The embattled governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, is free to rejoin the All Progressives Congress (APC) if he wishes, the party has said.
The APC national spokesperson, Lanre Issa-Onilu, told PREMIUM TIMES, Wednesday night, that Mr Obaseki “can come back to the party if he wants.”
Mr Issa-Onilu was responding to a question from PREMIUM TIMES if the APC would welcome back Mr Obaseki who recently resigned from the APC after the party disqualified him from contesting its forthcoming governorship primary in Edo state.
Mr Obaseki’s spokesperson, Crusoe Osagie, said on Wednesday that it is possible for the governor to return to APC, now that the Court of Appeal has upheld Adams Oshiomhole’s suspension as the national chairman of APC.
The Edo governor believes the suspended APC chairman manipulated the party to disqualify him because of the protracted political fight between the two of them.
Mr Oshiomhole, a former governor of Edo, helped Mr Obaseki to succeed him as governor in 2016 against all the odds before both of them parted ways as soon as the latter settled down as governor.
“With all intent and purpose, if you look at the reasons my boss gave for his being frustrated out of the party, it all centred on Oshiomhole and his high-handedness, tyrannical approach to managing the party, tendency to want to destroy the fortune of the party,” the governor’s spokesperson, Mr Osagie said.
“With the court removing Oshiomhole, I believe there’s a possibility. It’s possible, after all, he has not moved into any other party yet.”
There are speculations that the governor is planning to join the Peoples Democratic Party where he may run as the party’s governorship candidate in Edo State.
No primary for Obaseki in the APC
The APC spokesperson, Mr Issa-Onilu, however, said Mr Obaseki would not be part of the governorship primaries if he comes back to APC.
He said the decisions that led to Mr Obaseki’s disqualification were not taken unilaterally.
The appointment of the screening panel, the appeal panel and now the primary election committee was taken by the NWC and, therefore, could not be cancelled, he said.
“The issue of him participating in the primary, that one is closed. We have moved beyond application by candidates, screening, and appeal. What we are trying to do now is the primary.”
The deputy national secretary of the APC, Victor Gaidom, had added a twist on Wednesday to the APC crisis when he told journalists in Abuja he was the acting national chairman of the APC, with Mr Oshiomhole now on suspension, and not the deputy national chairman, Abiola Ajimobi who was announced as such by the party.
Mr Gaidom announced the cancellation of the screening which led to Governor Obaseki’s disqualification.
“Our party, the All Progressives Congress, will no longer allow local quests for the control of power to influence our decisions. As your Acting National Chairman and presiding officer in the NWC, we, therefore, cancel the decision of the Screening and Appeal Committees of the former chairman of the party on the Edo primaries,” he said.