Kenneth Imasuagbon, one of the three candidates of the PDP originally cleared to contest for the party’s governorship ticket in the now postponed primary, abruptly cut short a meeting convened to intimidate him into dropping his ambition for the defecting Godwin Obaseki today at Protea Hotel in Benin City.
Kenneth reportedly stormed out of the meeting, threatening to sue the party for its blatant violation of established rules and provisions in the attempt to compel a ‘consensus candidate’ through the imposition of Godwin Obaseki.
The PDP had already carried out its screening and set the date for a primary election before the entrance of Godwin Obaseki following his disqualification by the Screening Committee of the All Progressives Congress over discrepancies in his academic credentials – an issue first raised by the Edo PDP.
The Governor has held a series of meetings with the national leadership of the PDP in Abuja where he reportedly offered inducements meant to land him the party’s ticket in Edo State.
However, the aspirants in the party, claiming disrespect and illegality, have vowed to fight the attempt by ‘Abuja politicians’ to deny them a chance to run a platform they contributed to its survival for a new entrant who has done nothing for the party or its growth in the state.
Another aspirant, Ogbeide Ihama, in a campaign video released by his team, insisted that he is proceeding with his ambition, and will not succumb to pressure to step down for Obaseki. A visibly appalled Ihama recalled his 13 years in the PDP and declared to his spectators that “it is not our portion” to step down for a newbie, throwing jibes to the embattled Godwin Obaseki.
The spiraling crisis in the party is caused primarily by Obaseki’s refusal to participate in any form of contest for the ticket but instead relying on ‘godfathers’ in the PDP to bully the other aspirants into a surrender.
This behavior, similar to what he displayed in the APC that eventually contributed to his ouster, is said to be driven by his lack of popularity – a situation worse in the PDP, a party where he has no corresponding influence against the popularity of the likes of Kenneth Imasuagbon and Ogbeide Ihama. Hence his resort to intimidation through godfathers and desperation to achieve a forced consensus arrangement against the wishes of the aspirants involved.