Deal with me if I attempt to be a godfather says Obaseki
The Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, has said he should be dealt with accordingly should he make any attempts to take the baton of godfatherism he has fought so much to end in the state.
Obaseki also foreclosed the possibility of returning to the All Progressives Congress (APC) any time soon saying such a move would negatively affect his credibility.
Fielding questions from State House correspondents after the meeting with President Buhari, said he was at the State House on an appreciation visit to the President, following last weekend’s governorship election, which he won and re-elected as governor of Edo State.
He also said he will not attempt to replace former APC national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, as the new godfather of Edo politics, saying that if he does, “I should be dealt with accordingly.”
“[Buhari] said that he wants to leave a democracy that is built on integrity, accountability and hard work. Those were his words and I subscribe totally to that,” Obaseki told journalists.
“I couldn’t have contested on a party, won on that party and then consider moving to another party. It is not the kind of thing to do; it’s not the right thing to do and I am sure you will not encourage me to do that.”
He, however, pledges loyalty and support to Buhari, whom he said was instrumental to his reelection as Edo State governor.
Obaseki said: “You would recall a couple of weeks before the election, I came to see you and you assured me that we were going to have a free, peaceful and credible election. That is what we had during the election of 19th September and the whole world has acclaimed that Edo election was perhaps one of the best conducted in recent times in Nigeria. This could not have been possible without your insistence that the right things be done, and for that, we want to say thank you very much.”
Obaseki dumped the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) following his disqualification from the party’s gubernatorial primaries.
Obaseki also said he was not disposed to replace former APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, as the new godfather of Edo politics, saying “I should be dealt with accordingly,” if he attempts to do so.
The newly elected Governor dismissed the idea of godfatherism in the polity, adding that the concept was outside the purview of the constitution of Nigeria.
“In the case of godfathers in our politics, I have said in several fora that the whole concept of godfatherism is very dangerous to our democracy,” Obaseki said.
“And that is why when we came into the political fray 2006/2007, the mantra then was to get rid of godfathers from our political life. The reason is simple, the godfather has no constitutional responsibility, the godfather acts outside the constitution and controls people who are constitutional players. So, if we allow that sort of situation to continue, it will be worse than military rule.
“When people who have nothing at stake, no checks and balances just arbitrarily decide that this is the way the constitution should be interpreted or constitutional players should operate, that’s why problems come in.
“God forbid I become a godfather; I should be dealt with accordingly because it’s dangerous to the concept of democracy.”
Today, I paid a courtesy visit to @MBuhari to appreciate him for his stance on a fair and peaceful governorship election in Edo State last Saturday. We are grateful for the President's committment to democratic ideals, which was clearly demonstrated during the election. pic.twitter.com/lYqOwO2vOK
— Godwin Obaseki (GGO) (@GovernorObaseki) September 25, 2020