Election: Secondus, Obaseki And Saraki Plot PDP Take Over Of Edo And Force Oshiomhole On Political Retirement

By Stephen Ubanna

In spite of efforts by Victor Giadom, acting National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress, APC, to bring the mind of Godwin Obaseki , the governor of Edo state and Philip Shaibu, the deputy governor , back to the party by  cancelling the stage-managed the state party primary, the duo who had  quit the party officially  had finally  decamped to the Opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, to snob the  ruling APC.

Giadom may have  cancelled the  Edo governorship  primary after due Consultation  with the governors, the Presidency and other party Chieftains, in order to give Obaseki and Shaibu, his deputy , another  opportunity to participate in the primary. He got it wrong. This is  because  the  duo  had already initiated  talk  with the Opposition PDP, as their  mind  were already made up to decamp to the party in order to realize their Political ambition.

 The inability of  Giadom, the Rivers state born politician, and the acting Chairman, of APC, to  woe Obaseki and his deputy back to the party, in order to participate in the party rescheduled governorship primary, may have given ammunition to   some aggrieved party members on the alleged  payroll of  their paymasters in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT,  and  his home state, Rivers, to drag him to Court, on Friday, June  19, 2020 to force him to step down and stop parading himself as the acting National Chairman of the party  or take  decisions on behalf of the party.

Godwin Obaseki: Governor, Edo state

The  position of  the aggrieved party members is evident  going by the recent  ruling of  Justice  Florence Fibresima of the R state  High Court which   barred him from taking action  on behalf of the APC, in his Capacity  as party National Chairman or acting National Chairman. This clearly shows that they were not happy with him for cancelling the Edo governorship primary which had exposed the party  to  the PDP for attack.

Obaseki , the Edo state governor, and Shuaibu, his deputy , may have proved book makers right when they formally declared  their loyalty to  PDP, and were warmly received  by the party on Tuesday , June 16, 2020. They were said to have collected their party membership card at the  party  Secretariat  in  Benin city, the  state Capital, on Friday, June 19, 2020, to avoid giving room to those opposed to them   in the party to be used by the APC, leadership , to stir  up crisis in the party.

Given  his vantage position as the governor of the state, and  going by the party Constitution, it  automatically  qualifies  him as the  party leader in the state. Political analysts believe  that  his  joining the PDP,  is a boost  to the party. This  is because he would collapse the APC  political structure  which is in  his firm  grip in the state to the PDP. Already  he  has  promised ‘’to lead the  party to victory in the September 19, 2020, governor election in the state.

Secondus:National Chaiman, PDP

An elated Obaseki, who could not hide his  feelings  because  of the  troubles  Adams Oshiomhole, a former APC,  governor of the state and suspended National Chairman of the party, gave him over the last  three years  had assured  the  party  that he is ’’ prepared provide  leadership that will not only put  PDP into office  in Edo but as ruling party in the state’’.

He may have gladdened the heart of the  party  members  when  he declared ‘’I will make sure that the level of progress, growth and participation in the political system  and our people is unrivaled  in  the country’’. The warm reception   given  to  him by  the state party  leadership , may have   forced him  to speak out. ’’The energy  I see in PDP is the kind of energy  I require to  move   Edo forward ’’.

 But Uche Secondus, National Chairman of the PDP, wants Obaseki,   to see   his decamping into  the PDP, ‘’as an act of God and would want him to be guided by it in his conduct in the party . He  was said to  have  told the  governor that he did not make ’’ a mistake  in joining  the PDP’’, describing it as a party of ‘’responsible  people who respect and appreciate intellect and work by the rules and Constitution of the party’’.

Secondus may have alluded to the fact that  the ruling APC   is a party  of irresponsible  people who  do not respect and  appreciate intellect or work by the party Constitution but are power drunk. Bukola Saraki, a former governor of Kwara  state and a one-time  Senate President may  have awaited for  such an opportunity where the APC , crisis in Edo would  pave the  way  for Obaseki , the state  governor , described as a big fish, to  decamp  to the party.

It was therefore  not very surprising  that he was very happy  to welcome him  to the PDP, predicting  ‘’the political downfall of  Oshiomhole’’, the suspended National Chairman of the  APC. An appreciative Saraki, had  thanked the  PDP, governors,  over  how  they  managed  the Edo state governor’s transition  into the party  as he did  not  just ‘’unilaterally take  the  decision without the input of  the state party leaders.

Saraki: Former Senate President, Welcomes Obaseki To PDP

 The former Senate President may have  made reference to Nyesom Wike , and Udom Emmanuel, the  two governors  of the oil – rich states of Rivers and Akwa Ibom respectively, when  he expressed his appreciation  to the PDP  governors for  managing Obaseki, the former Edo  state APC,  governor transition  to the party. The duo were said to  have  prepared  the  ground   for  the governor  to  decamp to the party.

Recall  that shortly after his disqualification from participating in the party  governorship  primary  by the  Screening Committee on Friday, June 12, 2020, he had visited governors  Wike  and Emmanuel,  in their respective states  to rub mind with  each one of them. He was  said to have  given  them his words to dump the APC for the PDP.

 The duo may have reached out to the party  leadership  where  they were said to  have briefed   Secondus led  National Working Committee, NWC,  of the party  about their discussion  with the Edo state governor and the need to welcome him to the party with open arms.  They had their way.

Given that the PDP is determined to reclaim  Edo  state  from APC, at all costs, in the September 19, 2020, governorship election,  the party NWC, were  said to have  granted  Obaseki and Shaibu, his deputy, a waiver to seek re-election on the party platform.

 Many see it as a big blow to the APC ,  as the  defeat of  the party  in the September  19, 2020, election,  may  force Oshiomhole , who  people was power drunk on political retirement.

Political Observers believe that President Muhammadu Buhari  and Agboola Ibrahim Gambari, a Professor and his Chief of Staff, had opportunity of calling for a cease fire in the Edo crisis when obaseki,  visited them recently  at  the Presidential Villa,  where he  was said to have  lodged Complaints , on how Oshiomhole, the suspended party Chairman   succeeded in stage managing the state governors hip primary leading to his being denied participation by the  screening Committee on account of alleged  discrepancies in  academic  credentials . Recall that he had  said  that he could only  remain in the party based on the outcome of his discussion with the Katsina state born Nigerian President.

 Perhaps, the discussion between them  may not have gone the way he had expected  that he quickly  resigned from the party  in order to test his popularity in the state in another party.  This may have informed why he decamped  to  the  PDP, which was in control of the state with  the return of Democracy in the country in May 29, 199 but lost control of it to  Oshiomhole , as a candidate of Action Congress Party , who has a strategic working relationship with the  Labour party through the Court process in 2008.

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