National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Adams Oshiomhole is making frantic efforts to block his emergence of Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki. Obaseki is seeking the gubernatorial ticket of the PDP for the September, 2020 elections. This is even as the Governor is finalising his move into the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, after being disqualified by the APC Screening Committee.
Governors Mandate gathers that the APC National is worried that Obaseki has refused to back down from the race after his shock disqualification.
A source in the know told our correspondent that Oshiomhole has activated the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila to prevail on a member of the House, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama not to agree to any arrangement that would ensure Obaseki has easy passage as the PDP candidate for the election.
Ogbeide-Ihama is an aspirant for the Edo governorship seat on the platform of PDP. Like Governor Obaseki, he is also from Oredo Local Government of Edo State. In return, Ihama is being promised that he would be upgraded from just the chairman of a House Committee on Tourism to a Principal Officer in the House.
Another source who pleaded anonymity also confirmed that Oshiomhole has also reached out to the immediate past PDP Chairman, Dan Orbih to scuttle the chances of Governor Obaseki as the PDP candidate. Incidentally, Orbih is a chief promoter of Ogbeide-Ihama for Governorship Project.
Meanwhile, a Chieftain of the PDP in Edo State has said any attempt by Dan Orbih and Ogbeide-Ihama to play a spoiler game will amount to futility. He said having secured the confidence of PDP Governors in the region, Obaseki stood a very good chance of securing the Party’s ticket.
He further said no pragmatic politician or party would pass up the possibility of fielding a popular incumbent for a relatively weaker aspirant who does not even have the requisite resources to prosecute the election.
The Chieftain disclosed that Dan Orbih who spent ten years as PDP chairman in Edo State could not deliver just a councillor in his ward. He wondered how such a person would wield any influence in a state election other than the sell-out he is used to.
He said Governor Wike and other PDP Governors have unanimously signalled their support for Governor Obaseki, hence there’s nothing much Chief Orbih or anyone else can do to disturb the arrangement. He noted that PDP governors are much more assertive than APC governors and as such, their influence would make Obaseki clinch the ticket.
Recall that Governor Obaseki had last weekend visited PDP governors in the South-South geopolitical zone. After one of such meetings, Governor Wike was reported to have said: “The last lap of the Niger Delta struggle to recover the last standing state from the clutches of a ruthless godfather who masquerades as a labour unionist has been signed.
“We have enough experience on how this struggle is fought and won.”
In the same view, an Elderstateman and leader of the Niger Delta people, Chief E.K. Clark has berated Mr. Oshiomhole for his role in disqualifying a sitting governor from contesting the Edo election. Chief Clark however asked the Edo PDP members to seize the opportunity and work themselves back into governance having stayed so long in opposition.
Also, there is a high momentum of public sympathy pouring in for Governor Obaseki following his disqualification by the APC. The days ahead promise to be more intriguing as the battle towards the control of Edo State intensifies.
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