Ahead of the people’s Democratic party PDP gubernatorial primary in Edo state, embattled Governor Godwin Obaseki is set to run on the party’s platform after being disqualified from the race by the All Progressives Congress(APC) selection Committee on Friday.
Obaseki, who has since met with PDP chiefs including governors udom Emmanuel and Nyesom wick from Akwa Ibom and rivers States respectively, decided to switch to the PDP this week, the vanguard gathered on Monday.
Although the defection of the incumbent Governor is considered a big catch by the host party in this part, Obaseki would have agreed to the terms put forward by the PDP in an attempt to get his lease on Osadebe Avenue, the Edo state government House, renewed.
Until Obaseki’s ordeal reached a new peak last Friday, the PDP settled on the Hon. Omoregie Ogbeide-Iham, a member of the House of representatives and Chairman of the culture and tourism Committee, as the preferred standard-bearer.
However, it seems that the lawmaker from the Oredo local government will have to settle for another election cycle, if the latest developments in the Obaseki camp are anything to go by.
Our correspondent’s findings show that although Obaseki will not participate in the July 22 primary election, the winner will pave the way for Obaseki by replacing the candidate with an independent national election Commission, INEC rules.
However, this will come at a price, as the party has developed a strategy to appease its members, especially those who received nomination forms to participate in the primaries.
Obaseki, vanguard realized, would have to sacrifice his trusted ally and current Deputy Governor of Edo state, Philip Shaibu, with whom he expected to run for a second term.
A member of the PDP’s National working Committee told our correspondent in confidence that as a reward for loyalty, Obaseki’s candidacy will be given by the party “if everything goes according to plan.”
He said: “ the party will accept his defection and allow him to run on its platform. This is partly due to the fact that the party believes that the wrath of Adams Oshiomhole should not be justified in these circumstances.
Again, you may recall that the party once praised the Governor’s development achievements some time ago. So, we believe that he has something to offer the good people of Edo state. “But the question in question is a sensitive one.
We have leaders who stayed with this party and refused to leave the ship when we ceded power to the opposition. During the last twelve years that we have been in opposition, they have remained and helped put up strong resistance to the Edo state governments of Oshiomhole and then Obaseki.
It is for this reason that the party has informed the Governor of certain truths that are regarded as conditions. He will have to choose a partner from among our highly qualified party leaders from Edo state.
“In addition to Ogbeide-Ihama, the Duo of philanthropist Kenneth Imansuangbon and engineer Gideon Ihine also received gubernatorial nominations, but Imansuangbon is tipped to run alongside Obaseki in the September 19 election.
The main factor working in his favor is that Imansuangbon, who like Ihine hails from the Central Edo senatorial district, is a serial contender for the position who has paid his dues.
However, a confidant of Governor Obaseki, who has also worked with Oshiomhol in the past, questioned the choice of Imansuangbon as a possible candidate for the post of Governor, who is at war. Speaking on condition of anonymity, he said: “the Governor will decide on his candidate if he can’t go to this contest with Mr Shaibu.
Everyone is talking about Kenneth (Kansanga), but it may end up being a different person. There are reasons for this, which I will not disclose yet. Calling for at least disclosure of the reason, he said: “Don’t forget that the Edo state PDP Chairman hails from the Central Edo district, the same senatorial district as Imansuangbon.
These things are being considered and will be considered.” It is not yet clear how the puck, the sacrificial lamb in the subsequent political chess game, accepts the new permutations.