The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State has discredited reports that the party primaries held on January 24, were marred by the crisis in some local government areas in the state.
The party insisted that the exercise was not only peaceful but that the outcome demonstrated the will of the people.
In a statement, the Publicity Secretary of the APC in the state, Mr. Chris Azebamwan, said reports of alleged crisis during the exercise at Egor Local Government Secretariat were “blown out of proportion,” and described it as the figment of the imagination of mischief makers who saw crisis where there was none.
He added: “As in all contests, there were disagreements which were resolved amicably among party members.”
According to him, “The party primary elections across the different parts of the state were generally peaceful and we appreciate members of the party for conducting themselves as responsible and law-abiding citizens throughout the exercise.
“The conduct of the primaries is a departure from what obtained in the past when the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) held sway. Time was when primaries in this state were marred by violence. People were killed on election days. An exercise was never concluded without a bloodbath and reports of maiming of innocent people or violent clashes by rival gangs hired by those in the opposition today.
“But I am sure many people in this state weren’t even aware that the primary elections of Wednesday because of the calmness and peace that reigned while the exercise lasted. We are glad we have exited the era of violence and we discourage media reports that exaggerate, inflate and sensationalise events to increase viewership. It is a cheap tactic and discerning professionals know the difference between responsible reportage and a deliberate effort to discredit a fact.”
He continued, “With the results, we are convinced that the people had the final say and have chosen candidates that will swell the fortunes of the party as well as ferry the party to victory in the forthcoming polls.”
Noting that disagreement or incident does not translate to the crisis, he said: “We are convinced that the reports are the handiwork of mischief makers who are looking for crisis and division where there was none.
“I dare reiterate that the exercise was peaceful, free and fair and many of the party members will attest to this. The pictures are everywhere in the newspapers where the party members dutifully queued to cast their votes. So, we wonder where the crisis came from.”
Azebamwan who advocated for a socially responsible reportage by the media especially as the March 3 polls draw close, encouraged residents in the state to come out en masse to exercise their franchise.