The national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu, has released a video attacking the governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki.
In his response, the Edo governor pledged to help end godfatherism in Edo and Lagos states.
Mr Tinubu, a former Lagos governor, in a sponsored broadcast on TVC on Tuesday called on Edo residents to vote out Mr Obaseki and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Saturday’s election.
“I want to appeal to you to reject Godwin Obaseki in this coming election. I have suffered with many others to bring about this democratic regime that today we are enjoying in the country.
“Then, Godwin Obaseki didn’t participate in any aspect of the struggle to enshrine democracy in the country. Therefore, he could not understand the value and the pains associated with this democratic struggle.
“He does not deserve any democratic ballot paper. Don’t vote for him, I appeal to all of you.”
Mr Tinubu also accused Mr Obaseki of using his office to impede over 14 assembly members.
“He (Obaseki) demonstrated the act of dictatorship, lack of respect for rule of law, lack of respect for you the people who voted for those legislators prevented from being sworn-in. Today, he now comes back as a democrat wanting you to vote for him. Please, I appeal to you, reject him.
“Several institutions and leaders of our country appealed to him to respect constitutional democracy but he rejected all entreaties. He rejected the appeal of the National Assembly. When the Attorney-General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria enumerated the path of honour and the constitution of the country.”
He also accused Mr Obaseki of destroying Edo House of Assembly by removing the roofs, burning gravels and rocks at the entrance of the assembly.
“Now, he is asking for our votes, your votes, our dear people. Is he a democrat? No, he is not.”
In his reaction to the video, Mr Obaseki, governorship candidate of the PDP in the September 19 election in Edo, said his party will end godfatherism in the state and proceed to Lagos to do the same.
Mr Obaseki said democracy is not a government of godfathers but a government of the people.
Mr Obaseki, speaking at the final re-election campaign rally of the PDP in Benin City, said that godfatherism was hindering Nigeria’s progress.
He said, “Democracy is not a government of godfathers but a government of the people, by the people and for the people. In Edo, we have been fighting godfatherism and by Saturday we will put an end to it, and after that go to Lagos and put an end to godfatherism in Nigeria.
“The godfather disturbing Nigeria came up this morning, he is afraid because he knows when we finish that of Edo, we will come for him in Lagos and finally end godfatherism in Nigeria.”
Mr Obaseki urged eligible voters in the state to come out en masse to vote for the PDP to enable him to consolidate on the achievements recorded in his first term and put an end to godfatherism in the state.
He said with the support of the Edo people and endorsements by over 100 groups in the state, he is certain of victory in Saturday’s gubernatorial election in the state.
Present at the rally were Peter Obi, former vice presidential candidate of the PDP in the 2019 general elections; as well as Aminu Tambuwal, Ifeanyi Okowa, Nyesom Wike, Ben Ayade, Duoye Diri, Victor Ikpeazu, Udom Emmanuel and Seyi Makinde, governors of Sokoto, Delta, Rivers, Cross River, Bayelsa, Abia, Akwa Ibom, and Oyo states respectively, among other dignitaries.
Mr Obaseki said, “I don’t have anything to say to you my Edo people but to thank you; you have been wonderful especially as we went through the 192 wards to seek your support for reelection.
“We will win this election because so far over 100 groups have endorsed me for the race. With groups like the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Trade Union Congress (TUC) Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), and other groups in the state behind me, tell me how we will lose the election?”
Also in another reaction to the video, Mr Obaseki in a statement by his special adviser on media and communication strategy, Crusoe Osagie, asked Mr Tinubu not to “extend your political empire to Edo.”
“It has become obvious that the spirited fight which Edo people have put up against godfatherism has sent tremors beyond the shores of Edo to the likes of Tinubu, who has for years sustained a stranglehold on Lagos and other states in South-Western Nigeria, hence this desperate, last-ditch effort to rescue the unproductive political instrument, now popularly referred to as godfatherism, with which he has feathered his nest and built his political empire at the expense of the people.”
“Tinubu knows clearly that come September 19, when godfatherism would have been dismantled in Edo State, the people of Lagos may just have found the recipe and formula for removing the chokehold placed on their collective destinies for decades by Tinubu, hence the inciting television broadcast”, Mr Obaseki said.