By Aremu Lukman Umor
Later or sooner, Obaseki is likely to regret why he left the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). His case is going to be like the case of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who left the APC in 2014 over what he thought was wrong, and when he got to the People’s Democratic Party, it dawned on him — between APC and PDP, ‘no party is holy’. Pastor Osagie retraced his step, returned to APC, and today, the party has bestowed him its ticket to participate in the Edo 2020 election.
When the All Progressives Congress (APC) Screening Committee, chaired by Professor Ayuba Jonathan, disqualified Governor Godwin Obaseki from participating in the party’s primary over acclaimed discrepancies in his certificates, we all knew it wasn’t because of the certificates per se, of course, he presented the same certificates in 2016 and wasn’t queried. Obaseki’s disqualification was fuelled by the long time feud between him and Comrade Oshiomhole.
Governor Obaseki had known that he would be disqualified, and when he was disqualified, he said he wouldn’t contest it in court. He didn’t as he said. Instead, he decamped to PDP where he would later take a short walk to its national leaders— from Governor Wike to Secondus and to others. They had been expecting him too. The congratulatory messages aside, he was given a waiver immediately. He was allowed to pick the party’s primary form its sales had lapsed. They screened him and went ahead to persuade other aspirants to step down for him.
What’s PDP interested in? The governorship or Governor Obaseki’s leadership? I doubt it if it is the latter. Earlier this year, the Edo PDP had bashed Governor Obaseki’s leadership and said he is not doing well. If PDP is interested in the governorship stool, who told PDP that it can’t clinch it without Obaseki? Where was Obaseki when the party polled 253,173 in the last governorship election? Besides, What if Obaseki’s short walk to PDP is a cat ablution? I hope it is not a cat ablution.
However, on Monday, 22nd June 2020, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, one of the aspirants of PDP’s rescheduled gubernatorial primary, approached a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt to stop Obaseki from participating in the primary. Omoregie had told the court that Governor Obaseki didn’t purchase the form and get screened at the stipulated time. He went on to contest his certificates as the APC’s Screening Committee did. His complaints were granted by EA Obile who sat on the stool of judgement on this day. Sadly, however, with this ruling, Governor Godwin Obaseki’s sojourn to PDP over his second term ambition appears to be a short walk to nowhere.
Aremu writes from Lagos, Nigeria. Email: [email protected] or Phone Number: 07032291480