A plot to disqualify the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, ahead of the June 22, 2020, All Progressives Congress, APC, Governorship primary election in the State, has been activated.
The party has fixed the screening of the 6 Aspirants that have purchased, filled and submitted their nomination and expression of interest forms, for Wednesday and Thursday.
The 6 Aspirants are Governor Obaseki, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Rt. Hon. Dr. Pius Odubu, Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi, Hon. Osaro Obazee, and Hon. Matthew Aigbuhuenze Iduoriyekemwen.
A member of the National Working Committee, NWC, of the APC, said that “dangerous” discrepancies have been uncovered in the forms submitted by Obaseki, to the party’s Secretariat, in Abuja.
The party Chieftain who did not want to be named, stated that those who are against the candidature of the Governor, were going to capitalise on the discrepancies to disqualify him.
He said: “Except for divine intervention, Obaseki will not scale through the screening. This is because even we that have little sympathy for him, may not be able to help. The discrepancies are too glaring to be swept under the carpet.”
Asked to disclose some of the discrepancies, he declined, saying: “Go and check on Monday, at our Secretariat, look at it, you may see some.”
The National Spokesperson of the party, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, had on Friday, said that the various submissions would be displayed at the party’s National Secretariat in Abuja, and in Benin City, the Edo State capital, for claims and objections today.
Issa-Onilu said: “We are calling on party members, and indeed members of the public, to assist the Screening Committee, by scrutinising the information, credentials, and documents provided by the Governorship Aspirants, and availing the Screening Committee of counter and correct information, if applicable.”
Recall, that controversies revolving around Obaseki’s certificate first started in 2016, when he contested for the Governorship. Last week, three APC members instituted a forgery suit in Abuja, against Obaseki.
Speaking during a “thank you” tour to Principal Officers and ward Leaders in Oredo Local Government Area of the State, at the weekend, Governor Obaseki however, punctured the claims on his certificate.
He stated: “They say I forged my certificate. How can you forge the certificate of the University of Ibadan (UI)? I am not like those that burn buildings to cover up their certificate issues.”
Contacted to speak on the discrepancies, Issa-Onilu said: “It is only after the screening, that one will know who has issues or not.”
Meanwhile, it was gathered that the plot to disqualify Obaseki has created a fresh division in the NWC.
While some of the 21-member Committee are with the plotters, others are not.
The feud between the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, and Obaseki, has also polarised other organs of the ruling party. Obaseki had last week, asked Oshiomhole to recuse himself from the nomination processes of the primary. The party has not acted on it.
Some members of the NWC declined comment on the matter.
However, one of them who spoke anonymously, said: “Oshiomhole does not have a personal role to play in the Edo primary, neither do the members of the NWC.”
When asked about what the Presidency will do to avoid the Zamfara and Rivers States scenarios in Edo State, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said: “As for what the President will do on APC matter in Edo, I do not know. If I have anything to tell you, I will let you know. For now, I do not have any answer.”