Its no news that the governor of Edo state governor Godwin Obaseki has been disqualified from contesting in the primaries of the All Progressive Congress (APC) for the 2020 election. He was disqualified by a screening panel arranged by the party to clear aspirant which is to hold later this month to determine who represents the party for the gubernatorial election; But what really is bemusing is the ground with which he was disqualified; report shows that he was disqualifed on the following allegation :
- that he had a problematic higher school leaving certificate which is unknown to the Nigerian educational system;
- allegedlly possessing an affidavit disowned by the high court of the federal capital territory
- error in the National Youth Service Corps discharge certificate which bears Obask against Obaseki
- alleged violation of Article 21D (v) of the party’s constitution which forbids a member from taking the party to court;
- legal precedence occasioned by the judgement of the court of Appeal and the supreme court on discrepancies in names.
while all these are grounds for disqualifying a candidate, it leaves a question : why was he allowed to run in the first place if he had a faulty background or certificate; He ran and won with that same certificate without any discrepancy in the part of APC, did primaries and contested before finally winning without any hiccups so why is he being faulted now? foul play? I smell that too.
Being also disqualified on ground that he took his party to court is appalling. Nobody is above the law and if you feel a person or a body has trespassed on your right you should be allowed to exercise your franchise by taking legal actions; Obaseki did that and is paying for it but really he should know about the rule of law concerning his party. In my opinion though, that rule should be cancelled but why is it popping up during the screening ? as we all know other people have one time or the other done same.
Having said all this, we wonder what is next for the governor who has vowed not to appeal his disqualification; many think he would decamp to PDP as he has been given an open door to do so. The Obaseki faction of the APC is scheduled to meet to decide on it’s next course of action. He seemed to have a foreknowledge of his fate and was quick to dismiss the decision of the screening committee as unjust and ruled out an appeal: in a statement by his adviser on media he said “we have therefore decided that it would be effort in futile to appeal whatever the unjust outcome of the evaluation and screening process will be; APC will be, especially the supreme court ultimate determiner of the fate and future of our great party.
We all know he has been locked in a war of word for over years with the national chair comrade Adams Oshiomole who he accused of making a mockery of the democratic process in the way he is overseeing the party.
With all this said , it is puzzling why APC will even consider a primary for a governor who has done well above average so far in his tenure; he has rehabilitated and done roads linking to different nook and cranny of Edo state especially Benin city, created thousands of jobs in the Edo jobs platform which helped both skilled, unskilled and semi skilled indigene and non indigene residing in Edo state, we are seeing how he is handling the Covid19 case in the state and many other things. such big pity he would not be allowed to bear the flag for his party; this should serve as a lesson to other politicians in Nigeria.
The politics of Godfather-ism is strong ; you can’t enter through it and decide to fight it, it will come back to sting you hard. His excellency should have waited for his second tenure where he had nothing to lose before thinking of fighting and dragging the party and the people that put him there. In a statement also released by his special adviser in media he said this about comrade oshiomole “it is unfortunate that this show of shame and illegality of justice is the brand of democracy which comrade oshiomole has reduced the APC into. The situation is quite saddening because this is a party supposedly reputed for change,equity and social justice”.
For some, there will be consequences for the party if obaseki ultimately decide to decamp, politicians like JOHN ODIGUE OYEGUN a former national chairman of the party believe so : he also said that massive looting of Edo state treasury will begin soon, except the situation is reversed.
So what is next for his excellency? does he decamp, fight or let sleeping dog lie? the coming days will determine all these; what next for Obaseki?