Ahead of the governorship election in Edo State, the All Progressives Congress has trimmed down its aspirants from 28 to six for hassle free polls.
As at Friday, January 19, 2014, 28 aspirants had collected certified documents after paying the N50 million prescribed for Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms by the party headquarters.
The high number of aspirants became an issue and it prompted the leadership to convene a crucial meeting with those seeking to run and other relevant stakeholders of the party from the state where the APC National Chairman backed by members of the National Working Committee pleaded with some of the aspirants to peacefully step down for more capable ones to enable the party make better impact at the polls, according to Champion.
The party reportedly arrived at the six candidates over 28 based on popularity, services rendered to the people and economic means as some of the criteria that enabled the state leadership to trim down the number of applications to arrive at six outstanding aspirants who were selected to participate in the coming state Congress.
Also, based on advisory considerations, two aspirants were chosen from each of the three senatorial districts in a tight groundbreaking move that reduced conflict and rancour in the Edo APC.
Out of the successful contenders, two aspirants, namely Dennis Idahosa, who emerged as the clear frontrunner, from Edo South and Chief Clem Agba, another powerful frontrunner from Edo North, who emerged as the unequivocal choice of his followers are personalities to be watched closely during the months leading to the congress.
One of the aspirants has been rumored to enjoy the backing of a powerful former governor of the state and ex- party Chairman, Senator Adams Oshiomhole, whose influence in Edo politics cannot be underrated or underestimated.
Apart from the meticulous screening process adopted to trim down the aspirants, other factors that may play out and influence the eventual choice of the APC flag-bearer would include ethnic lineage, senatorial distribution and the input of the traditional institution. These factors played strong roles in the past in the choice of governorship candidates.