Crisis hits Edo APC as party  parades two winners of governorship primary

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The governorship primary election conducted by the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Edo State ended in crisis as two aspirants were declared winners.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has slated September 21, 2024, for the governorship election in the state.

According to reports, Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State, who was the chairman of the election committee, had earlier, at Protea Hotel, declared Dennis Idahosa the winner of the election with 40,453 votes, while Senator Monday Okpebholo reportedly polled 100 votes.

This was after thugs invaded the Lushville Hotel collation centre at the time the collation of results was ongoing by the various local government returning officers.

The hoodlums reportedly disrupted the exercise and attacked journalists, electoral officers, and party faithful at the hotel. They ended up chasing the electoral officers out of the venue.

However, Dr Ugbaja Stanley Uzoamaka, the State Returning Officer for the primary election, declared Senator Monday Okpebholo the winner with 12,145 votes and added that Honourable Dennis Idahosa scored 5,536 votes.

Uzoamaka said a total of 42,381 delegates who were financial members of the party were vetted during the revalidation exercise.

He added that 29,881 delegates were accredited for the primary, while the total votes were still from 29,881 delegates.

Speaking with newsmen, the State Publicity Secretary of the party, Peter Uwadia, described the announcement of Dennis Idahosa as the winner of the primary by Governor Hope Uzodinma as null and void and with no political effect.

Uwadia said, in line with the party constitution, that Governor Uzodimma was just the chairman of the electoral committee and not the returning officer.

He opined that the only person who is constitutionally empowered to announce the results of the primary is the electoral officer and not the chairman of the committee.

He disclosed that five members of the party who were attacked and wounded are currently receiving treatment in undisclosed hospitals.

In his acceptance remarks, Senator Monday Okpebholo, commended the delegates for the primary, noting that the exercise was peaceful across the 192 wards in the 18 local government areas before thugs were allegedly sponsored to invade the collation centre.

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