The Peoples Democratic Party has amassed N265m from the sale of Nomination and Expression of Interest forms to 11 Edo State governorship aspirants.
The Nomination Form was sold for N30m, while the Expression of Interest Form was N5m. However, the party made the Expression of Interest Form free for female aspirants and those with disabilities.
According to a schedule released by the party, the sale of forms ends today (Thursday), while the party will conduct a congress on February 22 to decide which of the aspirants to pick as the candidate for the September 21, 2024 Edo State governorship election.
The PDP began the sale of forms on January 17, 2024 and fixed January 27 as the deadline for submission by the aspirants.
Checks on Wednesday by our correspondent showed that 11 aspirants had so far purchased the forms picked up at the PDP national headquarters, Wadata Plaza, Abuja. Among them were two females, who paid only for the N30m Nomination form.
The aspirants who have purchased the forms are the Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shuaibu; a former Chairman of Sterling Bank, Asue Ighodalo; and Blessing Igbinedion, daughter of Esama of Benin Kingdom, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion.
Other aspirants are Anselm Usiose Ojezua, Felix Akhabue, Martin Uhomoibhi, Umoru Hadizat, and Omoregie Ihama.
exclusively learned that the PDP had chosen the indirect primary mode to select its Edo State governorship candidate.
A high-ranking member of the PDP National Working Committee, who spoke to anonymously, said “The PDP will not zone its ticket in Edo State. The NWC has also approved delegates and three ad hoc, indirect primary.
“It means members will elect delegates at ward and local government levels. These delegates will then move to Benin, the state capital, on February 22 to elect our party’s candidate.”
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, assured aspirants of a level playing field, stating, “What the aspirants and Edo State stakeholders should expect from our party is a free, fair, credible, and acceptable primary that the PDP is known for.”
Ologunagba in an exclusive interview with stated, “Edo State is a PDP state, and we will maintain it. So, we will not disappoint our members; the party leadership will follow due process and we are very sure that people will support our party in Edo State. We are ready.”
On the question of reducing the number of aspirants, he said, “What we do is always to have a conversation. The issue of pruning the number of aspirants will not come up because these are processes that will come up among members, and I am sure that is going on. So, we are prepared for the primaries, and the more, the merrier. It will be a fair process, and there will be no rancour.”
Meanwhile, ahead of the January 29 deadline for the sale of forms by the All Progressives Congress, the party has garnered N250m from the sale of Nomination and Expression of Interest forms to five aspirants for the Edo election.
The APC sells its Expression of Interest and Nomination forms for N10m and N40m, respectively.
The aspirants who have purchased the forms are a former Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba; a two-term governorship candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu; a former Chairman of the APC Edo State, Dr. David Imuse.
Others are Emmanuel Momoh and Senator Monday Okpebholo.
The party has fixed February 17, 2024 for the primary to elect its flag bearer for the September 21, 2024 poll.