A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and former Commissioner of Information in Edo state, Prince Kassim Afegbua has vowed to join forces with the All Progressives Congress, APC, to ensure the defeat of the state governor, Godwin Obaseki in the September 19 governorship election.
Afegbua who stated this in an exclusive chat with Vanguard carpeted the party for offering its ticket to Obaseki who decamped to the PDP barely a week ago.
Condemning what he called the governor’s desperation to run for a second term at all cost, the former commissioner came hard against his own party, wondering how Obaseki it once branded a failure, suddenly merited the ticket so much that all three aspirants stepped down for him.
“We will join hands collectively with the APC candidate to ensure that Godwin Obaseki does not return. I am PDP member, but I will vote APC. A man with the humility of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is better than a governor who fights everyone who disagrees with him.
“Edo has become too polarised over avoidable and needless battles. Let us have a new leadership that will usher in quiet and peace to everyone. The noises from the Obaseki aspiration have become too polluted and cannot be in the best interest of anyone,” he said.
According to him, Hon. Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama ought to have stuck to his guns by running in the primaries, noting however that his decision to chicken out like others, would hurt the PDP in many ways than one.
“Hon. Ogbeide-Ihama got swallowed up by the politics of money that has become the bane of Nigerian politics. He was ambushed by Governor Obaseki’s desperation who was ready to use any amount to railroad people in the party to buy into his aspiration.
“How can someone who did not buy nomination form, who came in when sale of forms had closed, screening had closed, congresses for the election of delegates had closed, and all of a sudden, because he has state resources to spend, all rules were bended to accommodate him and made to become the candidate? he asked
Afegbua continued: “Only yesterday, Edo PDP scored Obaseki F9 in its sectoral analyses, and today, the same man who scored F9 all through in terms of performance, has suddenly become the head of the PDP corner.
“A governor who PDP challenged in 2016 for discrepancies in his submissions has suddenly become the candidate of the party. How do you explain such scenario? For me, I still hold the view that Ogbeide-Ihama had better opportunity to pull through if they had allowed Obaseki to settle for another party.
“It would have been a matter of three candidates and PDP would have had a better grip. I was shocked to see all three aspirants stepped down in the face of pressure. Even Kenneth Imasuangbon who was shouting on top of his voice that he would pull through, buckled suddenly and swallowed his misplaced pride.
“The same governor who has been accusing his former APC leaders of wanting him to share money, came to PDP and started doing same. Delegates were given money, situations were traded off, and everyone was fighting head over heels for peanuts. Quite unfortunate, but the level of hunger in town can confuse anybody. It is shameful.
“We must begin to interrogate the processes leading to outcome and not just the outcome alone. It is morally reprehensible for someone to join a party 24 hours and took away all the privileges by nebulous waivers.
“That is a sickening democracy, by all intents and purposes. The party would have at least ask for deputy governorship. As it is now, it is like surrendering your house to an emergency tenant who does not believe in your house, but needed it for temporary shelter.”
That said, Afegbua linked the exit of Adams Oshiomhole last week as national chairman of APC to the handiwork of some governors bent on shaping the 2023 Presidency.
He explained: “There is nothing spectacular about Comrade Oshiomhole’s exit. He was just a victim of 2023 political calculations especially by those people who found him too strong to bend to their whims and caprices.
“The President does not appear fit enough to understand the dynamics of the political interplay of forces. You have Governors Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi, Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna, Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti and Simon Lalong of Plateau states who should sit down and face governance in their states but getting too pre-occupied with 2023 Presidency.
Obaseki at the weekend told newsmen that he would run again with incumbent deputy governor of Edo state, Mr. Philip Shaibu on the platform of the PDP.