…We won’t miss Obaseki, says APC, as Atiku, Saraki welcome Edo gov into PDP
…PDP grants waiver to Obaseki, Shaibu, shifts Edo primary poll to June 25
…PDP is not an abode of confusion and commotion like APC – Obaseki
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on Friday, defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the September 19 governorship election.
Also, Obaseki’s deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu, on Friday, obtained his membership card of the party.
Our correspondent in Benin reports that the PDP Chairman in Edo State, Dr. Tony Aziegbemi, received Obaseki and his supporters into the party.
Obaseki, who arrived at the PDP Secretariat at exactly 2.15 pm in company of his supporters, expressed joy over the reception accorded him by the party.
The governor commended the PDP leadership in the state for its principles which had attracted him to join the party. He said that with the energy he witnessed in the party on arrival, Edo people would have more in terms of human and capital development.
“I am here this afternoon to inform you that following my resignation from the All Progressives Congress, I have now decided having consulted widely within the state and across the country to become a member of PDP.
“The Tsunami in development and democratic practice both in party and governance in Edo in particular and Nigeria in general would be as never been witnessed since 1999,” he said.
Welcoming him, Aziegbemi assured the governor that members of the party would accord him good quality and harmonious working relationship.
He also promised that as the party chairman in the state, he would provide the governor every support and encouragement he needed to succeed as the new leader of the party.
Aziegbemi pledged to mobilise others to rally round the governor in his new task of repositioning the state for the good of all and called on the ward chairman of the party in Oredo Local Government Area to present the party’s membership card to the governor.
Meanwhile, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP has granted a waiver to Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, and his deputy to contest the Edo governorship election primary.
According to a statement on Friday by party publicist, Kola Ologbodiyan, the action of the NWC is pursuant to Section 29(2)(b) of the PDP constitution and in exercise of the powers of the National Executive Committee (NEC) under Section (50)(3)(b) of the PDP constitution.
He said “the NWC in exercise of the above powers has ratified the application for waiver by the ward, local government and state executives of the party in Edo State and accordingly grants waiver to His Excellency, Governor Godwin Obaseki, to enable him contest the gubernatorial primary of the PDP”.
Also, the NWC has further shifted the Edo State governorship primary from an earlier slated date of Tuesday, June 23 to a new date of Thursday June 25, 2020.
The shift is again predicated on exigencies of party activities.
Speaking on Obaseki’s defection to the party, the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, charged the Edo State governor to see his entry into the PDP as an act of God and wants that to guide his attitude in the party.
Prince Secondus told the Governor that he would soon realise that he did not make a mistake in his decision as this is a party of “responsible people who respect and appreciate intellect and work by the rules and constitution of the party.
“There is nothing to be arrogant about power for anyone who knows God and here in PDP we are guided by this fact,” he stated.
The National Chairman, who received the new member at the National Working Committee (NWC) meeting at the party’s legacy House campaign office in Maitama Abuja on Friday, announced to him that before his arrival, they deliberated and approved his application for waiver for him and his deputy.
Prince Secondus said that as a party that is guided by rules, the application came from his ward in Edo State and was recommended and endorsed by the other various organs of the party in the state.
A statement from the National Chairman’s media office said he told the Governor that by the waiver he and his deputy can vote and be voted for in the party.
In his remarks after receiving the waiver, Governor Obaseki thanked God for providing him the opportunity, saying that he is happy to have made this decision.
“From what I saw in Benin City today (Friday) after I joined this party, the increased goodwill, the excitement of the people from all works of life from their balcony, I told myself no wonder…?
He said that since he made his contact with the party, he has realised the difference, he met true democrats with positive disposition and cohesion who listen and try to understand.
“What I have seen here is a far cry from the confusion and commotion from the other side and left me to wonder why I didn’t have this opportunity before now.
“When I met the National Chairman Prince Secondus, I was shocked at his humility and unassuming dispositions, how he told me he would consult because the decision will come from my people not him but where I am coming from, the other side it wasn’t so,” he added.
Governor Obaseki assured the PDP leaders of his full cooperation, saying “what am bringing, am coming with freshness. I am going to lead a campaign at all levels to enhance the membership of this party in the state”.
