The Peoples Democratic Party has repaid N3 million to each of its aspirants who paid N16 million for the party’s forms for the September 10 Edo State governorship election.
According to state PDP publicity secretary, Chris Nehikhare, the party decided to reduce the cost of the forms.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt many aspirants had complained about the high cost of the forms.
Mr. Nehikhare said the party met and reduced the fee for the expression of interest and actual governorship forms from N16 million to N13 million, with N10m being for the form, N1m for expression of interest, and N2m for administrative charges.
Meanwhile, ahead of the election, the party held a successful ward and local government congresses to elect the special delegates that will elect its candidate for the governorship election.
Former Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam, chaired the committee that supervised the congresses.
Also, the party has concluded the screening of its aspirants that are contesting its primary election. The party issued a certificate to each of the aspirants after screening them this week.
The three PDP aspirants are Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Solomon Edebiri, Mathew Iduoriyekemwen.
Former Minister of Education and chieftain of PDP, Tunde Adeniran, chaired the committee that screened the aspirants.
The PDP primary election is scheduled to hold on Monday at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium under the chairmanship of Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State.
Separately, the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, on Thursday released the names of members approved to vote as delegates for its primary holding on Saturday June 18, also at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City.
By Thursday evening, 12 APC aspirants that purchased the party’s forms had undergone screening.
The APC aspirants that attended the meeting include: Mr. Godwin Obaseki; Mr. Chris Ogiemwonyi; General Charles Airhiavbere (retired); Comrade Peter Esele; Professor Ebegue Amadasun; Mrs. Tina Agbara and Hon. Emmanuel Arigbe-Osula.
A chieftain of the party, Chibudom Nwuche, chaired the committee that screened the party’s aspirants.
While some of the aspirants are afraid that the election could become a mere formality, others have also complained bitterly about an alleged mopping-up or wholesale purchase of Permanent Voter Cards by unnamed aspirants.
Reassuring APC aspirants, who attended a meeting at the Government House in Benin City this week, Governor Oshiomhole said they should go to bed and sleep well, in expectation of a credible primary election.
“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,” he said.
Reacting to the allegation of inducement of delegates, Mr. Oshiomhole asked, “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 here seated, how many can put his hand on the Bible and say, ‘I have not induced delegates with money’?”
Thereafter, he advised, “My plea is: let’s maintain our friendship. Let’s not scandalize ourselves. The only regret I have is that some seem to be more vicious in the course of this intra-party contest than even focusing.”