As the battle for the Edo State governorship position rages, the incumbent Governor, Godwin Obaseki, is enjoying the support of his colleagues.
Shortly after he was surprisingly disqualified by the screening committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Obaseki visited his counterpart in Rivers State, Nyesom Wike and that of Akwa Ibom State, Emmanuel Udom.
Although the meetings were held behind closed doors, insider sources revealed to newsden.com.ng that the discussion centred on how Obaseki could move over to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and use the party as a springboard for his re-election bearing in mind that all of the governors of the South-South geopolitical zone emerged on the platform of the PDP except Obaseki.
Few days after the aforementioned visit, Obaseki was at the presidential villa in Abuja; and, after the Aso Rock Villa visit, he proceeded to resign his membership of the APC.
Nevertheless, Governor Obaseki subsequently picked the PDP membership card and purchased the party’s 2020 governorship forms. Today, there are indications that he will pick the PDP gubernatorial ticket to enable him slug it out with his arch-rival, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the man he defeated to emerge as Governor. Coincidentally, Ize-Iyamu has been nominated amidst controversial circumstances to fly the gubernatorial flag of the APC, a party he contested against in the last elections.
Following the formal declaration for the PDP, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, who has won his election and re-election on the platform of the PDP, was in Edo State to formally welcome his counterpart to the PDP fold.
However, the meeting went into closed-door and, at the end of the meeting, Governor Okowa tool newsmen that his visit to Edo State was to formally welcome Governor Obaseki to the PDP.
Okowa said, “I came here today to felicitate with my brother governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, for joining us at the biggest party in Africa.
“I welcome him today because, in the spirit of the old Bendel, we are united as brothers.
“I want to thank our party people in Edo State for opening their arms to welcome the governor.
“I know that he has been doing a great job in the state with several restrictions; and, I know that having come to PDP where there are no restrictions, he will do more for the people.”
On his part, Edo State Governor, Obaseki, thanked his Delta counterpart for the visit, assuring that he will do everything possible to ensure victory for the party in the state.
He described the PDP as a big, united party in the state, adding that whoever emerges in the governorship primaries will get the support of the people.
Obaseki said, “I made it a point of duty not to take the PDP membership card until I must have visited all the aspirants for governorship in the PDP as a mark of respect for them.
“As I have come to join you, my doors are open. There are lots of work to do. As a united house, we can go home and conquer. I want to thank you for welcoming me to the party. By the grace of God we will return power to the people in the state.”
The meeting was attended by Edo State Deputy Governor, Comrade Phillip Shuaibu; former Governor Lucky Igbinedion; National Vice-Chairman of PDP, Elder Emmanuel Ogidi; Edo State PDP Chairman Mr Tony Aziegbeni; former deputy governor and ex-Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Oghiadome; Senator Matthew Urhoghide, Chief Tom Ikimi, former Works Minister, Dr Mike Onolememen, among others.