AS the race for Edo governorship election continues to gather momentum, an aspirant and one time president, Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Peter Esele, has expressed confidence that Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State would ensure a level play ground for all the gubernatorial aspirants at the party’s primary.
This is coming on the heels of a declaration by the lawmaker representing Etsako Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Philip Shaibu denying that him and the governor were at loggerhead over who would be the candidate of the party.
Shaibu stated this at an enlarged meeting with political leaders and members of his constituency in Jattu, Etsako West Local Government Area of the state yesterday.He said contrary to insinuations, that he was fighting the governor, “I am on the same page with the Comrade Governor.
I have heard people say and also have received several calls to that effect, that Philip and his father (Oshiomhole) are fighting because of the governor’s choice for the election. I am not quarrelling with him and we can never quarrel. Where he goes, I go. I am with him in this project. I can never defy my father on this project.
“We may have our differences, but superior argument always prevailed. In this case, we have had series of meetings over this, and his superior argument have also prevailed.”
To this end, the federal lawmaker said he has started collapsing his political structure for the emergence of the candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) as well as the governor of Edo, come 2016.
In a chat with journalists in Benin City over the weekend Esele who had since indicated interest to contest the governorship ticket said if he becomes the governor his administration would focus on education, agriculture and culture.
“But I know Oshiomhole strives for legacies. I don’t think Oshiomhole will want to be remembered for having led a primary that was inconclusive or characterized with fraud. But if somebody loses in an election that is transparent, he should be bold enough to congratulate the winner. That is what I think has to be done.”
Esele ruled out the possibility of dumping the party if he loses at the primary, adding that the Comrade Governor has a right to front for a candidate of his choice. “That is not part of me. It took me a long while to join this party. I am not thinking about that. But my expectation is to appeal to the leaders of the party to ensure a free and fair primary; because if you don’t have a transparent primary, crisis will brew. But I’m interested in contesting for the gubernatorial ticket of the APC. If the delegates think another person has the idea, they should vote for him.”
On why he was going into the race despite rumours that the governor has his preferred candidate, he posited, “I think the governor has every right to support any candidate of his choice. But I also have my right to contest. It doesn’t have to do with whether the governor has a preferred candidate or not. But again, it is the delegates that will determine who bears the party’s flag. I think we should be open to discussion and ideas to broaden the space. And I think that is the biggest problem.”