As Edo gubernatorial election in September draws nearer by the day, it is safe to say that People’s Democratic Party’s Godwin Obaseki does not yet have the reassuring support he so desperately needs, given the obviously polarized PDP ranks in the state.
Though Obaseki has eventually secured his party’s governorship ticket to face Pastor Ize-Iyamu of All Progressives Congress(APC) in what looks like an epic battle, but danger is not yet averted for the PDP guber aspirant. Major party stakeholders who still withhold their full support, see Obaseki as a hypocrite and usurper who came to reap where he did not sow.
Amongst others, a PDP chieftain and influential opinion leader in the state, Prince Kassim Afegbua – a former spokeman to former Vice President, Atiku Abubaker Atiku – has vowed to support Pastor Ize-Iyamu with his group, against Obaseki. He sees the APC aspirant as a more humble person ‘who does not fight everyone who disagrees with him.’ Again, he berates Obaseki for accusing APC leaders in the state of corruption, but coming to do the same thing in PDP with reckless spending to get a waiver. Moreover, following the public outcry that trailed PDP’s extravagant primaries in Edo, Governor Nyesom Wike, of Rivers State, has technically withdrawn his solid support for Obaseki, for fear being blackmailed.
For the same suspected billions of naira allegedly spent during the PDP primaries, and for which Edo State treasury is said to be in tatters, a nongovernmental group has written to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to institute a probe into the PDP primary elections in the state. Though party leaders have denied the allegation, but it is a condemnable development on the integrity of a prospective governor whose watchword should be accountability and responsibility.
At the moment, the question is, can PDP readily and willingly muster enough support and resources for Obaseki, just as the newly appointed APC ‘s 49-member Edo Gubernatorial team has vowed to do for Ize Iyamu? This question will be answered in subsequent weeks as political developments unfold.
John Daniel Obioma.