Edo state governor Godwin Obaseki, has returned his nomination form to the national secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the party’s governorship primaries, asking the party’s national chairman Adams Oshiomhole to stay clear of the process.
Speaking with newsmen Wednesday, shortly after he submitted the form to the party’s national organising secretary, Obaseki revealed how he and others made effort to install the former Edo state governor the current Chairman of the APC.
Obaseki said: “However, I am using this opportunity to call on Comrade Oshiomhole to recluse himself from the Edo nomination process because he is an interest party. It is against natural justice for a man to be a judge in his own case. So I think the honourable thing to do is to recluse himself and lets have a free process and lets reconcile and build our party.
“On a final note, I am actively pursuing peace, actively pursuing harmony in our party, particularly at home and I believe that there will be peace.”
When asked to respond to allegation that he (Obaseki) betrayed Oshiomohle after the later worked to bring him to power in 2016, the governor rather discribed the national chairman as ‘a bigger betrayer.’
The governor said: “”In life everybody get helped, everybody get assisted. The person you talked about (Oshiomhole) had no money when he left Labour to contest. We knew what we did to make him governor. I sacrificed eight years of my life probono, I collected no Kobo to serve him (Oshiomhole) in Edo.
“Today we know what we have built because of where we started from. So when you talk of betrayal, the biggest betrayal can be when people betray a cause, when they betray an idea. That is the greatest betrayal of all. It is like betraying God. When you said to God, this is what I stand for and then God gives you power then you turn around and do the exact opposite. There is no greater betrayal than that. So when you talk about betrayal let us be very clear. I want to put it on record that I am grateful, he assisted me just as I assisted him. I know the sacrifices we made to make him National Chairman. So what are we talking about?”
When confronted on his trip to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and to the presidency, Obaseki said: “The reason why I went to see our National Leader is that I don’t want the party turn apart. I am a man of peace.
“For me and my colleague governors we cannot see a party we built destroyed, we cannot see a ruling party be so weakened and whatever it will take to secure peace, to secure harmony in the party, we are prepared to, I am prepared to make.
“That is why I joined my colleagues to go and see the leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to assure him that we are all working for the same course, we are all working to build our party. From 26 States, we are now 20. We don’t want to lose anymore state, there is really no reason to. We should all drop our egos and work for our party and the unity of our country.”
Obaseki also denied the speculations that he was planning to join the opposition PDP.
“It is very absurd. I am someone that is very exposed. How can I collect from two parties when we have rulings in past disqualifying people on that. I am a party man to the core. APC is my party because I come from a progressive political family. I believe in the ideals of APC, I believe in our President, I believe in what he stands for so I am a party man to the core. I am not an old styled politician. I represent a new direction of politics that is based on facts and truth, not lies.”
Also speaking, when he returned his nomination form, another aspirant Chris Ogiemwonyi, said if given opportunity he would address the issue of insecurity, unemployment, poor healthcare and poverty, saying, “Edo state needs a governor who has empathy, love and could care for the people.”
For him, another aspirant, Matthew Iduoriyekemwe, said he was in the race for the ticket because the incumbent has been denied of the right of first refusal.
He, however, said he will preffet indirect mode of primary to elect the party candidate.