This is Why I Resigned From APC Immediately After Meeting With Me. President -Obaseki

The embattled Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, on Tuesday made his decision to quit the All Progressives Congress official after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja.

He said announcing his resignation at the State House was a mark of respect for Buhari and in keeping with the promise he made earlier that he (Obaseki) would speak on his next move after meeting with the President.

Speaking with State House Correspondents after the meeting, Obaseki noted, “I have said that before I make a decision, I have to show respect to my President, who I adore, who for me is an epitome of incorruptibility, an epitome of order, an epitome of lawfulness.

“This is the man whom for him that is what Nigeria should be all about. I think I owe him that respect to come and tell him what I have done and why I have decided to take the decision I took.”

The APC’s screening committee had last week disqualified the sitting governor from participating in the June 22 primaries ahead of the September governorship poll in Edo state.

Obaseki’s meeting with Buhari came barely 24 hours after APC National Chairman, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, led National Working Committee members to a meeting with the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, at the Presidential Villa.

The agenda was the Edo APC crisis and Oshiomhole seized the opportunity to defend the decision to disqualify Obaseki on the grounds of “inconsistencies” in school and National Youth Service certificates.

Obaseki explained that the decision to dump the APC came after he consulted widely with stakeholders and supporters across the state to his convictions.

“(I’m) just here today to inform you that I have now decided formally to resign my membership of the All Progressives Congress. Having done that, I will now announce in the next few days my specific line of action and what platform I will be contesting the gubernatorial election on.”

Asked a specific question on why he resigned, the governor replied, “I am sure the whole country knows and is aware of what has gone on with me and the party chairman in party leadership, which culminated in my disqualification as a gubernatorial aspirant.

“Upon that unfortunate decision by the chairman of the APC, I have decided to go and seek my gubernatorial aspiration on another platform.”

He dismissed Oshiomhole’s position that the incumbency factor would not save him, saying, “Time will tell. Let us go to the polls and Nigerians will see.”

Obaseki also answered questions over alleged inconsistencies in his school and NYSC certificates.

He spoke elaborately on the issues, “Someone who hasn’t gone to school, who doesn’t have a certificate himself, will not know and understand what inconsistencies in certificates are. That is the starting point.

“What is the inconsistency? There is no inconsistency in my certificates.

 The issue was in 2016, when I contested for gubernatorial election; I could not find the originals of my certificates because I hadn’t required them for more than two decades. So, I deposed to an affidavit that I couldn’t find the originals.

Subsequently, I found all the original copies of my certificates and they are with me. So, I don’t understand what’s inconsistent about that.

“Maybe, the inconsistency (is) in the NYSC certificate where he (Oshiomhole) said my surname was missing an ‘I’ at the end.

 But, if you look at that it was like a cursive, it was written in a cursive manner. So if that is inconsistency for him, then it is really sad that people of that quality are leading Nigeria’s ruling party.

“For him, it was just to look for an excuse to take whatever decision he wants to take and it is really sad that the party structure today gives him that sort of authority without checks.

 That is dangerous for any system or any institution.

 When you give authority and responsibility to people who don’t have character, people who do not have finesse, a sense of justice, then that institution is imperilled.”

Asked what he discussed with some Peoples Democratic Party governors recently, Obaseki responded, “First, these are my brother governors who are from my sub-region; some of them have gone through similar experiences I am going through.

“It is only proper that when you have challenges of this nature, you will go and talk to people who have gone through similar experiences for advice.

That’s basically what I went to do with them.”

When he was asked what reply Buhari gave to him, Obaseki re-directed the question, telling the reporters to find out from the President directly.

He dismissed all accusations and allegations made against him by Oshiomhole, stating that his only offence was being knowledgeable and a man of himself.

Obaseki alleged that Oshiomhole’s style of politics was all about “brigandage”, a reason he had become uncomfortable with people like him who had a different view of life.

On whether he made the right decision to dump APC ahead of the election, Obaseki said, “I am sure if you have scanned the environment; you have scanned the media; you have scanned the social media; the reaction from people across the world, particularly Edos at home and in the Diaspora, have for me been unbelievable.

“They have said to me, ‘wherever you go, we go’.”

Meanwhile, Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, also visited Buhari on Tuesday.

Like Obaseki, the Ondo governor too will face a re-election contest in October this year.

He said he came to brief Buhari about the coming polls and the fact that he (Akeredolu) would contest again.

“Having obtained the expression of interest and nomination forms, I decided to let the President know of the fact that I will be contesting election again.

“The last time I contested, I made it known to him that I would be running for the election.

So, I have only come here to let the President know of the fact that I will be running for this office and I pray God Almighty that I will be successful and that I needed his blessing and he wished me very well.

“That is why I have come”, he explained.

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