The Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo, Mr Tony Aziegbemi, says there will be no automatic ticket for Gov. Godwin Obaseki in the party.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the All Progressives Congress (APC) screening committee had, on Friday, disqualified Obaseki and two others from contesting the party’s primary, scheduled for June 22.
NAN also reports that Obaseki has reportedly been making plans to dump APC for the opposition PDP, ahead of the party’s primaries.
In a telephone interview with NAN on Monday in Benin, Aziegbemi said “I can confirm to you that the governor, his deputy and the entire APC structure in the state will be joining PDP soon.
“We have been in touch in the last few days; by tomorrow, I will be able to confirm the exact date he will be joining, along with his team.
“However, I am not yet aware that the governor has obtained our party’s membership card. I can also say that there is no automatic ticket in the offing for him at all,” he told NAN.
Similarly, a governorship aspirant of the PDP, Mr Ken Imasuagbon, has said he is prepared for open contest, provided his opponents will be ready to subject themselves to the party’s rules and regulations.
Imasuagbon said he was not averse to Obaseki’s planned move to join the party, but added that he would resist any attempt to hand over the party’s ticket to him, preparatory to the governorship election slated for Sept. 19.
According to him, Obaseki will have to join the queue, just like other aspirants, and go through the party’s primaries, billed for June 19 and June 20.
“Any attempt to hand the party’s ticket to him will be met with serious resistance. In fact, there will be no PDP primaries or whatever if the party’s leadership tries it.
“This is neither a military coup nor military rule; the governor must subject himself to the party’s primaries.
“He will need to queue with the other aspirants, if he wishes to join the race. But we will certainly resist handing him over the ticket automatically.
“Have you heard before that somebody will join a party and within three days, he will be given the ticket? Did he buy the party’s nomination form? Was he screened?” he queried.