Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has been advised by the national leader of the All Progress Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, advised to test his popularity in the party’s direct primary scheduled for 22 June
Tinubu gave the same advice to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state as the two governors and seven others met at a parley on Sunday.
A source said that the former governor of Lagos, emphasised the importance of primary to democracy, admonishing party leaders to safeguard it in the preparation for the choice of standard-bearers.
The polls will hold in Edo in September and Ondo in October and no fewer than 10 chieftains are competing for the ticket in Ondo APC with Akeredolu, who is seeking a second term.
Other contenders in Edo State have stepped down for Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who is challenging Obaseki at the shadow poll.
Specifically, the governors wanted Tinubu to prevail on the party leadership to give Obaseki the right of first refusal, the source said.
It was, however, learnt that Tinubu went to the meeting with the position that it is better, more democratic, constitutionally right and politically defensible that all aspirants should go for primaries to test their popularity.
Tinubu, the source said, urged the governors to support the guidelines released by the NWC, maintaining that they are in the interest of the party.
The source stated:
Asiwaju also said he believed in the direct primary. His argument was that the direct primary will boost the confidence of the flag bearer as he prepares for the main governorship election.
Asiwaju Tinubu may have intervened in this sensitive nomination matter with a benefit of hindsight because as he rightly pointed out, direct primary produced Oyetola as Osun APC candidate and Babajide Sanwo-Olu as flag bearer in Lagos State.
Besides, I think Asiwaju Tinubu is of the opinion that where there are more than one contender, primary should be adopted to foster equity, fairness and justice.
The meeting, which was hosted at the Lagos House Marina by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu also had governors- Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Simon Lalong (Plateau), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Mai Buni (Yobe), Adegboyega Oyetola (Osun), Abubakar Bello(Niger) and Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), who was the host.