The national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu may have dashed the hopes of two governors in the party seeking reelection to the office later this year.
The two governors, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (Ondo) and Godwin Obaseki (Edo) have been mobilizing fellow governors in order for the party to adopt them as consensus candidates, instead of facing a primary election.
However, the intentions of the two governors hit the brick wall, as there may be no going back on transparent and democratic primaries for the choice of governorship candidates by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo and Ondo states, The Precision NG learnt.
During a meeting with nine APC governors in Lagos on Sunday night, Tinubu said democratic primary as a core element of internal democracy should not be sidelined.
Tinubu emphasised the importance of primary to democracy, admonishing party leaders to safeguard it in the preparation for the choice of standard bearers.
The Progressives Governors’s Forum, led by Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu, unfolded plans last week to mount pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari to support their push for right of first refusal to two of their colleagues, Ondo State Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) and Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki, for the governorship.
The polls will hold in Edo in September and Ondo in October. No fewer than 10 chieftains are competing for the ticket in Ondo APC with Akeredolu, who is seeking a second term.
In Edo, other contenders have stepped down for Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who is challenging Obaseki at the shadow poll. The Edo governor is also seeking re-election.
Last week, National Working Committee (NWC) announced that direct primary will be adopted for the Edo APC shadow poll.
At yesterday’s two-hour parley, the following nine governors were in attendance.
Bagudu, Obaseki, Akeredolu, Simon Lalong (Plateau), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Mai Buni(Yobe), Adegboyega Oyetola(Osun), Abubakar Bello (Niger) and Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), who was the host.
According to the source, Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma could not make it due to undisclosed reasons.
The governors, who appeared to be in one accord, wanted the party to be fair to their two colleagues, who they said, should not be muscled out.
Specifically, the governors wanted Tinubu to prevail on the party leadership to give Obaseki the right of first refusal, the source said.
However, Tinubu went to the meeting with the position that it is better, more democratic, constitutionally right and politically defensible that all aspirants should go for primaries to test their popularity, adding that, through that free and fair selection process, the ruling party will successfully build a strong democratic culture.