Edo Assembly race: APC aspirant queries silence after screening

Sat May 21st, 2022 - Edo

The All Progressives Congress (APC) aspirant for Owan West Constituency in the Edo State House of Assembly, Omua Victoria Amu, has raised alarm over the “curious silence” the party has adopted, one week after completing its screening exercise for all aspirants for the 24-seat assembly.

Tribune Online recalled that the screening exercise was conducted in a tense atmosphere occasioned by the controversial decision of the party’s leadership to offer special privileges to 14 members-elect on the platform of the party who were not inaugurated on June 17, 2019, when Governor Godwin Obaseki proclaimed the inauguration of the Assembly.

In a statement signed by the Director-General of her Campaign, Mr. Edward Oduaa Uwaifo, she questioned why the Edo State Chapter of the APC had failed to tow the path of other state chapters by publicly releasing the results of the screening exercise it conducted a week ago, including a mechanism for aspirants to appeal the outcome.

According to her, the silence of the party had become untenable and was fueling divisiveness, particularly in light of reports that the leadership had proceeded with its undemocratic threat to delegitimise the aspiration of many to assuage the feelings of a few.

The statement reads in part:

“Against observed trends elsewhere and in a flagrant disregard of established party procedure, the Edo State Chapter has refused to publicly release the result of the screening exercise it conducted for state legislative aspirants, one week after doing the same.

“Every other state has released theirs and set up Appeal Committees as provided for in the party constitution to give aggrieved aspirants an opportunity to challenge the outcome and take the leadership to task on the rationale that informed its decision.

“Perhaps the reluctance of the Edo State Chapter to make public the outcome of this screening exercise is due to its troubling insistence on proceeding with its undemocratic and divisive threat to delegitimize the aspirations of others on the account of assuaging the feelings of a group it deems entitled to special privileges based on an unclear and arbitrarily drawn up ranking of ‘suffering and sacrifice’ for the party. Who has not suffered and sacrificed for the party?

“My objection to this reservation of seats for specific individuals and the denial of participation to interested members has been previously registered. Party decision-making process in a democracy is horizontal and inclusive.

“As progressives, we go against everything we stand for if our candidate-selection process becomes a non-transparent and exclusive affair, dictated from above without regard for the feelings and contributions of members, including those who have remained loyal to the party since inception.

“The party’s chances of victory at the main polls is directly tied to its management of the primaries process, and whether or not we confront our opponents in the other parties as a united force or a house divided against itself. Members of the party must have a say in who represents them and the leadership of the party must be fair to all. I call for a transparent handling of the screening result and its immediate release so all aspirants can have clarity on the matter.

“This opacity is fueling divisiveness and confusion within our ranks. The veil must be removed and light shone brightly on this important process,” Amu pleaded.




source: Tribune