There is a sharp division among the ranks of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State over plans by Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state to defect to the party and clinch the ticket to contest the September 19, 2020 governorship election.
This move by Obaseki is after his All Progressives Congress (APC) disqualified him from contesting its governorship primary election fixed for June 22 because of alleged inconsistencies in the documents he was said to have submitted.
According to the Vanguard who gathered that the meeting by the PDP would involve all the local government area chairmen of the party and other leaders of the party.
However, as at the time of filing this report, the meeting was yet to hold but report gathered that there is sharp resistance from some aspirants and other former members of the exco.
One of the leading aspirants said that “I will personally resist it. There are so many questions to ask. Did Obaseki purchase nomination form of his party, yes; did he appear before the screening processes of his party, the answer yes. What happened? He was disqualified. Now when was the closing date for the purchase of PDP form? Did Obaseki buy, did he appear before the screening? So the whole thing doesn’t add up and I will resist it. I learnt he has met with the National Leadership of our party but we are waiting for him.”, Vanguard reports.
In another development, a staunch supporter of one of the aspirants who is the member representing Oredo Federal Constituency where Obaseki comes from, Hon Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama referred to the case of Obaseki as that of a “rotten tomato that no one can buy. How can our party be thinking of giving him a ticket, for me, it shows we are no serious. How can they be thinking of an aspirant who was disqualified by his party over issues that can be challenged in court? ”.
A source close to the Ogbeide-Ihama campaign team said he and his supporters are not disposed to agreeing on any compromiser to bring Obaseki into the party.
It was gathered that about three PDP governors in the South-South who are said to have issues with Oshiomhole are ready to support Obaseki to win the election and bring back Edo into PDP.
There were indications that Obaseki would address the press Saturday after his meeting but a source said: “he met with his team and all the issues were laid on the table, they agreed that he should consider all the available alternative political parties to consider which one to go”
A statement by the Edo State Chapter of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) described the disqualification of Obaseki as a ” profound affront ” on decent democratic practices.
A statement which was issued by ALGON Chairman, Hon. Jenkins Evbareke Osunde, noted that the Screening Committee “violently desecrated the principles and the spirit of the APC Constitution regarding the procedural exercise for interested gubernatorial aspirants.
“The attempt to disqualify a popular and accomplished Governor by the Committee was a despicable mockery and shameful tragic comedy staged on behalf of an APC national cabal with a sinister.