I won’t support Obaseki – PDP chieftain

A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State, Kassim Afegbua, has said he would not support the second term ambition of the Edo governor, Godwin Obaseki.

Mr Afegbua was the PDP spokesperson in the 2019 presidential election.

Mr Obaseki, who fought a protracted political battle with his predecessor and former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, recently defected from the APC to the PDP after he was disqualified from contesting in the APC primary.

Mr Afegbua was also a spokesperson to Oshiomhole while the latter was Edo governor.

Some PDP governorship aspirants in Edo, who were already in the party before Mr Obaseki, were upset when it became clear that the Edo governor was likely to get the party ticket.

One of the aspirants even filed a case in court, seeking to bar the governor from participating in the PDP primary.

All the aspirants eventually stepped down for Mr Obaseki and the case was withdrawn from the court.

“At least, I am bold enough to come out in the open and say that I will not support Obaseki. It would have been different if I was hiding or pretending to be supporting him and doing some damage,” Mr Afegbua was quoted by Channels Television as saying recently.

Mr Afegbua, according to the Channels report, is aggrieved at the way Mr Obaseki emerged as the candidate of the PDP a few days after joining the party.

“My position on Obaseki is not borne out of desperation, greed or money politics. My position on Obaseki is borne out of the fact that there has to be a difference in the way and manner that democracy is run in this country.

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“Someone cannot just join a party within 24 hours, you surrender every whims and caprice of the party to him and then you sit back and tell me that you are celebrating your Christmas early enough in the day,” he said.

Mr Afegbua did not say if he would work against Mr Obaseki in the September election.

The governor’s main opponent is the APC candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

Mr Ize-Iyamu was the PDP candidate in the 2016 governorship election in Edo. He was defeated in the election by Mr Obaseki.

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