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2023: Automatic tickets for Oshiomhole, others tear Edo APC apart

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The decision by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo state to grant Mr. Saidu Oshiomhole and 13 other lawmakers-elect the “right of first refusal” to fly the party’s flag in the House of Assembly election has pitched some members against the leadership of the party.

Blueprint gathered that APC’s decision to compensate the members-elect for their commitment to the party was despite the alleged persecution by Governor Godwin Obaseki.

Saidu is the cousin to Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, a former national chairman of the party.

He (Saidu) alongside the 13 others won their elections in the 2019 house of Assembly election, but they were yet to be inaugurated to represent their constituencies three years after.

Ten members-elect believed to be loyal to Governor Obaseki were inaugurated at the Assembly Complex at about 9.pm on June 21, 2019.

The inauguration followed months of delayed proclamation by the governor over alleged political tussle with Adams Oshiomhole.

The 14 lawmakers-elect believed to be loyal to Comrade Oshiomhole had at the time alleged that invitation for the inauguration was not extended to them, even as they alleged foul play.

However, 12 aspirants for the House of Assembly seats have rejected what they described as attempts to impose the 14 aspirants on them, insisting that a primary election should be conducted.

The spokesperson for the aspirants who is also vying for Ovia North-east Constituency seat, Mr. Franklyn Uyi, said the party’s leadership ought to have worked for the inauguration of the absentee lawmakers instead of embarking on a wise goose chase.

The state assistant publicity secretary of the APC, Mr. Victor Osehobo, said the right of first refusal to the lawmakers-elect was a directive from the national leadership of the party, adding that the decision “doesn’t translate to automatic tickets.”