idahagbon, however denied alleged invasion of the venue by thugs.
Some of those present at the meeting alleged heavy financial inducement by two of the aspirants
They questioned the modalities used by the APC national chairman in selecting the ‘delegate’ list.
It was gathered that loyalists of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, had in the last 24 hours, fine-tuned plans to secure the endorsement of EPM leaders.
Responding to questions from our correspondent, EPM co-convener, Henry Idahagbon, said the meeting ended in deadlock for lack of transparency by the organisers.
“In their attempt to choose a consensus candidate the meeting ended in deadlock because the process leading to the meeting was not transparent.
“We have only asked that the leadership should go back to the drawing board to make it transparent,” he said.
Idahagbon also denied that one of the aspirants sponsored thugs to disperse those in attendance.
He said: “That’s not correct. There were no thugs, nobody was dispersed. All the four aspirants came together and addressed the leadership about their concerns, and after they addressed the leadership of the concerns, they left.
“The leadership adjourned the sitting and they convened at 1pm at another location for the meeting.
“There were no thugs, no intimidation. The meeting ended with fun, back-slapping and laughter. We are all friends. There is no rancour whatsoever.”
The former Attorney-General of the state did not also see any danger in the lack of transparency on the part of those who convened the meeting, for his faction of the party.
“There is no danger. You know, things are bound to happen on the road to governorship primaries.
“This is like an association and members trying to reduce the number of the aspirants.
“If they are unable to do any reduction, then they go for the primaries and whoever wins at the primaries becomes the candidate of the party. There is no rancour, nothing to worry about, the party remains the same,” he said.