ABUJA – Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State was in talks with the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, on Sunday, as part of his last-ditch effort to pick the party’s ticket in the upcoming primaries in his state for the September governorship election.
There had been reports that previous attempts by the Edo State governor to see Tinubu on different occasions had met with failure, which had apparently set off the alarm button in his camp about how real the threat to his ambition had become.
Vanguard reports, however that the embattled governor was accompanied by seven other colleagues to the Sunday with the former Governor of Lagos State, believed to have the magic wand to sway things his way, in the epic battle with his predecessor and the current National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiohmole, believed to have sworn that Obaseki would never get a second term.
Obaseki was reportedly accompanied to the meeting, which held at the Lagos State Government House, Alausa, by Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, who is the chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum, and Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos) and Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano).
Though the details of the meeting were not disclosed it was gathered that the embattled governor of Edo State, Obaseki, who was also at the closed-door meeting, approached Tinubu to prevail on his estranged godfather, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the national chairman of the APC, to allow him to secure a second term.
Obaseki and Oshiomhole have been at loggerheads over the second term ambition of the governor leading to factionalisation of the APC in Edo. While the faction loyal to Obaseki wants indirect governorship primary, the other faction loyal to Oshiomhole is for direct primary and announced by the National Working Committee of the APC.
As it were, Obaseki and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who recently returned to the APC from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which he flew its governorship flag in 2016, have bought the APC nomination form.
Last week, seven governorship aspirants stepped down for Ize-Iyamu after an intense horse-trading midwife by Oshiomhole=led party stalwarts in Abuja.
Confirming the meeting to Vanguard, the source, who pleaded anonymity said: “Yes, it is true.”
The source also said: “They met at the State House Marina, there were about eight or nine of them (governors) led by Governor Atiku Gbagudu of Kebbi State, who is the chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum. It was a closed-door meeting.
“Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State was there, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State was also there and Obaseki himself was there. That is all I know.” (Vanguard)