Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Edo 2020: Obaseki will defect, but no automatic ticket, says state PDP chairman

…Governor to join party with APC structure
…APC suspends leaders, caution members

AFTER days of uncertainty, it has now been confirmed that Governor Godwin Obaseki would be defecting to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a matter of days.
But the party insists that there would be no automatic ticket for Obaseki but follow the rules.
The PDP has fixed its governorship primary for June 19th and 20th and the All Progressives Congress (APC) has disqualified Obaseki from contesting in the party’s primary.
Speaking to Vanguard on telephone on Monday, state chairman of PDP, Hon Tony Aziegbemi also said there will be no automatic ticket for Obaseki saying “There is nothing like automatic ticket for anybody, it is like that in any democratic environment, there is a process as laid down by the constitution of the party and that we will follow.
“But I can confirm to you that the governor, his deputy and the entire All Progressives Congress (APC) structure in the state will be joining the PDP soon. We have been in touch in the last few days, by tomorrow, I will be able to confirm the exact date he will be joining with his team.”
On the reports that Obaseki has obtained PDP membership form in ward 4, Oredo local government area, Aziegbemi said “I am not aware of that yet.”
Reacting to the development, a governorship aspirant of the PDP, Barr Ken Imasuagbon said he would resist any attempt to hand over the party’s ticket to Obaseki ahead of the state governorship elections.
Imasuagbon who spoke with newsmen on Monday in Benin, however said the governor was welcome to join the party but that he must join the que. According to him, “Any attempt to hand the party’s primaries would be met with serious resistance, infact, there will be no PDP primaries or whatever if the party’s leadership tries it.
“This is not a military coup nor are we in military rule, the governor must subject himself to the party’s primaries; he will need to que with the other aspirants if he so wish to join, but certainly not handing him the ticket automatically.
“Have you heard before that somebody will join a party and within three days he will be given the ticket. Did he buy the party’s nomination form, was he screened?
In a related development, some chapters of the APC have been strategizing whether to defect with the governor or not.
A member of the House of Representatives from one of the local government in Edo South yesterday met with party leaders in his local government where he urged that nobody should defect to the PDP. “He has met with the leaders and he has told them that they should not leave the APC for any reason because they all worked to build the party”
In Akoko-Edo local government area, it was gathered that the leadership of APC in Ward 1 had met and suspended some members of the party for alleged anti-party activities.

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