× Vow not to step down for Obaseki
° Oba of Benin warns against imposition and forced consensus
The defection of Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki into the PDP may cause disaffection in the party over plans to compel other aspirants in the upcoming governorship primary election in the state state to step down for Obaseki.
Our correspondent gathered that Kenneth Imasuagbon, one of the three candidates of the PDP originally cleared to contest for the party’s governorship ticket earlier postponed on Saturday abruptly cut short a meeting convened to compel him into dropping his ambition for the incumbent governor who is seeking a second term in office.
Imasuagbon reportedly stormed out of the meeting, threatening to sue the party for allegedly violating established rules and provisions in the attempt to compel a ‘consensus candidate’ through the imposition of Godwin Obaseki.
The PDP had already carried out its screening and set the date for a primary election before Godwin Obaseki joined the race in its platform.
His defection to PDP followed his disqualification by the screening committee of APC in preparation for the June 22 governorship primary election.
The Governor has held a series of meetings with the national leadership of the PDP in Abuja where he reportedly offered inducements meant to land him the party’s ticket in Edo State.
However, the aspirants in the party, who are aggrieved over alleged disrespect have vowed to fight the attempt by ‘Abuja politicians’ to deny them a chance to run a platform they contributed to its survival for a new entrant whom they say has done nothing for the party or its growth in the state.
Another aspirant, Ogbeide Ihama, in a campaign video released by his team, insisted that he is proceeding with his ambition, and will not succumb to pressure to step down for Obaseki.
A visibly appalled Ihama recalled his 13 years in the PDP and declared to his spectators that “it is not our portion” to step down for a newbie, throwing jibes to the embattled Godwin Obaseki.
The spiraling crisis in the party is said to be caused by Obaseki’s refusal to participate in any form of contest for the ticket but instead relying on ‘godfathers’ in the PDP to bully the other aspirants into a surrender.
The Governor pundits believe do not have a large support base in his new party when compared with the likes of Imasuagbon.
Meanwhile, the revered Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, in a recent Palace Press Release signed by Frank Irabor, the Secretary of the Benin Traditional Council condemned the “twin evil political vices of Godfatherism and consensus arrangement’.
“Let everybody take note that the Palace is very wary of the imposition of candidates whom only certain individuals want but the majority of the people do not want. ‘Ghana Must Go’ politics should end in the State. Politicians should stop cashing in on the poor masses and exploiting them for their votes.”
“We believe all qualified aspirants to any elective office should be given a level playing field for democracy to develop to the next level in Nigeria,” the Palace said.