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Confirmed! Obaseki dumps APC, officially joins PDP Monday, may run with his deputy.

  • After Consulting With Wike, Okowa, Emmanuel, Diri
  • NEC meets, to grant Obaseki waiver 

Embattled Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki, is to run under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ticket in the September 19 governorship elections in the State.

Global Upfront Newspapers (GUN) can also authoritatively confirm that Governor Obaseki will officially join the leading opposition PDP on Monday.

He is also likely going to run with his current deputy, Hon Philip Shaibu, a sore point between the Governor and the leadership of the PDP in Edo State who have been insisting that a new nominee from the party should be the Governor’s running in the coming elections.

These new shift in position were the outcome of the shuttle consultations of Governor Obaseki with his colleague Governors in the Niger Delta, Nyesom WIke (Rivers), Dr Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Duoye Diri (Bayelsa) and Udom Gabriel Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom).

Edo State Commissioner for Youths and Special Duties, Barrister Lawal Damian, confirmed the new moves.

According to Damian, “the consultations with the Governors is to lobby them to allow him run along with his Deputy Governor, Hon. Philip Shaibu. As it is, the Governor will officially address the media on Monday and also officially announce his defection from the All Progressives Congress to the People’s Democratic Party.

Meanwhile, the national leadership of the party is making moves to grant Governor Obaseki a waiver to enable him get the party’s governorship ticket.

Though some aspirants of the party are refusing to bulge, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, confirmed that Obaseki was set to jump ship to the PDP.

“The PDP is in talks with Obaseki and he is in talks with the PDP. Contacts are on between the PDP and Obaseki. But the PDP is a party of processes. So whatever the processes required, the party will abide by it. Our doors are open to all Nigerians. We will not stop Nigerians from joining us, as far as they can abide by our rules.”

Indications are that Governor Obaseki will join the PDP before the June 27, 2020 deadline issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for submission of names of candidates by political parties for the September 19 election.

The PDP Constitution stipulates that a new member of the party must last for three months before qualifying to contest any election. However, the National Executive Committee (NEC), which is the second-highest decision making organ of the party, has the authority to grant waiver to such a member.

“The PDP NEC can meet and grant waiver to any new member to contest an election. And that is what the party plans to do in case of Obaseki. And that will be done before the deadline for the submission of names of candidates by political parties,” he said.

He said that the National Working Committee (NWC) would soon call for an emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting to grant a waiver to Obaseki to contest the party’s ticket.

No date has been fixed for the meeting.

 Meanwhile, Governors who are members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) under the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) were silent on the disqualification of their colleague, Governor Obaseki. The governors at the end of an emergency teleconference meeting on Saturday, unanimously reaffirmed their commitment to work for the unity of the APC.

In a terse statement by their Chairman/ Kebbi Governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, the governors were silent on Obaseki and his disqualification.

The Governors however resolved to, “collectively to work to ensure strengthening of a 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. Forum members are confident that the party will resolve all current challenges and emerge stronger.”

Similarly, members of the faction of Obaseki in Edo APC held a meeting where they all agreed that the Governor should seek another platform to run for the governorship election.

Speaking on the outcome of the meeting in a telephone interview, the chairman of the faction, Aslem Ojezua, said, “we all supported and agreed that he should move to another platform to realise his ambition.”

However, the faction of the APC in Edo State loyal to the party’s national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, has recommended the expulsion of Obaseki to the National Working Committee (NWC) from the party. Addressing journalists, the acting chairman of the faction, David Imuse, said he was recommended for expulsion for violating article 21, sub-section D5 of the APC Constitution.

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