Edo 2020: Obaseki Govt, set for war with APC over primary

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State

Governor Godwin Obaseki

By Jethro Ibileke

Edo State Government and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are set to flex muscles, as the government has reiterated its resolve to enforce the laws and regulations emplaced to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

This is even as the state chapter of the APC has vowed to go ahead with it’s governorship primaries, using the direct mode, against the directive of the state government.

But the Secretary to the state government, Barr. Osarodion Ogie, in a statement, stated that the state would spare no expense in upholding the law and protecting the lives of the people.

He noted that the All Progressives Congress (APC) was acting in defiance of the law.

Recall that the government charged political parties to restrict the conduct of their primary elections within the protocols and provisions of the state’s Covid-19 Quarantine Regulations and Gazette on political gatherings.

According to Our in the statement, “The Edo State Government is calling on all political parties holding primary elections to restrict themselves to conducting their activities within the protocols and regulations provided for in the Edo State Coronavirus (Covid-19) Quarantine Regulations and the Government’s Gazette on political gatherings during this pandemic.

“These guidelines were issued in fulfilment of government’s statutory duty to ensure the protection of lives and property in the state, in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.

“However, we note with concern that all the political parties conducting primary elections in Edo State have notified the government of their readiness to comply with the extant laws and Covid-19 regulations, except the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“The APC appears resolved to carry on with the conduct of their primary election in violation of the Edo State Covid-19 Quarantine Regulations and the state Government’s Gazette on political gatherings in a pandemic.”

He added, “We also have it on good authority that these persons have imported thugs into the state to actualize this illegality, further threatening the peace and security of our dear state.

“In the light of this, we want to state unequivocally that the Edo State Government will spare no expense in upholding the law and protecting the lives of our people. We will ensure we identify and prosecute anyone who engages in this illegality and their collaborators, should they proceed with this unlawful conduct.”

Ogie appealed to the Presidency, President Muhammadu Buhari, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Directorate of State Services (DSS) and other security agencies “to prevail on those behind this act of lawlessness, to desist forthwith with their planned activity.

“We restate our commitment to protect the lives of Edo people and ensure that all activities during this period are done in compliance with extant laws and regulations to safeguard the people and ensure that our healthcare system, which is already overstretched, is not overwhelmed,” he said.