Barring any last-minute change, governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress will be holding a meeting with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), over the Edo State APC governorship primary crisis.
One of our correspondents gathered in Abuja on Sunday that the governors would seek Buhari’s intervention in the crisis, which had led to the disqualification of the Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, from the state APC primary scheduled for June 22.
As the APC governors were preparing to meet Buhari, Obaseki on Sunday held separate meetings with the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and his Akwa Ibom State counterpart, Udom Emmanuel.
It was gathered that Obaseki’s meetings were part of his consultations before taking his final decision.
The crisis between Obaseki and his predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole, came to a head on Friday, when the screening committee set up by the party’s National Working Committee disqualified Obaseki and the appeal panel upheld the disqualification.
The screening committee said it disqualified Obaseki because of contradictions in his credentials.
On Sunday, a leader of the party, who spoke in confidence because he was not authorised to speak on the issue said, “The governors are scheduled to meet with Mr. President tomorrow (Monday) to try to redeem what is left of previous attempts to broker peace.
“They are trying to save themselves because what is happening to Obaseki may happen to them.”
Also, the APC governors expressed confidence that the party would resolve its current internal challenges and come of out stronger.
This was contained in a communiqué issued on Sunday, after an emergency Teleconference meeting on Saturday.
The communiqué which was signed by the chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum, Abubakar Bagudu, said the meeting was held to discuss issues around preparations for the Edo and Ondo States APC governorship primary as well as the elections which will follow.
Wike, Obaseki, in 40-minute closed-door meeting
Meanwhile, Obaseki, on Sunday, made a surprise visit to Wike.
Obaseki, who was driven into the Government House in Port Harcourt about a few minutes to 1pm, was immediately received by Wike, before they went into a closed-door meeting, which was said to have lasted for about 40 minutes.
Though the reason for the Edo Governor’s visit to Rivers State was not mentioned by anybody, Obaseki’s envisaged move to the PDP might be the motive behind his trip to the Government House in Port Harcourt.
A Port Harcourt Government House source told one of our correspondents that the closed-door meeting between Obaseki and Wike was only covered by two photographers, adding that no journalist was allowed to enter.
After the visit to Wike, Obaseki also met the Akwa Ibom State governor in Uyo, the state capital.
Governors elected on the platform of the People Democratic Party have thrown their weight behind the alleged plan by Obaseki to defect from the APC to the PDP.
The governors were said to have given Obaseki the nod after his consultation with Wike and Emmanuel on Sunday.
A competent source, who was privy to the meetings, said the discussions were mainly on his plan to join the PDP ahead of the forthcoming governorship election in his state.
It was also gathered that the governor had met with some leaders of the PDP in Edo State.
The faction of the APC in the state loyal to Oshiomhole, on Sunday, called for the expulsion of Obaseki; the chairman of the faction loyal to Obaseki, Anselm Ojezua, and Dr Aisosan Amadasun, for alleged anti-party activities.
Addressing journalists at the factional party secretariat in Benin on Sunday, the acting Chairman, Col David Imuse (retd.), also said there was no faction in the party as being reported in the media, adding that Ojezua was duly removed as chairman of the party and suspended.
But Ojezua said Imuse was an impostor who was facing contempt cases in the state high court.
He said, “Imuse is an impostor. He is already facing contempt charges in the state high court and this will just be an addition to it. However, it seems to me that they have entered the road of no return and the next step will be destruction. They say who the gods want to kill they first make mad”
Also, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr Crusoe Osagie, said those calling for the expulsion of Obaseki were illegal occupiers of executive positions in the party.
When asked if Obaseki would quit APC, Osagie said, “This is a personal decision by him. In the coming days, he will let the world know the decision he has taken. He is still consulting far and wide. He is also going to have a meeting with the President on the matter.”
On his Twitter handle on Sunday, Obaseki told his supporters that he would reveal his next move after meeting Buhari.
“I will be making my next move known after I complete consultations with my supporters and meet with @MBuhari,” he wrote.