By ANDREW ESSIEN, Abuja, PATRICK OCHOGA, Benin City
There is anxiety in the Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) over impending mass defection as the faction of the party loyal to Governor Godwin Obaseki yesterday endorsed his defection from the ruling party.
Members of the Obasaki camp in the party implored the governor to move to any other platform to seek his second term ambition in the September governorship poll.
The resolve of the faction came after a marathon meeting yesterday between the governor and the APC leaders in an apparent move to chart a new political direction following his disqualification from participating in the party’s primaries last Friday by the APC screening committee.
Immediately after his screening in Abuja, Obaseki had expressed fears that he would not get justice from the process as long as the party’s national chairman and his estranged political godfather, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, remained an interested party in the exercise.
Following his disqualification on Friday, the governor subsequently declared that he won’t appeal his disqualification by the screening committee, setting the stage for his plans to dump the party.
LEADERSHIP Sunday gathered that Obaseki met with political leaders and strategists from the three senatorial districts in the state who assured him of their support for his return bid.
A source at the meeting told our correspondent that the governor used the opportunity to inform his supporters of plans to seek the PDP Governorship ticket which received ovation and applause.
The source who did not want his name in print said, “We gave Obaseki, in clear terms, the mandate to seek the ticket of any political party to contest the governorship election. We told him that any platform he wants to contest he will win the governorship election.
“The only issues prior to the meeting had to do with him running his deputy governor but thank God that was also resolved. Phillip Shaibu is running with governor”.
After the caucus meeting, the governor it was learnt, made plans to travel to Abuja to continue talks with the leadership of the PDP.
However, two of the three PDP aspirants, Kenneth Imasuagbon and Ogbeide Ihama, are said to be resisting possible moves by the party leadership to offer its platform to the embattled governor without a proper primaries.
It was learnt that the two aspirants are insistent that the party leadership must allow all aspirants test their popularity at the primaries.