The Edo State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has clarified that no aspirant has undergone screening or been disqualified from the governorship race. This comes in response to recent reports indicating that a committee, led by House of Representatives member Julius Ihonvbere, had screened and reduced the number of aspirants from 29 to four.
The APC publicity secretary in the state, Peter Uwadiae, debunked the reports, emphasizing that the Ihonvbere committee served in an advisory capacity and not as a screening committee. Uwadiae explained that the committee’s purpose was to engage with aspirants and discuss the need to streamline the number of candidates for a smoother primary process in February, free of disputes.
He clarified, “There is no truth in the news making the rounds that governorship aspirants have been screened and about 25 have been disqualified. Based on the advice of the National Working Committee of the party, we set up a committee led by Julius Ihonvbere to interface with the aspirants on the need to reduce the number of aspirants to a manageable one. It is after the close of sale of forms that the NWC will set up a screening committee.”
Uwadiae added that the committee also encouraged the Edo APC to maintain open communication with aspirants so that those who realize they cannot proceed in the race can voluntarily withdraw. He emphasized that no aspirants had undergone screening and disqualification.
Regarding the ongoing sale of the expression form priced at N10 million and the nomination form at N40 million for governorship aspirants, Uwadiae noted that more individuals were expected to join the race. Some aspirants, he mentioned, are reconsidering their participation, while others remain eager to contest in the primaries. Uwadiae assured that those who do not succeed in the primaries have pledged to support the party in the subsequent election.
Urging unity, fair play, and democracy within the party, Uwadiae called on members and supporters not to be distressed by the situation, emphasizing the party’s commitment to success in the upcoming polls.