GOVERNOR Godwin Obaseki has formally quit the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) opening the way for him to stand as a candidate for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming Edo State September gubernatorial elections.
Earlier today, Governor Obaseki met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa in Abuja to inform him of his decision. Across Edo State, the political temperature has risen dramatically over the last few weeks after the APC) rejected Governor Obaseki’s nomination to stand as its candidate for a second term in elections due this September.
On June 22, the APC is due to hold its primaries but on Friday, Governor Obaseki’s nomination was rejected after a screening committee said there were discrepancies with his academic certificates. Governor Obaseki and his predecessor, APC national chairman Adams Oshiomhole have been involved in a bitter spat over who controls the party in the state, resulting in the two falling out.
Things boiled over on Saturday when the APC announced that Governor Obaseki and two other candidates were barred from standing in the June 22 primaries, with Mr Oshiomhole his weight behind challenger Osagie Ize-Iyamu, a former secretary to the Edo State government. In a swift reaction, Governor Obaseki refused to appeal the decision but opted to collect a PDP party membership card in Oredo Local Government Area of the state.
Apparently, he has moved to the PDP along with all the 18 local government chairmen in Edo State together with 12 lawmakers in the Edo State House of Assembly. Over the last few days, Governor Obaseki has been meeting with PDP leaders and governors and it now appears that the party has agreed to adopt him as their candidate in the September elections.
Adding to the momentum behind the governor, former vice president Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the PDP’s presidential candidate in the 2019 elections has thrown his weight behind Governor Obaseki. He is now expected to be formally admitted into the PDP and adopted as its gubernatorial candidate over the next few weeks.