The Edo State Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Hilary Otsu, has cautioned the party against fielding unpopular candidates in the 2024 governorship election in the state.
The PDP chieftain issued the warning in a statement he made available to newsmen in Benin on Wednesday.
Otsu said there is high political awareness among the electorate in the state, adding that the PDP must field a popular candidate to secure victory.
He recalled that most of the candidates fielded by the party in the 2023 general election were unknown, which, he said, led to electoral losses in some constituencies.
The party chieftain warned against the imposition of candidates, saying the electorate were already watching the process.
Otsu said: “Most of the candidates fielded during the 2023 general elections were unpopular and most voters in their various constituencies were also aware of the illegal processes that produced them.
“So, many of the voters who followed all that transpired, leading to their emergence, worked and voted against them.
“Most PDP supporters opted to work against the illegal candidates by supporting candidates of the opposition parties.
“That is why you see that in many places, they gave support to the All Progressives Congress candidates and, in some, to Labour Party (LP) candidates, which led to unprecedented victories for those parties.
“PDP has never lost Edo Central and South Senatorial seats before, but the LP candidate won the Edo South Senate seat after leaving PDP for LP just a few months to the election.”
Otsu advised that internal democracy should be allowed in nominating the governorship and deputy governorship candidates in the election as that would make the party much stronger at the polls.
He said any act of imposition or bending of the rules to favour any candidate would spell defeat for the party “because it would not be accepted by the people”.