Edo 2020: My hope, purpose for PDP – Obaseki

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The Edo State governor Godwin Obaseki has said his hope and purpose for his recently found political abode, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is to have a strong and united party.

Speaking shortly after he was screened by the Kingsley Chinda-led screening committee, Obaeki described the exercise as fair and professional with a sense of objectivity.

Obaseki who joined the party to contest for the number one seat in the state under the PDP after he was disqualified by the All Progressives Congress (APC) said he was speaking with other aspirant to ensure a united party ahead of the June 25 primary and subsequently Sept. 19 governorship poll.

“The screening exercise was fair and professional; I saw objectivity in it.” “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, but because we are individuals, our approaches may be different.

“So, party primary, in my view, should not be acrimonious and destructive. There are common grounds, common interests and I am very hopeful that I will get it even as there are quite a number of delegates for the exercise,” he said.

Obaseki said he enjoyed national support, not just support from his colleagues from the APC saying “There are elder statesmen who are apolitical; there are traditional rulers; I have people from different spectrum of the society who come around on solidarity with me.

“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 just across the board. It is not just from APC governors alone,” he said.

Obaseki, however, urged political parties, who were wooing him to their parties, to support his aspiration under the PDP platform.

“I believe they made overtures to me because they believe that we share something in common; that there is something I can offer their platform.

“So, my message is that those hopes and aspirations which they were hoping for, which was the reasons they wanted me to join their parties, can still be realised under the platform of the PDP.

“I will encourage them and woo them to join me in the PDP,” he said.

Chinda, speaking earlier, assured Nigerians that the screening committee would be fair, transparent and would do justice to whoever appears before it.

“We are not unaware that he is a serving governor, but that has nothing to do with us as members of the screening committee. We want to assure everyone that whatever our findings are, we shall report to the party. But be rest assured that we will be fair as human beings,” Chinda said.

The party, on June 5, conducted a screening exercise for three aspirants – Kenneth Imansuangbon, Omoregie-Ogbeide Ihama and Gideon Ikhine.

The party on Friday granted waiver to Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shuaibu, to enable them seek re-election under its platform, while it also shifted its primary election from June 23 to June 25.