The embattled governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, has said the forthcoming governorship election in his state would determine if incumbency would be a factor for him or not in the election.
“Let us go to the polls and Nigerians will see,” Mr Obaseki responded on Tuesday at the presidential villa when reporters told him that the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, said incumbency is not a factor that would work for the governor, in the election.
He was in the villa to see President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mr Obaseki announced his resignation from the APC earlier on Tuesday, after his meeting with Mr Buhari
The APC, Friday, disqualified Mr Obaseki from the party governorship primary in Edo state over alleged discrepancies in his educational certificates.
There have been speculations that the governor is planning to join the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Mr Obaseki said he would announce in the next few days, “specific line of action” and the party he would join.
Mr Obaseki also spoke on why he visited the two PDP governors, Nyesom Wike and Udom Emmanuel of Rivers and Akwa Ibom states respectively.
“These are my brother governors who are from my sub-region, some of them have gone through similar experience I’m going through,” the governor said. “It’s only proper that when you have challenges of this nature you’ll go and talk to people who have gone through similar experience for advice.
“That’s basically what I went to do with them.”
He also spoke on the controversy around his certificates.
“Someone who hasn’t gone to school, who doesn’t have a certificate himself, will not know and understand what inconsistencies in certificates are, that’s the starting point.
“What is the inconsistency? There’s no inconsistency in my certificates. The issue was in 2016, when I contested for gubernatorial election, I could not find the originals of my certificates because I hadn’t required them for more than two decades. So I deposed to an affidavit that I couldn’t find the originals. Subsequently, I found all the original copies of all my certificates and they are with me. So I don’t understand what’s inconsistent about that.
“Maybe the inconsistency in the Youths Corps certificate where he said my surname was missing an ‘i’ at the end, but if you look at that it was like a cursive, it was written in a cursive manner. So if that’s inconsistency for him, then it’s really sad that people of that quality are leading Nigeria’s ruling party.”
A new law in the state which is meant to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus prohibits any gathering of more than 20 people anywhere in Edo.
The Edo state government had insisted that they would ensure strict compliance with the COVID-19 law in any political gathering in the state, a development which the APC national chairman, Mr Oshiomhole said he did not think the governor would use against the APC primary.
Mr Oshiomhole on Monday said if PDP would assemble 5,000 delegates in the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, for their governorship primary, he saw no reason why the APC would be disallowed from having between 100 and 150 people queue to vote in each of the wards during the party governorship primary.
When reporters told Mr Obaseki that the APC chairman expects him to provide “level playing ground” he responded, “He, Adams Oshiomhole, has he? As governor Wike said, he should practice what he preaches, he has never done so. He has not provided a level playing ground even in the selection process.”
The governor added, “You are afraid of people who are educated because you didn’t go to school.
“You are afraid of people who have something to offer because all he knows how to offer is brigandage, crisis.
“So for us, Nigeria has to move forward beyond some of the characters who are currently overseeing our political polity and they are scared. They are scared that when people of substance, when people who are proven, when people who have succeeded in other aspects of life come into politics, they will be history.”
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...