APC Governors Backed Obaseki’s Move To PDP –


Governor Godwin Obase­ki of Edo State received the blessings of his col­league governors in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) before defecting to the Peo­ples Democratic Party (PDP), Daily Independent has gathered.

A credible source in the party, who does not want his name in print, said even though the gover­nors never openly declared sup­port for Obaseki’s move, many of them who were sympathetic with him over the manner he was treated “encour­aged him to pitch his tent elsewhere since he has been shut out from his own house”.

Obaseki, who has been at loggerheads with his predecessor and then na­tional chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, was disqualified from par­ticipating in the primaries over issues relating to dis­crepancies in his certifi­cates on June 12.

Prof. Jonathan Ayuba, chairman of the screen­ing committee, while presenting the report ex­plained that Obaseki was disqualified because the committee could not vouch for the authenticity of the Higher School Certificate he claimed but could not produce.

The governor, who had earlier accused the com­mittee of bias in its con­duct vowed not to appeal the outcome. He eventually resigned his membership of APC on June 16 and joined the PDP three days later.

Speaking with our cor­respondent, our source said all the governors, irre­spective of their party dif­ferences agreed that Obase­ki was unfairly treated and should move if he desires.

He said APC governors, who were part of the peace moves to Lagos where they met Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the party’s national leader in Lagos and Abuja, where they had another meet­ing with Oshiomhole, felt insulted that their efforts towards restoring peace in the party and securing a soft-landing for their col­league was ignored.

Our source added that after Obaseki’s disqualifi­cation the governors who felt it is the people of Edo that should determine whether they wanted him to continue or not, encour­aged him to move to PDP, which is the only party that can match APC in all aspects in Edo State.

“It is not as if the gov­ernors verbally told him to move to the PDP after he was disqualified but they were empathetic with his course and so they never opposed him when he was negotiating with the PDP.

“I can tell you that al­most all the governors, both within and outside the PDP, were aghast at the shabby manner Obase­ki was treated in the APC.

“The reality was that ir­respective of their political differences, the governors are one under the Nigerian Governors’ Forum. They also believe that an injus­tice to one is an injustice to all.

“They are of the view that it was Ambode yester­day, Obaseki today and it may be their turn tomor­row. They believe that the whip that was used for the first wife is kept in the clos­et waiting to be used for the second wife. They also felt a need to address the grow­ing trend where any gover­nor who is at loggerheads with someone can just be blocked in Abuja from con­testing.

“I believe that was why the APC governors, even those loyal to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, were unani­mous in their decision at the NEC meeting that the disqualification of Obaseki was an impunity taken too far and that was why they agreed that the NWC led by Oshiomhole should go”.

Another source in the party said it is no longer a secret in the top echelon of the party that some APC governors backed Obase­ki’s move to PDP.

He said some of the APC governors, in the spirit of solidarity, also appealed to their colleagues in PDP to do everything they can in ensuring Obaseki gets the PDP ticket.

“The truth is that even the president was aware. It was not a secret in APC. Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and others know the anti-Osh­iomhole forces that encour­aged Governor Godwin Obaseki to seek the PDP ticket. The APC governors even went to the extent of talking to their PDP coun­terparts to assist in secur­ing the ticket for Obaseki”.

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