Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, Friday described as unfortunate and disheartening his disqualification by the All Progressives Congress (APC) Screening Committee from participating in the June 22 guber primary in the schedule.
The governor said the situation was quite saddening because APC has failed to live up to expectations as a party supposedly reputed for change, equity and social justice.
Thus, Obaseki ruled out the possibility of appealing to the outcome of the alleged “unjust screening exercise.”
“We have watched the mockery of democratic process, which Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, is administering and superintending over in our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC). It has been an unfortunate, disheartening and dreadful spectacle.
“We had initially asserted that going by the open display and enthronement of illegality by one man in the party that comprises several organs and eminent personalities, there is no way that Governor Godwin Obaseki would get a fair assessment in the run-up to the nomination of candidates to fly the flag of the party in the forthcoming Edo gubernatorial election.
“It is unfortunate that this open show of shame, illegality and travesty of justice is the brand of democracy which Comrade Oshiomhole has reduced the APC into. The situation is quite saddening because this is a party supposedly reputed for change, equity and social justice.
“We have therefore decided that it would be effort in futility to appeal whatever the unjust outcome of the evaluation and screening process of the APC will be, especially when Comrade Oshiomhole has declared that he is the Supreme Court and ultimate determiner of the fate and future of our great party.
“We wish Oshiomhole luck in his maladministration of the party and trust that the Almighty will help our country to find the path to true liberty, freedom and justice.
“We call on all party members and the teeming supporters of Governor Obaseki to remain calm and await further directives,” said Obaseki, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie.
The APC Screening Committee has disqualified Edo State governor from contesting in the party’s governorship primary election scheduled for June 22.
The committee chairman, Prof. Jonathan Ayuba, made the disclosure in a press conference on Friday afternoon.
He said the governor did not present his Higher School Leaving Certificate, adding that the committee could not ascertain the authenticity of Obaseki’s National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate.
Ayuba said the committee recommended that the incumbent Edo State governor was not eligible to contest in the election.
However, Dr. Pius Odubu and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu were cleared to contest.
Meanwhile, Ize-Iyamu has expressed gratitude to the screening committee of the party for carrying out a thorough job.
Ize-Iyamu, in a statement on Friday in Benin by the Director of Communication and Media of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu’s Campaign Organisation, Mr John Mayaki, commended the leadership of the ruling party its true spirit and character premised on “a bold insistence on fairness, accountability, and transparency.”
He said: “I wish to send my deepest gratitude to all the members of our great party, the All Progressives Congress, for joyful cooperation that led to a seamless but thorough screening exercise.
“I urge all the members of our party whose indefatigable commitment, loyalty, and cooperation has led to the success we experienced in recent times, to remain focused and committed to our general ambition as a party, and in the same vein pursuant of our personal political dreams in light of our progressive philosophy.
“As we prepare for the primaries and the election itself, it is time we bind together and close ranks, remembering that the greatest goal is the progress of Edo State, the moving forward of our great homeland, and the betterment of life for all of its people.”
But, a former APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has predicted that the ruling party would suffer “dire consequences” in Edo State on account of the disqualification of Obaseki by the APC screening panel.
Odigie-Oyegun, in a statement by his Media Adviser, Chief Ray Morphy, in Abuja on Friday, described the outcome of the screening as a hatchet job aimed at installing a stooge that would allegedly allow some people unfettered access to the treasury of Edo State.
“While not a surprise, that disqualification is a clear indication that internal democracy has been murdered in APC, a party which we founded on the principles of fair play and good conscience!
“I daresay that APC will suffer dire consequences in Edo State if this disqualification is not speedily reversed.
“As a matter of fact, Oshiomhole is indeed the one who is guilty of anti-party (activities), not Obaseki.
“Oshiomhole is the one who is acting unconstitutionally not Obaseki. I hope that Oshiomhole will not go down in history as the undertaker of APC,” Odigie-Oyegun said.
The Chairman of Edo State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Anselm Ojezua, Esq., has, however, called for calm among party members and supporters following the unjust disqualification of the governor.
While noting that Obaseki has performed credibly well and would still be reelected for a second term, Ojezua said: “I want to appeal to leaders and members of APC in Edo State to remain calm. The validity of the Screening Committee has not been established.
“A proper response to the report is yet to come as the leadership of the party in the state will meet tomorrow and at the end of the meeting give an appropriate response.
“They didn’t say he will not contest the election but that he will not contest under the platform of the APC.
“By tomorrow, we will meet and be in a position to make a proper statement on what the future holds for the party in Edo State.”