Tony Osauzo, Benin
Twice postponement of Edo Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship primary within one week, has been attributed grey issues the party is yet to resolve ahead of the primary.
Recall that the primary was first shifted to Tuesday, June 23 before it was again shifted to Thursday, June 25.
It was learnt that the leadership of the party is having tough time convincing three of party’s governorship aspirants to step down for governor Godwin Obaseki, who it has assured the governorship ticket.
At press time yesterday evening, a meeting of top party leaders which had in attendance governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, was ongoing in Government House in Benin City.
The meeting was follow-up to an earlier meeting between key leaders of the party and three of the governorship aspirants over the governorship primaries and other sensitive issues which was reportedly deadlocked Saturday night.
Two of the governorship aspirants, Barrister Kenneth Imasuagbon and Hon. Omoregie Ogbide-Ihama are said to have refused to yield to pressure being mounted them to step down for Obaseki.
One of the party’s governorship aspirant Kenneth Imansuagbon in a telephone interview last night vowed not to step down for Governor Obaseki or anybody, saying that such undemocratic posture was capable of jeopardizing his 16 years dream and financial commitments for the governorship project.
He said he expects Obaseki to step for him considering his years of aspiration, funds and psychological implications such exercise would have caused him.
“I cannot step down for Obaseki, he should be the one to step down for me. I am going to step down for anybody. We have concluded congress before Obaseki came.
“Action by those calling for a step down must be condemned by all; it is wicked and undemocratic. The military can’t do this; we don’t have democracy in Nigeria, what we have is autocracy. There is not morality in all this. He (Obaseki) can’t push my dream of 16 years away. Thank God for the position of Benin monarch, Oba Ewuare 11 who said he needs peace to prevail and that there should be no godfatherism”, Imansungbon.
Confirming that pressure was being mounted by eminent personalities Imansuangbon said “It is not about pressure but about doing the right thing in line with the constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria, due process and the Electoral Act.
“It is disappointing and a big shame in Edo State and the entire nation and it portends danger for the country and the party. Nigerians should rise up against what is happening, we are not in the jungle, it is no do or die affair but about the process. It is totally unacceptable”, he said.
On his part, Hon. Omoregie Ogbeide- Ihama, declined to comment, even as another aspirant, Gideon Ikhine, said he would make public his position today (Monday).
Notwithstanding, governor Obaseki is said to be favoured to clinch the party’s governorship ticket going by the statutory delegate provision of the PDP Constitution.