John Oyegun, former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has refused to endorse Osagie Ize-Iyamu, his party’s candidate in the Edo governorship election.

In a statement he issued on Monday, Oyegun rejected what he described as “primitive politics”, calling on the people of Edo to vote their conscience.

He criticised the “forced exit” of Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo, from the APC, saying the governor suffered “unacceptable indignity” while standing for the people.

“My views and statements on the Edo state political situation have been consistent. I strongly advised against the mistreatment of Governor Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki by the late unlamented National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC. Governor Obaseki stood bravely for the dignity and pride of his people and in the process suffered unacceptable indignities,” the statement read.

“In the matter of who governs Edo State, the people are sovereign and no individual or group of people, whatever their status, can decide on their behalf.

“I stand with the people of Edo State and urge them to to come out massively to exercise their democratic rights. They should vote for good governance, common decency, principled leadership, especially in the political arena and the protection of their democratic rights.

“They should by their votes make clear that it is their right to choose their governor and nobody else’s. There is no room for fence sitters. This is a special situation and primitive loyalties should and must be set aside. Remember Mr President’s admonition in an equally challenging pre-election situation in Imo State, “vote your conscience.”