EDO DEPUTY GOV DEBUNKS IMPOSITION ALLEGATIONS

By NBF News
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NLC chief flays ACN primaries
EDO State Deputy Governor, Pius Odubu, has denied allegations that he used his influence to impose certain candidates on the just-concluded Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) primaries in his council, Oriohmwon.

Reacting to allegations by the pioneer Director General of the Centre for Democratic Studies (CDS), Professor Omo Omoruyi, that he influenced the primaries in the council because of his quest to succeed the governor at the expiration of his tenure, Odubu in a statement yesterday by his Chief Press Secretary, Kelly Odaro, described the allegation that he denied Omoruyi's nephew, Imuetinyan, a ticket into the state House of Assembly as 'wild, baseless and patently malicious'.

He said insinuation of any manipulation to succeed Governor Adams Oshiomhole is 'plain mischief calculated to ignite tension and disaffection in a leadership team that is faithfully delivering development to Edo people, under the inspiring guidance of the comrade governor'.

Odubu added: 'It is difficult to reconcile Prof. Omoruyi's erudition with such a frivolous claim. No attempt to divide the governorship of Edo State would succeed'.

He confirmed that Prof. Omoruyi had earlier brought Imuetinyan to him for what he described as 'endorsement', whereas he had admonished the aspirant to prepare for the full process of the ACN primaries, consistent with the one-man, one-vote philosophy of the party.

He also denied the existence of any secret cult of elders in Orhionmwon purportedly under his control and said that the alleged removal of Imuetinyan's name was untrue, adding that Imuetinyan was screened and cleared, but obviously lost.

Odubu admonished politicians and their patrons to cultivate the culture of accepting electoral defeat in good faith and restated his firm belief that political contest must not be a do-or-die affair.

'There is always a next time in politics and rejection by the electorate now should be a tonic to prepare better for future contests, rather than peddling blames and waging campaigns of calumny', the statement concluded.

In a related development, the Deputy President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Onikolease Irabor, yesterday said the ACN primary in parts of Edo State was characterised by violence and irregularities.

Irabor, who was an aspirant for the Edo Central Senatorial District, told The Guardian that some of his opponents in the contest went against the party's guidelines by indulging in violence and, therefore, they should be disqualified from the contest.

He also urged the leadership of the party to invoke the relevant sections of the party's guidelines to deal with the situation, adding that journalists were even victims of the violence in Ekpoma, Irrua, Igueben and other places in Edo Central.

'The violence escalated to such a level that even journalists were not spared. There was no election in Irrua, yet results were declared by party officials. The same happened in most wards in Uromi where results were declared when elections did not hold', he said.