MAN OF SUBSTANCE AND VALOUR, Godwin Obaseki, has demonstrated, he is. In the face of grandstanding and dysfunction political party characters, that disqualified him from contesting the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, Edo State governorship primary on June 22, Obaseki has proved to doubters that he can stand on his own, without a godfather – the bane of Nigerian politics.
Officially, on Tuesday, Obaseki resigned his membership of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, the platform on which he served four years as Governor of Edo State, south-south Nigeria. This was after long drawn battle with the party’s National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole. He is now a bride of opposition political parties in Edo State.
Political observers described the conspiracies in Obaseki’s disqualification on June 12, a day Nigeria observers as national DEMOCRACY DAY, as delivering mischief, rather than democratic dividend. They said that Nigerians have handed over their country to political “vultures and vampires”.
Obaseki is already in touch with some influential governors of the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. He recently met with Governors Nysom Wike of River State, and Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom State, both in south-south Nigeria.
APC Screening Panel for Edo State Governorship Primary, headed by Ayuba Jonathan, Friday, June 12, disqualified Obaseki and two other contestants, from contesting the party’s June 22 primary. The panel cited discrepancies in his University and National Youth Service Corps certificates as the reason for the decision. The Screening Appeal Committee and the party’s National Working Committee, Saturday, upheld the decision.
Disqualified along with Obaseki, by the seven-member APC screening committee were Matthew Aigbuhuenze Iduoriyekemwen and Chris Ogiemwonyi. The panel cleared Osagie Ize-Iyamu, an itinerant politician, Osaro Obazee and Pius Odubu to contest the primaries.
John Odigie-Oyegun, former National Chairman, APC, described the disqualification of Obaseki, as having “dare consequences” for the party. Oyegun said it was a “hatchet job” aimed at installing a stooge that will allow some persons unfettered access to Edo State Treasury.
His words: “While not a surprise, that disqualification is a clear indication that internal democracy has been murdered in APC, a party which we founded on the principles of fair play and good conscience! “I daresay that APC will suffer dire consequences in Edo state if this disqualification is not speedily reversed.
“As a matter of fact, Oshiomhole is indeed the one who is guilty of anti-party (activities), not Obaseki. Oshiomhole is the one who is acting unconstitutionally not Obaseki. I hope that Oshiomhole will not go down in history as the undertaker of APC”, Odigie-Oyegun said in a statement signed by is Media Adviser, Ray Murphy, in Abuja, on Friday.
Femi Fani-Kayode, fearless social critics and politician, in his Tweet, sees Adams Oshiomhole, who spearheaded the pulling down of Obaseki from Edo State government house, as “formidable adversary, a skilful fighter and tough cookie”, who Obaseki could never have outsmarted. And Obaseki would have learnt his lesson in a hard way.
Reno Omokri, an aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan, tweeted: “How could Governor Godwin Obaseki have been qualified by the @OfficialAPCNg to contest the Edo gubernatorial elections in 2016 and not be considered eligible for the same position in 2020? Same state, same position, same party, same man, same qualification.”