11 aspirants have bought the Nomination and Expression of Interest forms from the Peoples Democratic Party for the Edo State governorship election, generating N265m for the party.
The party charged N30m for the Nomination Form and N5m for the Expression of Interest Form, but waived the latter fee for female and disabled aspirants. Two of the 11 aspirants are women, who only paid for the Nomination Form.
The sale of forms will end today (Thursday), while the aspirants will submit their forms by January 27. The party will hold a congress on February 22 to choose its candidate for the September 21, 2024 poll.
The aspirants who have obtained the forms are: Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shuaibu; ex-Sterling Bank Chairman, Asue Ighodalo; Esama of Benin’s daughter, Blessing Igbinedion; Anselm Usiose Ojezua; Felix Akhabue; Martin Uhomoibhi; Umoru Hadizat; and Omoregie Ihama. They collected the forms from the PDP national headquarters, Wadata Plaza, Abuja.
According to The PUNCH, the PDP opted for the indirect primary mode to select its Edo State governorship candidate.
A top member of the PDP National Working Committee, who spoke to The PUNCH on condition of anonymity, said “The PDP will not zone its ticket in Edo State. The NWC has also approved delegates and three ad hoc, indirect primary.
“It means members will elect delegates at ward and local government levels. These delegates will then move to Benin, the state capital, on February 22 to elect our party’s candidate.”
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, assured aspirants of a level playing field, stating, “What the aspirants and Edo State stakeholders should expect from our party is a free, fair, credible, and acceptable primary that the PDP is known for.”
Ologunagba in an exclusive interview with the publication stated, “Edo State is a PDP state, and we will maintain it. So, we will not disappoint our members; the party leadership will follow due process and we are very sure that people will support our party in Edo State. We are ready.”
On the question of reducing the number of aspirants, he said, “What we do is always to have a conversation. The issue of pruning the number of aspirants will not come up because these are processes that will come up among members, and I am sure that is going on. So, we are prepared for the primaries, and the more, the merrier. It will be a fair process, and there will be no rancour.”
In the meantime, the All Progressives Congress has made N250m from the sale of Nomination and Expression of Interest forms to five aspirants for the Edo election. The party sells its Expression of Interest and Nomination forms for N10m and N40m, respectively.
The aspirants who have bought the forms are: former Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba; two-time governorship candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu; former APC Edo State Chairman, Dr. David Imuse; Emmanuel Momoh; and Senator Monday Okpebholo.
The party has set February 17, 2024 as the date for the primary to elect its flag bearer for the September 21, 2024 poll.