There was an uproar last Friday in the Nigerian political circle as the All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship screening panel disqualified incumbent Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki.
The screening committee headed by Prof. Jonathan Mamu Ayuba premised its disqualification of Governor Obaseki on six grounds following a petition by Chisimdi M. Chima of Shores and Savanna International Law Firm.
The grounds for disqualification of the embattled Edo governor according to the Panel includes; claiming to have a Higher School Leaving Certificate which is unknown to the Nigerian educational system; allegedly being in possession of an affidavit disowned by the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory; error in the National Youth Service Corps discharge certificate which bears Obasek as against Obaseki, loss of primary, secondary and the Higher School Leaving Certificate, alleged violation of Article 21 D (V) of the party’s constitution; which forbids members from taking the party to court and legal precedents occasioned by the judgements of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court on discrepancies in names.
With these six grounds, the APC Screening Committee came to the conclusion that there was no legal basis for clearing him, and that the party would be taking a risk similar to the Bayelsa State episode if it did.
It is strange that Obaseki who came to power through the instrumentality of the APC, was not disqualified in 2016. One wonders whether the certificate presented in 2016 was not the same certificates presented in 2020. While the decision may have put paid to the governor’s aspiration on the platform of the party, since Obaseki allegedly vowed not to appeal the panel’s decision, Daily Nigerian Horn would however draw the attention of the political class to the issue of impunity and crass indiscipline by politicians.
For over two years, Obaseki has been at daggers drawn with his erstwhile benefactor and political godfather, Adams Oshiomhole. Several efforts made to reconcile the two did not yield fruits. Last ditch efforts by governors under APC to save their colleague ended in failure.
While Oshiomhole, the APC National Chairman may have had his way, there is every likelihood that Obaseki, as the sitting Chief Executive could strike back.
This could be disastrous as the victims will be innocent Edo people who are still recovering from the COVID-19 economic malaise.
We therefore, wish to appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari, not to allow bloodshed in the coming Edo guber election.
All hands must be on deck to make sure that the election did not degenerate into chaos. May God help Edo people.