The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) youths coordinator in Edo State, under the aegis of PDP Youths for Justice, Musa Kadiri, has declared that the state’s chapter of the party will witness implosion, if Governor Godwin Obaseki is forced on Edo PDP as its governorship candidate.
Kadiri made the declaration Saturday in Benin, in an interactive session with reporters, while insisting that PDP’s leadership must reward loyalty, rather than looking for opportunities.
He said: “Any of the three earlier screened and cleared governorship aspirants of PDP in Edo State: Kenneth Imasuagbon, Gideon Ikhine and Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, is capable of defeating the standard bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the September 19 election.
“Edo PDP youths, who are on the ground, know that the party has positioned itself to win this year’s governorship poll. We do not need Governor Obaseki, who was chased out of the APC, based on questionable credentials.”
While also speaking, the women leader in Egor Local Government Area of Edo state, Mrs. Imuwahen Osasu, corroborated Kadiri, by stating that Edo PDP did not need Obaseki, at this crucial period.
Some chieftains of PDP in Edo Central Senatorial District are, however, backing the governorship aspiration of Imasuagbon, popularly referred to as the “Rice Man,” in view of his annual distribution of free rice to Edo residents in the 18 LGAs of the state.
Speaking Saturday on behalf of the PDP chieftains from the five LGAs in Edo Central senatorial district, Elder Solomon Eboigbe, urged Imasuagbon not to accept any offer to step down from the race.
Edo Central PDP chieftains noted that their support for Imasuagbon, who refused pressure to step down from the race for Obaseki, was the need to reward loyalty and commitment.
The PDP elders from Edo Central senatorial district stated that they consulted widely across Edo state, while the verdict from the people was Imasuagbon as their choice.
Meanwhile, Edo South senatorial district’s leader of PDP, Chief Dickson Imasogie, maintained that Edo governor never induced leaders of the party to join PDP, while insisting that his coming into the party was purely strategic.
Imasogie said that Obaseki’s defection to PDP was almost late, considering the fact that the party had to shift its governorship primary election from June 19 to June 23, in order to accommodate Edo governor.
He said: “Members of any active political party will certainly be excited having a sitting governor of a state, with his party ruling at the centre, defecting to an opposition party. It shows, among other consideratiions, the valuable rating and respect the defecting governor has for the party.
“So, we in the PDP have accepted Governor Obaseki into our fold and the leadership of the party has granted him and his deputy, Philip Shaibu, the necessary waivers to contest on the platform of the party.”
Imasogie also expressed optimism that Obaseki would emerge victorious on June 23 and September 19, thereby continuing in office beyond November 12 this year.