Ahead of Edo State governorship race, Gideon Ikhine, an aspirant under the All Progressives Congress (APC), officially submitted his Expression of Interest and Nomination forms at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja on Friday.
Gideon who previously served as the Deputy Director-General of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Campaign Council for Governor Godwin Obaseki’s 2020 re-election bid, decamped to the APC in July 2023 has sparked political discussions and raised eyebrows given his prior alignment with the PDP.
Speaking with journalists after submission of forms, Ikhine sought to dispel any rumors of discord between him and former Governor Adams Oshiomhole. Despite their historical political differences, Ikhine emphasized the amicable relationship he shares with Oshiomhole, referring to him as a father figure.
“He is like a father to me,” Ikhine stated, highlighting the deep respect and admiration he holds for the former governor and APC national chairman. He dismissed speculations of Oshiomhole having an anointed candidate, stating, “He has never spoken on any occasion that he has an anointed candidate. Please don’t let us misrepresent my leader.”
Responding to inquiries about not adhering to the committee’s directive, set up at Oshiomhole’s instance, which initially pruned the aspirants to six, Ikhine stressed that he had done nothing wrong. According to him, the APC leadership has removed the barrier, allowing interested aspirants to pick up the N50 million forms.
“Party leadership will be respected anytime and any day,” Ikhine affirmed, expressing gratitude for the party’s wisdom at the national level, encouraging all interested individuals to participate in the democratic process.