Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He made the announcement on Friday at the Party’s Secretariat in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
His Deputy, Philip Shaibu, is expected to formally declare for the PDP in Auchi today.
Meanwhile, all things being equal, Governor Obaseki will appear before the PDP Screening Committee today, to be screened as one of the aspirants seeking the party ticket to contest the September 19 governorship election.
The PDP had shifted its primary election earlier scheduled for today, till June 23 and 24, ostensibly to accommodate Governor Obaseki.
The Hon. Kingsley Chinda led committee had earlier screened three aspirants. Two of the aspirants; Gideon Ikhine and Ogbeide Ihama were at the venue of the exercise but Mr Kenneth Imansuangbon was screened virtually.
Other members of the committee included Oladimeji Fabiyi, Senator Joy Emordi, Aishat Hasindu, and Boyele Debekeme (the secretary).
Then, the Chairman of the five-member Screening Committee, Kingsley Chinda, had told reporters before the commencement of the exercise which held behind closed doors that the PDP was determined to select its best candidate in order to regain control of Edo State.
Obaseki had defected to the PDP from the All Progressives Congress (APC) after his disqualification by the party’s Screening Committee.
The disqualification was believed to have been engineered by the suspended chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
Officials of the PDP had been engaged in negotiations with Obaseki and top officials of his government on power-sharing between the two blocs ahead of his defection in the last few days.
Though details and terms of the negotiations could not be ascertained at press time yesterday, it was gathered that part of the negotiation was to give him the party’s ticket but some of the aspirants are said to be resisting the move.