It is a no-brainer: Godwin Obaseki’s next destination after his disqualification by the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Friday can only be the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the second biggest party in Edo state.
He has already said he will not appeal his disqualification by the governorship screening panel — a clear message that he intends to continue his fight from another platform.
The Edo state governor, who ran against Osagie Ize-Iyamu in 2016, will most likely end up swapping places with his old opponent: he as the PDP candidate and Ize-Iyamu as the APC candidate.
Not that Ize-Iyamu has won APC’s ticket already — that will be settled in the June 22 primary — but he is believed to be the choice of Adams Oshiomhole, the national chairman of APC and Obaseki’s erstwhile godfather who installed him as governor in 2016.
Oshiomhole is former governor of Edo.
It is confirmed that the PDP had been waiting in the wings for the APC crisis to boil over so that it can provide a platform for Obaseki.
Now is the time.
The party had also, in principle, reserved its governorship ticket for Obaseki, but it is not clear yet if the June 19 PDP primary will be a walk-over for him.
There are four major aspirants in the PDP as things stand: Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, a member of the house of reps; Ifaluyi Isibor, a former rep; Kenneth Imansuagbon and George Ikhine.
Typically, Obaseki would need a waiver to run for the PDP ticket as a fresh member, but this is not usually a problem if the party executives at state and national levels are on the same page.
Ize-Iyamu has already joined the APC with his supporters, and this is believed to have weakened the PDP.
In 2016, Obaseki outscored Ize-Iyamu by 319,483 to 253,173 votes, but the PDP has always been strong in Edo state, currently controlling two of the three senatorial districts.
Obaseki is also expected to move with his APC supporters to the PDP.
In all, the Edo governorship election, slated for September 19, promises to be more than a walk in the park for either party.
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