Edo guber election: NNPP screens aspirants for primary


The New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) on Wednesday screened four governorship aspirants in Edo, for participation in its Feb. 23 primary election.

The four aspirants that participated in the exercise in Abuja were Mr Peter Okoeguale, Rev. Sebastian Iyere, Mr Balogun Engeeleyeme and Pastor Azehme Friday.

Addressing newsmen at the commencement of the screening, the Chairman of the Screening Committee, Sen. Abdulrahman Abubakar, said the exercise was to ensure that a qualified candidate emerged from the party’s primary election.

Abubakar said it was also to have a good candidate that could get victory for the party in the governorship election in September.

He said that the committee would, among others, look at the aspirants’ academic qualifications, party membership cards, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificates, voter cards, financial commitment and any waiver, where applicable.

We will be very much interested in whoever emerges as our candidate, and hopefully the next governor of Edo and the kind of governance he is going to offer.

“The example we are laying in Kano State will also be extended to Edo State by the end of this year, God willing, “ Abubakar said.

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Other members of the committee were Mr Ladipo Johnson, Mr Mustapha Alkassim, Mr Ahmed Balewa and Mr Bashir Abacha as Secretary.

One of the aspirants, Rev. Sebastian Iyere, who is a priest in the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, told newsmen during the screening that he would turn Edo into an industrial hub of West Africa if elected.

“I will make Edo generate electricity, which is important for water, security and processing of our products. This will attract industries to Edo, which will provide jobs for our people. Electricity is the bedrock of development all over the world“ he said.

Asked of his view on zoning, Sebastian who is from Edo Central Senatorial District, said the decision was for the party, adding that by the constitution, he was qualified to run.

Another aspirant, Mr Balogun Engeeleyeme, a former member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) pledged to tackle infrastructural deficit and develop the education and healthcare sectors if elected.

“I am a grassroots person and I am very conversant with the problems of Edo people.

“I will improve the state’s agricultural sector, education and healthcare system. I will construct roads to ease transportation of goods,“ he said.

Another aspirant, Pastor Azehme Friday. who also described himself as a grassroots person said he would impact lives and foster development in the state if elected.

Friday, a journalist, said he was already involved in tackling poverty and insecurity in the state and that the state government had acknowledged his efforts.

“I have a scholarship programme and I have schools that pupils attend for free. I will continue to do more for the people” he said.

On his part, Mr Peter Okoeguale said his decision to seek the NNPP ticket was taken after several engagements with stakeholders.

Okoeguale, who expressed confidence in emerging as the party’s candidate, promised to bring succour to the people of Edo if elected.

The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Shendam Yakubu, who also spoke during the exercise, said there would be level ground for all aspirants during the primary.






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