By Dirisu Yakubu
Ahead of his defection to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, this week, Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, is set to join the opposition with thousands of supporters including all 18 local government chairmen in the state.
Obaseki, who formally tendered his resignation from the All Progressives Congress, APC, on Tuesday is perfecting strategies that would see him run for the September 19 Edo State governorship election, having met the conditions stipulated by his new political platform.
A close associate of the governor disclosed to Vanguard that Obaseki’s popularity has seen all council chairmen pledged their solidarity and continued loyalty to his leadership style, noting that the governor has gotten the word of the chairmen to defect with him.
The associate who doubles as a Special Assistant to Governor Obaseki told this medium in confidence that apart from the local government bosses, “a good number of members of the State House of Assembly” are with the governor “in his moment of trial in the hands of people who have equated themselves with God.”
According to him, “The chairmen have chosen to repay the governor’s commitment to the good of Edo State by supporting him all the way. They will go where the governor goes and in spite of the threat of terror by self-acclaimed political gods of the land, the governor has elected to trust continuously in God because God Almighty is the only godfather he knows.
“Many lawmakers who have seen through what is going on have also chosen to go with the governor if only to send a message across that indeed godfatherism is dead in Edo. The achievements of Governor Obaseki are there for all to see and those bent on taking us backwards have the good people of the state to contend with.”
On Obaseki’s chances of winning the election on an opposition platform, the aide waxed philosophical, reminding our correspondent of the essence of time in the affairs of men.
He added: “It’s one step at a time. The road to Osadebe Avenue is a long one. The defection itself has not taken place yet and even after it, there are bridges to come. At the appropriate time, we would be able to respond properly to this. But let me put it this way: it will be a battle of light against darkness regardless of whether the governor runs again or not.
“If circumstances forced the people’s governor to quit a party he gave his all building and nurturing; the people of Edo State are waiting to make a bold statement. Let’s leave it at that.
Obaseki was disqualified by the screening committee empanelled by the APC to clear its governorship aspirants, a development seen by many as a fallout of the ongoing feud between him and his predecessor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.