As Edo people prepare for governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress tomorrow the party has dismissed the order gazetted by the state government that political parties must obtain approval of the governor to hold any political gathering.
The APC maintained that it did not require a permit from the state governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, to hold direct primary as its preferred mode of choosing candidate for the September 19, 2020 governorship election in the state.
Obaseki had in a gazette signed on May 28 and published on June 5, banned political gatherings that could make direct primary possible in the state stipulating that only indirect primary could be held in the state and in only one location, Benin City.
The order partly reads, “That in respect of political gatherings for the purpose of conducting primaries for any of the parties desiring to field candidates in the forthcoming gubernatorial election, gatherings of more than 20 persons may be allowed, subject to the written approval of the governor, if such gatherings do not exceed 5,000 persons; hold in Benin City and in a single facility with a large seating capacity of not less than 10,000 persons; are provided with adequate health, safety and sanitary facilities and are COVID-19 response compliant with social distancing policy, hand-washing and proper use of face masks fully observed.”
The governor had explained that the law was in line with the determination of his administration to stop the spread of COVID-19. But the APC argued that it was a political move to stop it from conducting its direct primary to choose its candidate. The Independent National Electoral Commission had revealed that of the 15 political parties participating in the election, 14 chose indirect primary while only the APC chose direct primary.