A delegation of All Progressives Congress (APC) governors departed the Lagos home of Bola Tinubu on Sunday dejected after the party’s national leader insisted there would be no automatic candidate ahead of the gubernatorial election in Edo State.
The governors had hoped to secure an automatic ticket for Governor Godwin Obaseki for the Edo election, a source who was privy to the discussions at the meeting told PREMIUM TIMES.
Some of the governors who were in attendance include Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo, and Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun, Dapo Abiodun of Ogun, Mohammed Abubakar of Jigawa, and Mr Obaseki, according to The Punch newspaper.
Mr Bagudu, the chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum, led the delegation, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.
“The governors visited Asiwaju (Tinubu) to plead that Obaseki be given the right of first refusal for the governorship ticket,” the source, who did not want to be named because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, said.
“Obaseki himself told Asiwaju that if he had offended him in any way, that he should forgive him. Asiwaju said he has not offended him
The governors, it was learnt, also asked why the party was pushing for direct primaries, instead of the indirect method
“Asiwaju told them that when there are more than two candidates running for a position, there has to be a primary. That he can only guarantee them that the primary will be free and fair.”
The source said having failed to convince Mr Tinubu, the governors left the party leader’s home dejected.
Mr Obaseki, the Edo governor, has been having a running battle with his estranged godfather and predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole.
Mr Oshiomhole is the national chairman of the APC.
Last year, the party’s local chapter in Edo, loyal to the governor, suspended Mr Oshiomhole for alleged anti-party activities.
Ahead of the Edo governorship in September, a faction of the APC in Edo State nominated Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who was the Peoples’ Democratic Party candidate in 2016, as the party’s candidate.
The development meant the sitting governor does not get an automatic ticket as the party’s flagbearer on September 19.
About two weeks ago, the APC National Working Committee announced it would adopt the direct primaries for the Edo election. The primaries is expected to hold on June 22.
Last week, Mr Obaseki boasted that no matter the method adopted by the party, he would clinch the ticket.