Ahead of the June 22 governorship primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, there are feelers that Governor Godwin Obaseki may be disqualified from participating in the primaries by the screening committeeset up by the national leadership of the party.
A credible source in the party said aside the mode of primaries which has become a subject of controversy, there is a likelihood that Obaseki may not scale the screening session of the APC which may scuttle his chances of becoming the party’s flag bearer in the September 19 governorship election.
According to him, the party said it is trying to prevent a reoccurrence of what happened in Bayelsa when the Supreme Court nullified the victory of David Lyon, the governor-elect, on the grounds that his running mate, Senator Biobarakumo Degi-Eremienyo, presented forged certificates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“The national chairman and his group want to use some lack of original certificates to disqualify Governor Godwin Obaseki at the screening.
“If they succeed, the implication is that the governor may not even participate in the primary, whether direct or indirect,” the source said.
“The Obaseki group are also spoiling for war. They will soon be releasing documents from when Oshiomhole was governor to nail him, how he was moving monies around.
“Already, they are circulating videos of all the negative things Oshiomhole said about Ize-Iyamu during the 2016 governorship election and how he is unfit to rule the state,” he said.
Also on Sunday, governors elected on the platform of the APC met with the party’s national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on the fate of Governor Obaseki and the mode of primaries to be adopted.
According to our source, about nine APC governors, led by Governor Atiku Bagudu, who is the chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, attended the meeting with Tinubu at the State House, Marina.
“Yes, the APC governors, led by Kebbi State governor, Atiku Bagudu, met with Asiwaju Tinubu behind closed doors yesterday. I saw them but I don’t know what was discussed at the meeting,” he said.
In a related development, the Ize-Iyamu campaign organisation on Sunday said Governor Obaseki was plotting to obtain a court injunction to stop Ize-Iyamu from participating in the primaries.
A statement signed by Prince John Mayaki, Director of Communication and Media, Pastor Osagie Ize- Iyamu Campaign Organisation, and made available to our correspondent, read: “The embattled governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, is plotting to procure an interim injunction at the Abudu High Court or any other court in Edo State barring the APC from conducting its internal primary election scheduled for June 22 and restraining Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu, his main challenger, from contesting the election, according to reliable sources.
“Also named in the plot are Osarodion Ogie, the Secretary to the State Government, Wole Iyamu, SAN, Solicitor General of the State, and Ken Mozia, SAN.
“These officials, acting on the instruction of Godwin Obaseki, have allegedly induced Justice Eborieme of the High Court in Abudu to grant a baseless application for the interim injunction.
“Civil society groups privy to the plan have issued a stern warning to the Edo State judiciary not to avail itself as a tool to scuttle the democracy of the state.
“As the bastion of democracy, the courts are to protect democratic institutions and processes.
“They are not meant to be used by the government of the state, or any government official, to truncate democratic processes or serve personal political ambitions.”