- It is now certain that Governor Godwin Obaseki will pick the PDP ticket ahead of the Edo governorship election
- The PDP has concluded plans with the Edo state governor ahead of the poll
- Governor Obaseki won't contest in the party's primary but will be substituted with the eventual winner
A report by Vanguard indicates that Governor Godwin Obaseki is now favourite to clinch the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship ticket in Edo state.
This new permutation comes days after the Edo state governor was disqualified from the race in the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Obaseki has been at loggerheads with his predecessor and APC national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, culminating in his being booted out by the ruling party even before its primary election.
According to the report, ahead of the PDP primary, Obaseki's chances have become brighter after he met with key stakeholders within the opposition party.
Over the weekend, the Edo state governor met with his Rivers (Nyesom Wike) and Akwa Ibom (Udom Emmanuel) counterparts.
Until Obaseki’s ordeal, the PDP was said to have settled for Hon. Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, a member of the House of Representatives and chairman, committee on culture and tourism as their preferred flag bearer.
However, it appears the lawmaker would have to settle for another election cycle if recent developments in the camp of Obaseki are anything to by.
The plan by the PDP is that Obaseki would not be part of the July 22 primary election, but, the winner would pave way for the Edo state governor by way of substitution of a candidate which the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC rules allow.
To stave off protests that would arise from the plan, the PDP has come up with a strategy to appease its members, particularly those who obtained the nomination forms to participate in the primaries.
Obaseki would have to sacrifice incumbent Edo state deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, with whom he had expected to run jointly for a second term.
A member of the National Working Committee of the PDP quoted in the report said Obaseki’s running mate would be provided by the party.
Nigerians on social media have been commenting on rumours that the Edo governor is set to join the PDP.
Martin Obono, a lawyer wrote on Twitter: If I were Obaseki, I will join PDP. I will ensure Goodluck Jonathan sleeps in Edo every weekend and use him for my campaigns. Every time Edo people see me, let them see GEJ, each time they see Ize Iyamu let them see Buhari. That will do something.
Deji Adeyanju, a political activist, wrote: Somebody is asking why must Obaseki defect to PDP. All the other political parties in Edo are non-existent. They only exist on paper. Without structures, you can’t win any election anywhere in Africa. This is why I keep telling the 3rd Force folks to get to work.
Buchi Ogba wrote: APC is not strongly rooted in Edo state. I don't know what is giving Oshiomhole the guts to act the way he does. Obaseki may not have any option than to open discussions with PDP. But then, this is not healthy for our democracy.
Meanwhile, a group of professionals known as Edo Good Governance Group (E3G) have thrown their weight behind Governor Obaseki in his ongoing effort to return for a second term.
After a meeting on Wednesday, June 3, the group called on all Edo people to rally round to ensure that Oshiomhole, “does not impose his cronies on the state through an ambush.”
APC disqualifies Obaseki from Edo guber primaries | Legit TV