With six days left to the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary, one of the aspirants for the September 21, Edo State Gubernatorial election, Prof Sylvester Akhaine, has announced the suspension of his campaign till further notice.
This was announced by the Director General of the Sylvester Odion Akhaine Campaign Organisation, Prof. Felix Oriakhi, in a statement.
Recall that on Saturday, the seven-member National Gubernatorial Aspirants Screening Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) cleared 12 aspirants, including Prof. Akhaine, for participation in its February 17 primary for the September election.
However, six days before the primary, Akhaine has announced his withdrawal from the race.
The statement announcing the suspension of campaign read, “In the last eight months, we embarked on intense consultations and meetings with key political actors and the All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwarts in Edo State ahead of the gubernatorial election scheduled for September 21, 2024.
“Our participation went beyond routine participation in the political process, which many do by various means. We were motivated by our overall assessment of the problems of Edo State, which our organisation dissected under a seven-point Agenda that traversed education, culture and tourism, agriculture, healthcare, infrastructure, security, and job creation. These sectoral problems were backed by corresponding solutions – hands-on and achievable.
“Also, our quest to help steer the ship of the state was based on the belief that social justice and equity will triumph over the current skewed governance structure of the state to the detriment of the Edo Central Senatorial District sidelined by other sections of the state since 1999. Our assertion in this respect, takes judicious notice of specious arguments to the contrary. The perpetuation of the status quo alluded to above will only leave our state divided, despite a common ancestry, to the detriment of the goals of development.”
“Elsewhere in the world, statecraft has always resorted to consociational measures to address neglect and identity issues. Taking for granted the unity of Edo people will have far-reaching implications for the electoral fortune of the APC in the forthcoming election.
“Today, Nigerians are impoverished by the cumulative ill-conceived policies of successive governments. Improvement will come by creating enclaves of development that our candidate, Prof. Akhaine, has an unquestionable capacity to do. Our party needs to demonstrate that it will field candidates without questionable characters.
“Therefore, on behalf of Prof. Akhaine, our organisation has decided to suspend its participation in the current run-up to the party primaries until further notice.”