The national leadership of the All Progressives Congress has inaugurated a national committee for the conduct of Saturday’s governorship primary of the party.
According to a statement by the state Publicity Secretary of the APC, Godwin Erhahon, the committee, which was inaugurated in Abuja by the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, on Thursday, has named the Governor of Katsina State, Alhaji Aminu Masari, as chairman.
The committee is expected to arrive in Benin, the Edo State capital, on Friday.
Meanwhile, the party has assured that adequate security arrangements have been made to ensure a peaceful exercise, just as Governor Adams Oshiomhole has assured the 12 aspirants that the exercise will be free, fair and devoid of violence.
Governor Oshiomhole said, “As the chief security officer of the state, every step will be taken to ensure that there is no violence, and there will be no violence by the special grace of God because our party does not include violence in its method.
“There will be enough security and anybody going into the arena will not be able to carry any weapon. That, I can assure you, and it is not a place for supporters’ club. It is a venue for delegates polling.”
The governor added, “I assure you, I will work with security agencies to ensure that anybody whose purpose of coming to the stadium that day is to foment trouble will be helping the various security forces for many months to come and, if convicted, he will be spending some time somewhere in Oko (prison) or any other location.
“We have a duty to stand by the motto of our party which is change; change for good. It does not include violence as an instrument of change.”
On the allegation of the inducement of delegates, the governor said, “As for the allegation of people spending money, the truth is like what they said in the Bible, “Who will cast the first stone? Of the seven of you (aspirants) here seated, how many can put his hand on the Bible and say, ‘I have not induced delegates with money?’”
However, the party explained that the over 2,000 delegates were expected to identify themselves with their Permanent Voter Cards, driver’s licences, national identity cards or ATM cards.
As part of their measures to ensure that only the delegates with genuine PVCs were allowed to participate, Erhahon said, “Those who are coming with PVCs should bring along any of the other three to authenticate their PVCs, in case of disputes over the ownership of a PVC.”
Erhahon added, “However, any delegate with a fake identity card should steer clear of the venue, as anyone caught with a fake identity card will be dealt with according to the law.
“Loitering will not be allowed in the venue as only delegates and others who have official duties to perform in the primary (election) will be allowed at the venue.”