Edo state Governor Godwin Obaseki who was screened at the national secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abuja on Saturday June 20, has said that he still enjoys the support of some All Progressives Congress (APC) Governors.
He said the same certificates which he was disqualified for by the APC, were the ones he presented to the PDP screening committee without any issue.
“I still thank God that I enjoy national support; not just support from my colleagues from the APC. I think the support is national.
“There are elder statesmen who are apolitical, there are traditional rulers. I have people from different spectra of the society who come around in solidarity with me and they support me because I think Nigerians are generally fair minded people.
“They are people who do not accept injustice. From what I have seen over the past several weeks and months, the support is across board. It is not just from APC governors alone.”
While one of the three PDP aspirants for the primary election, Kenneth Imansuangbon has kicked against Obaseki’s participation in the exercise and insisted that he would not trade away his aspiration, the two other aspirants, Gideon Ikhine and Omorege Ogbeide-Ihama have not raised any objection to the inclusion of the governor in the exercise.
Commenting on the development, Obaseki said he has initiated discussions with them as he never joined the PDP to divide the party.
“I am not a dividing candidate. I am speaking with all the aspirants. My hope and purpose for the PDP is to have a united and very strong party.
“Party primary should not be divisive because we as a party are focused on the same objective, and because we are separate individuals, our approach may be different.
“So, party primary, in my view, should not be acrimonious and destructive. And there are common grounds, common interest and I am very hopeful that I will get it (ticket) even as there are quite a number of delegates for the exercise.”
Speaking on his defection from the APC to PDP, Obaseki averred that there has never been any ideological difference between the two parties.
My experience is that having served four years as a governor, I don’t see that ideological divide. It doesn’t exist. I think the focus for me is development.
“Whether you are a conservative or a progressive, it is expected that the outcome should be development.
“And unfortunately, I got a bit confused in the APC. At some point, I was being accused of not sharing the money.
“When we were campaigning against PDP, we said that the problem there was that they were sharing the money. So for me, it cannot be about ideology.
“At this point in time, it is important that I will provide strong and correct leadership, provide a direction for the country and for our people, provide the basic amenities that they need – education, health care, good infrastructure.
“These are the things that our people are yearning for. These are the things that we are doing in Edo State today.
“So as a progressive or as a conservative, my ideology is about the people: getting the people to enjoy the benefits of democracy.”