Barring any last-minute change, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, may grant Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State a waiver to fly the party’s flag in the September 19 governorship election in the state. It was also reliably revealed that leaders of the party will plead with other aspirants, vying to get the party ticket, to step down for Governor Obaseki.
A top party official, who spoke to newsmen in confidence, narrated how some top party leaders, including the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, and the National Organising Secretary, Col Austin Akobundu(retd), brokered a deal with Governor Obaseki on the need for him to fly the PDP ticket.
The source, however, disclosed that Secondus, Akobundu and other party leaders are in a dilemma over how to prevail on other aspirants to step down for Obaseki and present him as the PDP candidate.
The party official said: “The move has been for a long time and it was in anticipation that Adams Oshiomhole may not give Obaseki the ticket. The game was only between Secondus and Akobundu, it was not open to anybody. As a matter of fact, one of the Screening Committee member confided in me that four aspirants collected the forms but only three of them were screened.
The fourth aspirant could not be screened because he currently holed up outside the country due to the coronavirus pandemic. They conducted a zoom interview to screen him. “Secondus is now in a delimma on how to play the joker to give Obaseki the governorship ticket.”
Waiver for Obaseki, like Adeleke The party official, who hinted that a waiver may be given to Obaseki just like Senator Ademola Adeleke was given during the Osun PDP governorship primary in 2018.
The official said: “You know when money is involved and Obaseki is ready to pay the right price, he will be given a waiver. Some members of the party may not disposed to that idea.
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The problem we have now in the PDP is that the party does not give any state Financial assistance during elections except the candidate is financially bouyant which was the reason Ademola Adeleke was given the ticket in 2018 in Osun.” Besides, the source hinted that Obaseki may be given the same condition “considering the fact that he is in government and he has the money.”
He also said: “the party may return monies collected from the aspirants and appeal to them to step down because none of the aspirants have the financial wherewithal to prosecute the election.
Possible defection On the possibility of some aspirants dumping the PDP if Obaseki is given the waiver, the PDP official said: “the APC is already in crisis and it is not an option. So, members will prefer to remain in the PDP and get. It is unfortunate for those who have nursed the governorship ambition to be left out.
That is politics. Also, the way the APC is going about it, it may not win the election in Edo State because of the crisis” Obaseki was disqualified alongside Mathew Iduoriyekemwe and Engineer Chris Ogiemwonyi from seeking reelection on the APC platform by the governorship-screening panel.
The governor, who has been at loggerheads with his estranged godfather and National Chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, also resigned from the APC and formally joined the PDP in his Ward