The screening committee of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC) has disqualified Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, from contesting in the party’s June 22, 2020 primary election.
Obaseki and five other aspirants were screened by the committee earlier this week to validate their credentials and grant them clearance to vie for the party’s ticket to contest in the September 19 Edo governorship election.
When Jonathan Ayuba presented the committee’s report to the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) on Friday, June 12, he said Obaseki and two other candidates were not cleared.
Osagie Ize-Iyamu is now the frontline candidate to win the APC’s ticket to contest the Edo governorship election after he was cleared, alongside two others, by the party’s screening committee [thebridgenewsng]
Obaseki’s disqualification was due to the committee’s judgement that the governor’s higher school certificate and NYSC certificate are defective.
Ayuba said the seven-member committee observed that his NYSC certificate bears the name ‘Obasek’.
“While this may be an error on the part of the issuing authority, we observed that the aspirant has not taken any step whatsoever to have the anomaly corrected by the issuing authority,” the committee chairperson said.
Ayuba said the governor also failed to provide supporting documents that the committee requested during his screening.
He said the committee found it difficult to authenticate Obaseki’s NYSC certificate, and, coupled with his defective higher school certificate, determined that the governor is ineligible to participate in the election.
Chris Ogiemwonyi and Matthew Iduoriyekemwe were similarly disqualified from contesting the APC’s primary election.
However, the committee cleared Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Osaro Obaz, and Pius Odubu to contest.
While receiving the committee’s report, APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, said disqualified aspirants are free to engage with the party’s appeal panel to overturn the screening committee’s decision.
Oshiomhole vs Obaseki
Obaseki (left) is battling for a second term while at loggerheads with his former ally, Oshiomhole (right), who is currently the national chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC) [Facebook/Governor Godwin Obaseki]
Friday’s disqualification is an escalation of a battle for supremacy between Obaseki, and Oshiomhole, his predecessor.
Obaseki was first elected Edo governor in 2016 with Oshiomhole’s blessings, but the two have since turned political adversaries in the battle for control of the state.
Oshiomhole is known to be an antagonist of his successor’s second term bid, with Ize-Iyamu touted as his choice of replacement.
Ize-Iyamu had lost the 2016 election, contesting on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), but joined the APC late last year and was granted a special waiver by the party’s NWC, headed by Oshiomhole, to contest in the June 22 primary election.
After his screening on Wednesday, June 10, Obaseki announced that his confidence in the screening committee was low due to Oshiomhole’s influence over it.
Shortly after Friday’s disqualification, a decision he described as ‘unjust’, Obaseki called on his supporters to remain calm and await further directives.
The main opposition PDP has made moves to accommodate the governor’s second term ambition, but he has publicly stated that he’d never join the party.