The Governor of Edo state, Godwin Obaseki, said he presented all certificates before the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) screening committee, and that his colleagues in the All Progressives Congress (APC) and other stakeholders are behind his ambition.
Obaseki before joining the PDP was last week disqualified from contesting the governorship primary election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) over allegations that there were discrepancies in some of the certificates presented by the embattled Edo state governor.
However, PDP granted him waiver to participate in it’s governorship primary election slated for Thursday June 25.
Obaseki consequently appeared before the PDP screening committee on Saturday, at the party’s headquarters in Abuja.
Obaseki after the screening told journalists that “As you are already aware, I have done consultations with my constituents and my former party, and I made the decision to join the PDP and that decision was consummated yesterday (Friday).
“I went to the state secretariat of PDP in Edo state yesterday to pick up membership and also came into Abuja to pick up my nomination form. And with the kind leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, they have been kind enough to admit me into the party and organised this screening for me.
“The screening was fair, it was very professionally done. You could see objectivity and I presented all my certificates, my secondary school, higher school, university and my National Youth service certificate so that they can look at it and see if there are inconsistencies in them and you can ask the screening committee if there are any inconsistencies in any of them?
“I still thank God that I enjoy national support not just support from my colleagues from the APC. I think the support is national. There are elder statesmen who are apolitical, there are traditional rulers, I have people from different spectrum of the society who come around to support me because I think Nigerians are generally fair-minded people. They are people who do not accept injustice. From what I have seen over the past several weeks and months, the support is just across the board. It is not just from APC governors alone.
On his level of preparation for the party primary, Obaseki said, “Well, I am not a dividing candidate. I am speaking with all the aspirants. My hope and purpose for the PDP is to have a united and very strong party.
“Party primary should not be divisive because we as a party are focused on the same objective and because we are separate individuals, our approaches may be different. So party primary in my view should not be acrimonious and destructive. And there are common grounds, common interest and I am very very hopeful that I will get it even as there are quite number of delegates for the exercise.
“My experience is that having served four years as a governor, I don’t see that ideological divide, it doesn’t exist. I think the focus for me is development. Whether you are a conservative or progressive, it is expected that the outcome should be developed. And unfortunately, I get a beat confused in the APC that at some point, I was being accused of not sharing the money.
“When we were campaigning against PDP, we said that the problem there was that they were sharing the money. So for me, it cannot be about ideology. At this point in time, it is important that I will provide string and correct leadership, provide a direction for the country and about our people, provide the basic amenities that they need, education, health care, good infrastructure, these are the things that our people are yearning for. These are the things that we are doing in Edo state today.”
Other aspirants including Engr. Gideon Ikine, Mr Kenneth Imasuagbon and a member of House of Representatives, Hon. Omorege Ogbeide-Ihama had appeared before the screening committee.