The All Progressives Congress (APC) generated a total of N600 million from the sales of expression of interest and nomination forms for the Edo governorship ticket, as the Monday deadline concluded.
The funds were contributed by 12 aspirants who acquired the N50 million forms in preparation for the February 17 party primaries. Meanwhile, one person out of the many contenders would eventually clinch the party’s ticket.
Verification at the party’s Directorate of Organisation in Muhammadu Buhari House, Abuja, revealed that no female aspirant picked up the form, shaping the contest into an all-male affair.
Notable contenders include former Minister of State for National Economic Planning, Prince Clem Agba; Senator Monday Okpebholo of Edo Central; former Deputy Governor, Hon. Lucky Imasuen; Hon. Anamero Sunday Dekeri, representing Etsako Federal Constituency; and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, a former APC governorship candidate.
Other aspirants are Engr. Gideon Ikhine, immediate past Edo APC chairman Col. David Imuse; Major. General Charles Airhiavbere (Rtd); Hon. Emmanuel Momoh, former Zonal Organising Secretary (South-South); Blessing Agbohmere, member representing Ovia South/West-Ovia North/East Federal Constituency; Hon. Dennis Idahosa; and Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe.
The APC National Working Committee (NWC), in consultation with key stakeholders from the state, decided on a direct mode of shadow election and chose not to zone the ticket, leaving it open to aspirants from the three senatorial zones.
Initially, 29 aspirants expressed interest in obtaining the party’s ticket for the Government House in Benin. However, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere’s screening committee, appointed by stakeholders, narrowed down the number to six and eventually four.
Despite the decisions of the Ihonvbere committee, the aspirants contested against the reduction in numbers. The APC NWC disapproved of the decision to trim the aspirant list, emphasizing that the party’s highest administrative organ is solely responsible for vetting and clearing aspirants for the February 17 primary, as stated by the Deputy National Organising Secretary, Hon. Nze Chidi Duru.