ACN to endorse Oshiomhole, youths caution Osunbor
Thursday, 15 March 2012 00:00  From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu and Michael Egbejule, Benin City  News  –  National

GOVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole’s candidacy for the July 14 governorship election will be ratified by the Edo State chapter of the Action congress of Nigeria (ACN) on Saturday.

The exercise is apparently to meet party’s requirements, as Oshiomhole is the sole governorship candidate of the party. He is, therefore, expected to be returned unopposed.   Ahead of the event, the governor has picked the party’s nomination form for the office.

But some Edo youths have raised posers over the new twist in the relationship between former governor of the state, Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor and Oshiomhole.

They urged Osunbor to tread softly, noting that he is riding on a tiger’s back and lamented the way Nigerian politicians change camps at the slightest opportunity.

Through their platform, the Edo Youth Vanguard (EYV), they said Osunbor should have carried out his action in more dignified ways instead of rushing to embrace the governor and giving room for his admirers to feel betrayed and suspecting that he needs help from the government.

Also yesterday, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo South accused the governor of inducing traditional rulers in the area with Sport Utility Vans (SUV) vehicles to work for his re-election.

At a press briefing yesterday, the Chairman of Edo ACN, Thomas Okosun, said the party would hold its gubernatorial primary across the 192 wards in the state and confirmed that only Oshiomhole had picked the party’s nomination form.

“It is mandatory that the primary holds following the provisions of the ACN in Article 22 section 2 of the party’s constitution, which states that “aspirants must go through the due process as contained in the constitution.”

He called on party members in the state to come out to vote between the hours of 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. as results for the exercise would be collated between 11 a.m. and 12.noon.

In a statement, which he issued yesterday, the Vice Chairman of the PDP in Edo South, Lucky Imasuen, said: “The unwholesome action in the exchange of huge sums of money in addition to cars and SUVs already given to them by the governor for support are illegal, undemocratic and a politicisation of our revered traditional institution.”

The statement said the Bini have a duty to themselves to decide what position they want to occupy in the next political arrangement, adding that their son, Maj.-Gen. Charles Airhiavbere, the PDP governorship candidate needs their support in the forthcoming election.

The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Louis Odion, described the allegation as false.

After an emergency meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, the National Coordinator of EVY, Mr. Mathew Idemudia, in a statement, said: “This union of strange bed fellows could only be temporary as Osunbor would soon be discarded just like other prominent Edo indigenes, who have been used and dumped by his new friend.”

Idemudia recalled that four years ago, Oshiomhole called Osunbor names over the contested mandate, which the court gave the governor and expressed shock that the sacked state chief executive had now found ally in the same person.

He asked Edo people to rise to the occasion by examining who has their interest at heart through this strange relationship.

The group praised the courage of the Osunbor family, who dissociated themselves from the romance, adding that it was time the electorate looked up to PDP and other credible platforms to pick their leaders.

He urged the youths to refuse being recruited into “academy of thugs” by any politician adding that the much-touted “one-man one- vote” slogan of the state government was a ruse.

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