Obaseki dumps APC after meeting Buhari

Obaseki will hope to achieve his second term ambition on the platform of another party.

Governor Godwin Obaseki [NAN]

The governor announced his resignation after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Tuesday, June 16, 2020.

His resignation comes days after the party barred him from contesting in next week's primary election, jeopardising his bid to win a second term in the September 19 governorship election.

The party said his higher school certificate and NYSC certificate were defective, but the decision is widely believed to have been influenced by Adams Oshiomhole, the APC's national chairman who is Obaseki's predecessor.

The governor has met with high-ranking personalities of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the past few days, and is believed to be headed to the main opposition party ahead of the September election.

"I will now announce in the next few days my specific line of action and what platform I will be contesting the gubernatorial election on," he told journalists on Tuesday.

Obaseki was first elected Edo governor in 2016 with Oshiomhole's blessings, but the two have since turned political adversaries in the battle for control of the state.

Commenting on the decision of the APC to disqualify him from contesting in the party's primary election, Obaseki pointed at Oshiomhole as the architect of allegations he said were made up.

The governor said he had used affidavits when he contested in 2016 because he couldn't find the originals of his certificates.

He said he later found the original copies and that there are no inconsistencies in them.

The party's screening committee had last week said Obaseki's NYSC certificate was defective because it allegedly bears the name 'Obasek'.

"It may be the inconsistency is in the youth corps certificate where it said my surname was missing an 'i', but it was written in a cursive manner.

"So, if that's inconsistency for him, it's really sad that we have people with that quality leading Nigeria's ruling party," Obaseki said on Tuesday.

He alleged that Oshiomhole simply manufactured an excuse to reach his unjust decision, and accused his predecessor of wielding unchecked power which he said was dangerous for any institution.

The governor said, "You're afraid of people who are educated because you didn't go to school.

"You're afraid of people who have something to offer because all he knows how to offer is brigandage, crisis.

"Nigeria has to move forward beyond some of the characters currently overseeing our political polity.

"They're scared that when people of substance who have succeeded in other aspects of life come into politics, they'll be history."

Obaseki said Nigeria's uninterrupted 21 years of democracy must start to accommodate people of accomplishment, knowledge and character.

"You don't have to be a ruffian, brigand, or thief to be a politician," he said.

Oshiomhole had last week said Obaseki's disqualification was more than just about his certificates.

He accused his successor of violating the party's constitution by dragging it to court over internal party issues.

He also accused Obaseki of abuse of power and interfering in the smooth running of the Edo State House of Assembly.

Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Osaro Obaz, and Pius Odubu are the three aspirants cleared to take part in the APC's primary election scheduled for June 22.

Ize-Iyamu is believed to be the favourite to win the ticket, as he's been touted to be Oshiomhole's choice to replace Obaseki.


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