Odds against Obaseki thickens as APC displays aspirants credentials - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

Odds against Obaseki thickens as APC displays aspirants credentials

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…NWC the highest administrative organ has power to decide mode of primary – Onilu

…We have no negotiation with Obaseki – PDP

While party members and observers await the screening of the six governorship aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State slated for Wednesday and Thursday, there might be landmine laid on the path of a major contender and governor of the state, Godwin Obaseki, to pick the party’s ticket.

Indications emerged on Monday as the party displayed claims of each of the aspirants both at the national secretariat in Abuja and the Edo state party office in Benin.

Recall that the spokesperson of the party, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, had on Friday, said the various submissions would be displayed at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja and in Benin City, the Edo State capital, for claims and objections.

Purpose for the display according to Issa – Onilu is for “party members and indeed members of the public to assist the screening committee by scrutinising the information, credentials and documents provided by the governorship aspirants and availing the screening committee of counter and correct information, if applicable.”

The six aspirants are Gov. Obaseki, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Rt. Hon. Dr. Pius Odubu, Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi, Hon. Osaro Obazee and Hon. Matthew Aigbuhuenze Iduoriyekemwen.

Of the six aspirants, concerns were being raised over the secondary school ordinary level West African Examination Certificate (WAEC) result filed by the governor.

There is apprehension that Obaseki might be disqualified on the ground that he failed to score credit in five subjects. He rather scored credit in three subjects; Religious Knowledge, History and Geography while he score passes in English, Literature and Chemistry.

Scrutinizing the filed claims, questions were raised by concerned party members at the Abuja APC secretariat on how Obaseki scaled the admission process of the University of Ibadan in 1976, without five ‘O’ level credits.

It was however, discovered that Obaseki submitted notification of result of the Institute of Continuous Education, Benin, where he had credit in three subjects, History, English and Literature, which are equivalent to Advance level qualification, which consequently qualified him for the university admission.

Last week, three APC members instituted a forgery suit in Abuja against Obaseki but the governor dismissed the allegation saying ” they say I forged my certificate. How can you forge the certificate of the University of Ibadan (UI)? I am not like those that burn buildings to cover up their certificate issues.”

Addressing journalist at the party secretariat on Monday, the spokesperson said, “ It is only after the screening that one will know who has issues or not. The intention behind the fisplay is not to expose anybody. We only display documents they submitted”.

He said by doing so, the NWC has didplayed transparency in handling the process that will culminate in the emergence of APC candidate in the September 19 governorship election in Edo.

When asked if an emergency meeting og the National Executive Committee (NEC) should be conveyed to decide mode of primary for Edo and Ondo governorship, the national publicity secretary said there is no need for such meeting.

According to him, the NWC acted in line with the provisions of the party’s constitution.

He said ” the NWC is the highest administrative organ of the party and it has taken a decision on the mode of primary to be adopted for our governorship primary in Edo

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has denied any alliance with Governor Obaseki on the party’s governorship ticket in Edo.

National publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan at a briefing in Abuja on Monday said tGov. Obaseki remsins a member of the ruling APC and has not defected into the PDP, neither was any underhand dealings between the party and Obaseki.

Ologbondiyan said ” I am not aware if we tried to convince Governor Obaseki to join the PDP. I am aware that the PDP has aspirants in Edo and Ondo states. Prior to the situation in Edo, our party was open and any Nigerian who was ready to contest a clean, clear, free, fair and democratic primaries was at liberty to join the party”.

He also denied knowledge of the national leadership of PDP gaving Obaseki some stringent conditions to meet including the demand of a huge sum of money.

“Which national leadership of the party? Are you talking about the NEC or NWC? We can say this before all Nigerians: under the leadership of Prince Uche Secondus as the national chairman of the PDP, we do not negotiate slots.

“We don’t sell slots. It is clear, you can find out. It is strange and totally misplaced for anybody to make such allegation. I never sat in any meeting where such discussions allegedly took place. The allegation is totally unfounded and it is unacceptable to us as a party”.

On the mode of primary to be adopted in Edo, he said “our selection process is through the indirect primaries and whoever emerges would be the authentic candidate of our party. The Prince Uche Secondus-led NWC conducted our affairs in line with international best practices when it comes to electineering.

“The national convention held by our party in Port Harcourt ahead of the 2019 Presidential election is the standard for all our primary elections as we go into the Edo and Ondo elections”.