A member of the National Working Committee, NWC, of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has debunked reports that Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki has been barred from participating in its Thursday’s governorship election primaries.
According to Vanguard, report of Obaseki’s prohibition from the delegate elections follows a motion filed by Hon. Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama before a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt.
Ogbeide-Ihama, who was highly favoured for the ticket in the past few weeks, recently had his prospects waned a bit following the defection last week of Obaseki and the Edo deputy governor, Mr. Philip Shaibu, both of whom are now favoured to run for the September 19, election on the platform of the PDP.
The NWC member who pleaded anonymity when this medium sought his reaction on Tuesday said the online report got it wrong, arguing that what was said was that both parties should attend the court today (Wednesday) for hearing on the matter.
He said: “It is either the reporter had little knowledge of reporting judiciary or he deliberately set out to mislead Nigerians. What Justice Emmanuel Adema Obile said was that both parties (Ogbeide-Ihama, Obaseki, PDP, and others) should return to the court on Wednesday for the determination of the motion.
“The learned Justice asked that the motion be served Obaseki and other parties via a newspaper publication. How this translates to stopping anyone from participating in the primary election beats me hollow.
“Nigerians should dismiss that fake news and I gathered that even the online medium has updated their initial erroneous report, having realized the true state of things,” he said.
When contacted for his reaction, the PDP national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus declined to comment on the issue, noting that the matter was before the court.
The aide who does not want his name in print said: “The chairman is a democrat and a believer in the rule of law. Since the matter is before the court, he would rather choose to keep his peace on the issue for now,” he added.
Ogbeide-Ihama, chairman House Committee on Culture and Tourism had advanced reasons to stop Governor Obaseki from participating in the delegate election including the much-publicized certificates scandals, not obtaining his nomination forms within the timeline stipulated for the exercise, among others.
However, a former Publicity Secretary of the party, Hon Nosa Adams said the crisis would be settled internally and Obseki would be part of the exercise.
He told Vanguard on phone yesterday that: “The court said they should serve the parties, the court gave orders that the parties should be served by substituted means so they are going to court tomorrow but by the grace of God we are settling. It will not affect the primary election by the grace of God.
“We will settle, we are all one, we are in the same party, Obaseki is part of the family of the PDP, we will resolve our matter internally, it will be resolved and PDP will be better for it, it will be resolved and PDP will be better for it so nobody should rejoice, there is nothing negative about it. At the end of the day, it is a disagreement among family members and it will be resolved amicably so the plan for the primary will hold, nothing will stop it.”
Meanwhile, a statement by the Special Adviser to Governor Obaseki on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie said the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has refused to bar Godwin Obaseki, the Edo State Governor, from participating in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary election slated for Thursday.
Obaseki was granted waiver by the PDP recently after he joined the opposition party from the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The suit was instituted by one of the governorship aspirants of the PDP, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, who had vowed not to step down for Mr Obaseki.
The statement said a major reason stated by Mr Ogbeide-Ihama was that Mr Obaseki recently joined the party and only those who purchased the forms during the stipulated window should be allowed to participate in the primary election.
Just like Mr Obaseki’s former party, the APC, Mr Ogbeide-Ihama also questioned his educational credentials.
Mr Ogbeide-Ihama also prayed that the primaries be put on hold pending when the court would hear the motion on notice.
He said the judge, E. A Obile, however, did not grant that prayer. The judge asked that the motion seeking to bar Mr Obaseki be served on the defendants including Mr Obaseki via newspaper publication.
Mr Obaseki joined the Peoples Democratic Party on Friday after he was disqualified by his former party, APC, from seeking re-election allegedly for submitting questionable certificates.