Governor Godwin Obaseki has dismissed any notion of discord with his deputy, Hon Philip Shaibu, stating he will support his governorship ambition if he emerges candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Obaseki stated this after a meeting between the National Working Committee (NWC) and the Edo State Chapter stakeholders, held at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja.
The meeting, which was meant to address internal party dynamics and strategise for the upcoming elections, comes as Obaseki and his deputy are perceived to be at loggerheads over the latter’s plan to succeed his boss.
Speaking after the meeting, Obaseki when asked about the state of his relationship with Shaibu, his deputy, said
“There is absolutely no issue between me and my deputy and he is here, he wants to contest and we are not asking him to drop his ambition. He is a free born of Edo state and he can contest.”
When asked if he will support Shaibu to become the next governor, Obaseki said “I will support whoever the party supports.”
On his part the national chairman of the party, Amb Umar Iliya Damagum, said “We have agreed to work together as one family and we will go further to break the meeting into smaller committees so that at the end of the day, we will come out with a better solution. But in conclusion, Edo now is one family.”
On the perceived rift between the governor and his deputy, the national chairman said, “We are talking about an election here and you are talking about issues between the governor and his deputy. There was no issue.”
One of the aspirants present at the meeting, Asue Ighodalo, expressed satisfaction with the proceedings, describing it as a “very fruitful family meeting” with a focus on unity.
Ighodalo emphasised unity and expressed optimism about the party’s prospects in the upcoming elections.
“The PDP is set to win the next election in the state by the grace of God Almighty. The leadership of the party all spoke well and in line with unity for the party. We are all very happy coming out of that meeting,” he declared.
Responding to expectations from the party, Ighodalo assured continuous great governance for Edo State, advocating for a unified and strong party.
When questioned about his chances of securing the party ticket, he redirected the focus to the fundamental need for party unity. “That is in God Almighty’s hands. What we are most concerned about now is the unity of the party,” he asserted. “I don’t think that anybody is directly thinking about that issue now. It is fundamental that the party stays united and strong. That is what we are all focusing on, that is what everybody attending the meeting is focusing on.”