The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been hit by another crisis following the defection of Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki from the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Obaseki, who is pushing for the ticket of the PDP to recontest for governor, has been rejected by two of the aspirants cleared to contest for the ticket before he was admitted into the PDP and granted a waiver. The governor was disqualified from contesting on APC platform.
On Tuesday, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike pulled out of the reconciliation talks after the efforts to reconcile all the governorship aspirants of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), In Edo State and get them behind one man was dealt a big blow.
Wike accused some of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) members of unjust action and disrespecting the integrity of senior party members. He described them as “tax collectors”, threatening to expose them.
He told the party leadership to handle the Edo State PDP governorship tussle carefully and carry the aspirants and every member of the party in the state along on the matter.
Accusing fingers for the failed attempt for a meeting with Obaseki were also pointed in the direction of Senator Mathew Urhoghide, the senator representing Edo South. He was accused of thwarting all efforts by Ogbeide-Ihama and Imasuagbon to meet with Obaseki.
“Urhoghide believes he does not need key PDP stakeholders in Edo who have been keeping the party alive and did not allow it to die a natural death, when the All Progressives Congress (APC) became the ruling party in the state. These are the men oiled who oiled the machinery of the party in the state and kept it afloat. It is rude and unfair for Urhoghide to think that he can close a deal as important as who flies the party’s governorship flag without involving these men, just because he has access to officials at the National Secretariat of the PDP.”
Meanwhile , one of the aspirants, Gideon Ikhine, on Monday stepped down from the governorship race and backed Governor Obaseki, the duo of Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama and Kenneth Imasuagbon refuses to back down from the fight for the governorship ticket.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has raised concerns about the conflicting court orders, saying it can disrupt the smooth conduct of primaries and the forthcoming governorship election in Edo state.
In a statement on Tuesday, Festus Okoye, INEC’s national commissioner for information and voter education, said the commission deliberated on a range of issues concerning the governorship election which is slated for September 19.