Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has broken his silence on the governorship ambition of Philip Shuaibu, his deputy.
Shuaibu, who has had a long-running battle with Obaseki, formally declared his ambition on Monday.
Daily Trust had reported how the declaration venue was changed at the dying-minute as the hotel where the event was to take place refunded the money used for booking on the ground that Obaseki was to hold a programme there at a time which coincided with that of Shuaibu.
But the deputy governor who was not deterred chose another venue, telling the crowd at the rally that he was unstoppable.
“I have been pressed but not crushed, persecuted but not abandoned, badly hurt but not destroyed. I resonate with the tireless and irrepressible Spirit of the Edo People. By the grace of God, nothing and no one can stop us. After all, I am original Edo son, 100 percent home boy,” he had said.
But speaking in Bauchi State, on Thursday, Obaseki said only members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would decide if Shuaibu would emerge gubernatorial candidate of the party.
He spoke to journalists shortly after a closed-door meeting with the Chairman of PDP Governors Forum and Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed.
Asked whether he would support Shuaibu, Obaseki said, “I am only one of the millions of party members in Edo state. I don’t think my vote alone can determine whether he becomes the party’s flag bearer.
“The relationship as you know is cordial; he wants to run for the office I currently occupy; he is free to, and I think as a Nigerian, he has a constitutional right nobody can’t and should stop him.
“The party would decide and also only the members of the party would decide who would be the flag bearer of our party in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Edo state.”
Obaseki explained that he was in Bauchi alongside the immediate past Governor of Akwa Ibom, Udom Emmanuel, to congratulate Mohammed over his victory at the Court of Appeal in Abuja.
The appellate court had, last week, validated the election of Bauchi governor.
Obaseki added the the visit had to do with issues in the PDP and state of the nation.
“Things are mot going as we want them to be and we are still rubbing our minds together to see how we save this country. How we can support the administration to see how we can ensure that we reduce the sufferings of Nigerians.”
“Things are very very difficult as you at this point in time, Nigerians are sufferings and the suffering is almost unprecedented, but I think we should stop lamenting and see what do we do as leaders; to put more food on table. The year is getting to an end; we have seen prices of food items going up; what will we as PDP governors do to ameliorate the sufferings of our people. These are some of things we came to talk about while preserving the unity of this country,” Obaseki added.