Edo State All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant Austin Emuan has urged the party to field a credible candidate in order to win the election in the state.
Speaking to The Nation, he said the party must provide a level playing ground during its primary, adding that only a popular candidate would lead the party to victory.
He said: “All the aspirants must develop the spirit of sportsmanship. There should be no preference of one candidate to another by the power that be. There should be a level playing field.
“This is one of the easiest ways to avoid a post primary crisis. For me, as an architect by profession, I have a creative mind. I don’t have a mind for violence. I know that most other aspirants are probably like me. So, it is advisable to ensure that there is a level playing field that everybody can see very clearly that the primary was done fairly. I will congratulate the winner myself.
This must be taken seriously because a lot of people have said if there is no good candidate that the APC may lose the election in Edo State. I can also tell you that if someone like me came up as the party candidate, a lot of people will decamp in the PDP.”
Emuan promised to bridge the gap between the government and the governed, noting that the people at the grassroots have been neglected for long.
He added: “Our own idea is to see that in Edo State there is capillary democracy in place. It is something that we are used to, but at some point because we embraced the politics of despondency, we moved away from all of that. So, my own idea is to ensure that capillary democracy is brought back.
“This is a model where you can actually govern the people correctly. There has to be free flow of uninterrupted information between the governed and the government; those that are in the executive position.
“This is what has assisted countries like China. China as it is today has attracted the attention of others. America is beginning to look at their system of democracy because it is very close to the people.
“This is what I have been doing, discussing with delegates, explaining to them one on one. I have been explaining my manifesto to them. The manifesto I call the people’s manifesto.
“The people’s manifesto is a product of comprehensive status audit that I have carried out in Edo State, it indigenous and all about participatory grassroots system of democracy.”
The aspirant said the allegation that the list of delegates would be tampered with was not true.
Emuan stressed: “The rumour has been on for a very long time, this is one of the major reasons why our party in their infinite wisdom has actually called all the aspirants for a meeting. They call us to Abuja to reassure us that nobody is going to be able to do that.
“They did stop there; they also met with aspirants, delegates and the governor himself. They explained to everyone that there will be nothing like that and there is not going to be anointed candidate. So, the issue of distorted list or master list of delegate is a rumour that is unfounded.
“As far as I am concerned, the party has come out to clarify that nobody can do that. Of course, it came out in the papers sometimes ago that our National Chairman, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, came out to say nobody can tamper with the list. The delegate list is going to come from Abuja.