Edo 2020: We never arranged for coalition of 35 parties — PDP

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…I’m ready to dislodge Obaseki, says Oshiomhole

By Ayo Fadimu & Moses Adeniyi

Amid criticisms by the opposition that greeted the coalition of 35 parties which harmonised their structures to support the re-election of Governor Godwin Obaseki, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State has said that against the claims of money settlements, the party was not involved in any arrangement to birth the coalition.

The Edo PDP’s Publicity Secretary, Chris Nehikhare, who spoke to Nigerian NewsDirect exclusively, said there was no form of settlements for agreement on the side of the PDP to initiate the coalition, stressing that the parties came to their resolution to declare and mobilise support for the Governor based on their perception of strength of performance.

“It’s not an issue of joining the Party, they want to support the Governor; they want to direct their membership to support the Governor and direct their supporters to vote for the PDP. However, some of them indicate interest of wanting to join the PDP and those ones are of course welcome.

“But some of the 35 parties have just expressed their readiness to direct their members to campaign for, mobilise for and vote for the PDP on Governor Obaseki’s reelection,” Nehikhare said.

Reacting to whether there was any form of political agreement for settlements for the support, he stated that the coalition was informed by the perceived track record of the Governor’s performance since he came into office.

He added: “There was no agreement at all. They were actually motivated by the achievements of the Governor. The quality of works,  and the type of his  (Obaseki) personality, I think, are what motivated them. There was no time we had any prior arrangement. In fact the press conference which I was invited to was not organise by us (PDP) at all.”

Recall that 35 political parties under the name, Coalition of Political Parties (CPP), had on Friday in preparation towards the September 19, 2020 Edo State governorship election,  declared their support for the re-election bid of Governor Godwin Obaseki, pointing to his achievement, as a leverage why anybody should not contest against him.

In a press conference in Benin City,  the Chairman of Coalition, Hon Collins Oreruan, said the coalition is fully on ground to make sure that the re-election of Obaseki is paramount to them as a group.

Meanwhile the Chairman Edo State APC Media Council, John Mayaki, who in a reaction described the move as a calculated  means by the actors to get financial reward from Obaseki had said:”With this act of betrayal and greed, it is safe to say that these parties have successfully and irrevocably done damage to their integrity and placed a final barrier to any potential for growth and relevance in Edo State.

“They make no attempt to increase their followership, present logical ideas to the people, or even make the most basic preparations for elections, whether statewide or grassroots. Rather, their entire existence is to negotiate and declare support for the highest bidder.

“Luckily for them, they have found a good client in Godwin Obaseki. As we have repeatedly said, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is not in the business of paying for support. This is why he has focused on selling his manifesto to the people through an issue-based campaign devoid of name-calling and propaganda.”

In the meantime, the immediate past National Chairman of APC Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has stated he returned to Edo to reclaim the state for APC.

He declared that if Edo residents say yes and God say yes, no man born of a woman could say no.

He was apparently referring to the September 19 governorship election mainly between APC’s Governorship Candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and Governor Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Oshiomhole, an ex-governor of Edo, who backed Obaseki against Ize-Iyamu in 2016, spoke on Saturday night in his Iyamho hometown near Auchi in Etsako West Local Government Area.

He was addressing teeming supporters, who welcomed him from Abuja in his residence.

The enthusiastic crowd waited for Oshiomhole for many hours at the main gate of Auchi Polytechnic before moving to Iyamho for the special address by the former Labour leader.

Oshiomhole said: “I am back and ready for the job. The snake that entered our family home, God has driven the snake to where he belongs. I have come home to join you and start the process of reclaiming the house to the family of APC.

“I have only one mission and I know it is our common mission, which is to bring Edo back to the path of sustainable development. “We shall bring back the era of red roof. We want to bring back roads with drainage. We want to bring back those lofty days when we engaged our youths and we mixed with the elders.

“We want to return to the government of the people, by the people and for the people.”