Aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Edo Local Government Council elections have called on the party’s leadership to allow the people decide their representatives.
Some of the apirants spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews on Sunday ahead of the March 3 council poll.
The aspirants flayed attempts to impose candidates on the party by some of its leaders, urging for support and promotion of popular candidates.
They also decried attempts by some of the aspirants and leaders to drag the names of Gov. Mr Godwin Obaseki and the state leader of the party, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, into their undemocratic activities.
While describing them as “desperate” to govern their respective councils through the back door, alleging that these people have been claiming endorsement by the governor and his predecessor.
Mr Omolei Imadu, an asirant for the Chairmanship of Owan West Local Goernment Area, said any attempt to force candidates on the people would be a great disservice to the people that have been loyal to the party.
He said allowing the people chose their representatives would enthrone democratic dividends through popular participation as well as assuring the best to emerge among the aspirants.
Similarly, Mr Bagudu Suleiman, a chairmanship aspirant for Etsako Central Council, said those responsible for name dropping are the unpopular aspirants that are afraid to face the people in a free and fair primaries.
“Oshiomhole to me have not, and I am sure, he will not endorse any body in my council in spite of the rumour that one particular aspirant have been endorsed by him for the chairmanship position.
“In any case, Oshiomhole is a democrat, he is the proponent of one-man-one-vote, as such he will want a free contest where the people and only the people determine who their candidate is. Same thing also goes for the governor,” he said.
Suleiman however said the people of South Uneme, a minority part of Etsako Central Local Government Area, deserve to be given the opportunity to produce the chairmanship of the council.
According to him, “The people have for long been marginalised in the allocation of political positions in the council and should thus appeal to the leadership of the party to stick to the earlier arrangement that zoned the chairmanship seat to the area.
“Those peddling rumours that they have been endorsed should stop forthwith and prepare themselves to face the people in a free and fair primaries.
“They should test their popularity before the people and not seek power through the back door.”
Meanwhile, the former governor has denied endorsing any candidate for chairmanship position in the poll.
Oshiomhole’s media aide, Mr Victor Oshioke, told NAN that his principal is a democrat who believe that party guidelines and constitution should be followed strictly, especially as it regards conduct of primaries.
He said those using Oshiomhle’s name were doing so without his knowledge and advised the electorate to disregard such.
“Just like the other party leaders, he believes that it is okay if leadership of the party in a particular council are able to arrive at consensus candidate and not imposing candidates on them as being peddled,” the spokesman said.