Senator Monday Okpebholo Emerges APC Governorship Candidate in Rescheduled Primary Election

In a rescheduled primary election in Edo State on Friday, Senator Monday Okpebholo, representing Edo Central Senatorial District, secured the governorship ticket for the All Progressives Congress (APC). The election, marred by controversy last week, saw conflicting claims from Senator Okpebholo, Hon. Dennis Idahosa, and Hon. Anamero Dekeri, leading to divisions within the National Working Committee (NWC) members of the APC and the former chairman of the party’s electoral panel, Governor Hope Uzodinma.

Governor Uzodinma initially declared Idahosa as the winner, while the returning officer, Dr Stanley Ugboajah, announced Okpebholo as the victor at a different location. Another group of electoral officials declared Dekeri as the primary election winner. Following the dispute, the National leadership of the APC deemed the initial exercise inconclusive, setting February 22, 2024, for its completion and appointing Governor Bassey Otu as the chairman of the APC Primary Election Committee.

On Friday, Governor Otu announced the final results in Benin City after collating votes from the 18 Local Government Areas of the State. Senator Okpebholo secured victory with 12,433 votes, surpassing 11 other aspirants, including Dennis Idahosa, who had 6,541 votes. Otu declared Okpebholo as the winner, urging party members to unite for success in the upcoming September 21, 2024 governorship election.

Despite the announcement, aspirant Anamero Dekeri rejected the results, vowing to challenge them before the party’s appeal panel. Dekeri alleged a lack of transparency and bias in favor of Okpebholo during the primaries. In response, Hon. Emmanuel Momoh, representing Okpebholo, expressed gratitude for the committee’s work, stating that Okpebholo’s victory marked the end of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State.

Senator Okpebholo, elated by the overwhelming support, thanked party members and pledged massive infrastructural development if elected as governor in September. He emphasized that his victory was a collective success for the party, issuing a “quit notice” to the PDP, the current occupant of Osadebey Avenue seat of power, with no victor or vanquished.

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