Whether it’s direct or indirect primaries, I will win, Obaseki says

The governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, has expressed his indifference to the method of primaries adopted by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in selecting its flag bearer for the 2020 governorship election in the state.

Mr Obaseki, who spoke during a phone interview on Channels TV’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, on Wednesday said he’s sure of getting the party’s nod to fly the APC flag at the polls.

“It doesn’t matter whether it is direct or indirect primary, I will win because I know what we have done in Edo State,” he said.

He, however, registered his reservations against the process that birthed the announced method and other speculations around the coming governorship elections in the state.

In a meeting on Tuesday, the Adams Oshiomhole-led national working committee adopted a direct method of primary for its June 22 governorship primary election, a decision countered by Mr Obaseki’s spokesperson and the Anselm Ojezua-led faction of the party in Edo State, as they solicited that indirect primary be adopted.

The body also granted a waiver to Osagie Ize-Iyamu, a founding member of the party in the state and an alleged candidate of the national chairman.

Legality check

The Edo State governor’s spokesperson, Crusoe Osagie, in his reaction to the APC NWC resolution last week, said the body does not have the constitutional right to decide the method of party primary in the state’s governorship race.

Mr Osagie, in a phone interview with PREMIUM TIMES, had argued that the decision by Mr Oshiomhole-led NWC “cannot stand the test of legality.”

In section 13.4 of the party’s constitution, it stipulates that the body can “propose to the NEC, party electoral regulations, to govern the conduct of elections to all party offices at every level and to govern the procedure for selecting party candidates for elective offices, subject to the constitution.”

Commenting on the growing acceptance of Mr Ize-Iyamu in the party and his possible defection to the main opposition, PDP, in the state for ticket, Mr Obaseki said he is not disturbed in any way as “any contest would be no contest if it is not manipulated.”

“Well, they (PDP) are free to open their doors but I have enough doors in my own house (APC). I don’t have any reason to look into another person’s compound because I am comfortable in my home, for now,” he declared.

He admitted the role his friend-turned-political rival, Mr Oshiomhole, played in his ascension to his position as the governor but faulted his ways of running the party affairs.

“Yes, I have issues with the national chairman. Yes, we suspended him from the party in the state because of his anti-party activities but I am not sure the party would sit down and allow him to be the judge or master, which he is revolving into.

“APC is not the sole property of one person or the chairman. APC is a collection of interests; APC is a political party that is governed by rules. Even if people are lawless, it doesn’t make the party lawless,” he said.