Beifoh Osewele and Romanus Ugwu, Abuja and Tony Osauzo, Benin
Amid speculations that he is on his way to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) following his disqualification from the All Progressives Congress (APC) primary billed for June 22, Edo Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has said he would unveil his next line of action after his meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
Although he did not reveal when it would hold, he said he was also consulting with his supporters.
Two other aspirants, Chris Ogiemwonyi, former minister of state for works, and Matthew Iduoriyekenwen, former Majority Leader of the Edo State House of Assembly, were equally disqualified.
Writing via his Twitter handle yesterday, Obaseki described his disqualification as an act of injustice.
“I appreciate the sustained show of solidarity, support and goodwill from Edo people and Nigerians in the face of injustice by the @OfficialAPCNg screening committee.
“I will be making my next move known after I complete consultations with my supporters and meet with @MBuhari.”
A few hours after the tweet, he held a closed-door meeting with Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State at Government House, Port Harcourt. Feelers from the meeting showed that the visit was not unconnected with his alleged plans to defect to the PDP and consequently run on its ticket.
The meeting with Governor Wike came on the heels of report that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar had told Obaseki to pursue his reelection bid on the platform of the main opposition party.
Atiku was also said to have discussed the issue with PDP governors to make way for Obaseki to get the party’s ticket.
The governor’s camp has insisted that he would contest the election slated for September 29.
Sources close to the PDP said the defection would be formalised in the next 72 hours.
Spokesman of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, did not rule out the possibility of welcoming the governor into its fold but declined to say if he would be handed the ticket.
Chairman of the screening committee, Jonathan Ayuba, had said Obaseki was disqualified over a “defective” certificate.
However, the national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, claimed that fragrant display of executive rascality was also among the iniquities committed by Obaseki, which led to his disqualification.
Oshiomhole, while itemising the grounds for his disqualification from participating in the primaries, said, apart from the credibility doubt on the certificates he presented, he displayed executive rascality through his actions against the legislative arm.
“We have reviewed the two reports and note with satisfaction that all members of the committees were unanimous in their decisions. We had deliberately appointed men and women that are, in our judgement, not only knowledgeable in academic world but also in law, what our party, APC, stands for and our ideals.
APC govs launch operation rescue Obaseki, resolve Ondo crisis
Governors under the umbrella of Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) have concluded arrangements to wade into the disqualification of Governor Obaseki.
Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) and Governor of Kebbi, Atiku Bagudu, in a statement yesterday in Abuja, also promised to intervene in the crisis rocking the party in Edo and Ondo states ahead of the governorship polls.
The governors in a statement issued after a virtual meeting on Saturday, expressed confidence that the party will resolve all current challenges and emerge stronger emerge stronger.
“We collectively agreed to work to ensure strengthening fair and democratic internal party mechanism for the selection of party candidates in all elections, especially in respect of Edo and Ondo states 2020 Governorship elections. We unanimously reaffirmed the commitment of all progressive governors to work for the unity of our party. Forum members are confident that the party will resolve all current challenges and emerge stronger emerge stronger.”
Factions seeks expulsion
Regardless, Edo State Working Committee of the party has recommended the expulsion of Governor Obaseki, Anselm Ojezua and Dr. Aisosa Amadasun.
Addressing journalists in Benin City, yesterday, acting Chairman of the party in Edo, Col. David Imuse (retd), justified the need for the expulsion saying “Obaseki, Anselm Ojezua and some other persons have gone to court in violation of Article 21, sub-section D5 of the APC Constitution in several court cases at Edo State High Court and Federal High Court. They have shopped for injunctions and rulings to circumvent the processes of law and provisions of our party constitution in defiance of democratic norms.
“In the light of this, the SWC of the APC in Edo State has recommended to the NWC that the following persons Godwin Obaseki, Anselm Ojezua and Dr. Aisosa Amadasun, should be expelled from the party for violating the provisions of our constitution.”