The governor told the party leaders that the challenge ahead for the country is worrisome following the effect of COVID-19 that has disrupted the socio-political and economic life of the world.
“The road ahead is not going to be easy with the obvious fall in oil revenue which our economy depends on but I want to assure you that with me, you have an equipped person with the energy”.
Recall that Obaseki had earlier on Friday joined the PDP in his Ward in Benin City and visited the PDP state secretariat in Benin City before coming to Abuja to meet with the NWC to collect his waiver.
However, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that it will not miss the absence of the embattled governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, who exited into the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday.
The party said Obaseki’s dumping of APC is insignificant because he has since distanced himself from the ethos, principle and guideline of the party.
Reacting to the story of Obaseki’s defection in Benin, National Publicity Secretary of APC, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said the move of Obaseki to the PDP was never a surprise to the party.
He said: “It has not come to us as a surprise. We knew he had defected long ago because he resigned his membership of the party which we have accepted. So you can’t defect twice. So if he is defecting again, we don’t know whether what he has just done now is news any longer”.
Obaseki had during the week resigned from APC following his disqualification to contest the June 22 party governorship primary by the screening and appeal committees set up by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.
Also reacting, former Vice President of Nigeria and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar, has congratulated Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State for joining the PDP.
Atiku in a press statement by his media office signed by Paul Ibe, on Friday, welcomed Governor Obaseki to the PDP, a truly people’s party.
The former vice president expressed confidence that the people of Edo State will be the better for his choice.
The PDP Presidential candidate in the 2019 elections noted that Governor Obaseki was joining the PDP when the party is poised to deliver good governance to the people of Nigeria.
“I am happy that you have finally exited the oppressive ruling party and joined the truly democratic party in Nigeria. I have no doubt that your coming into the PDP would further strengthen our party to mobilise the people behind the common cause of deepening democratic ethos in our country and restoring prosperity to our people.
“The PDP that you have come to join today is a reformed and repositioned party – one that lives by its name of being a truly democratic party.
“I have an unflinching conviction that your joining the party would be an asset to the PDP. Together, we can work to extinct every form of undemocratic tendencies in our body politic and realign the good people of Edo State to the moving train of democracy and restoration of good governance to the country”, Atiku said.
Also, former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has welcomed the Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, into the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and congratulated him for taking a good step in the right direction.
In a statement issued in Abuja, on Friday, Saraki noted that the bigger commendation and appreciation should go to the leaders of the Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the various levels for the sense of sacrifice, patriotism and devotion to the progress of the party demonstrated by them in the process of welcoming Obaseki into its fold.
“I also thank Obaseki’s colleagues, the PDP Governors, for their role and for ensuring that while bringing him into the party, they carried along the local chapter and refrain from just unilaterally taking decisions without the input of the leaders of the party in Edo State.
The process our Governors adopted in working with the local chapter to bring in the Governor is a better approach than the system in many of the other parties where the National Working Committee (NWC) would simply just give him a membership card.
“That is why my appeal will, at this point, go to all of us, the leaders and stakeholders, who gave assurances that agreement will be honoured, we need to ensure that the NWC of our party plays its own supervisory role by making sure that those agreements entered into by the Governor and the local chapter should be kept, particularly since I am very sure they are all lawful and in the interest of peace and development of the state. That is the only way to keep our integrity intact.
“At this point, it will be odd if I fail to comment on the situation that led to the change of party by Governor Obaseki. While I have kept my cool and ignored all the verbal attacks directed at me by the suspended chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, I have always known that a day like this would come when his masquerade will dance naked in the market.
“The truth is always constant and no matter how far falsehood travels, the truth will catch up with it one day. Oshiomhole can fool people for a long time but he cannot fool the people all the time. What is happening to him now is a moment of truth.
This same man who was garrulously proclaiming the end of the political career of some other people is now about to meet his waterloo.
“He has continued to use his mouth to divide his party and I believe there is a lesson for all politicians to learn from the fate of the suspended APC chairman. No autocrat can successfully pretend to be a Democrat. The true character of a man will come out one day”, he said.
Saraki further stated that all lovers of democracy should be interested in the emergence of a healthy and strong party system and organisation which would provide viable platforms for people to aspire and provide quality leadership to the country.