A coalition of 35 political parties in Edo State, registered and deregistered, say they are endorsing incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, Phillip Shaibu for another term in office. Obaseki and Shaibu are candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
Notable among the political parties are Social Democratic Party, SDP, Accord Party, AP, KOWA, and 32 others.
At a press conference in Benin on Friday, spokesperson for the coalition, Collins Dare Oreruan said their endorsement became necessary so the duo could consolidate on the “good work” they have already started in the state.
Oreruan said to sustain the rapid development currently going in the state, it was very important for others who have indicated their interest to contest in the forthcoming governorship election in the state to jettison such idea and support Obaseki to actualize his dream for the state.
“The coalition of 35 registered and the recently deregistered political parties in Edo state have joined their structures together to endorse and massively support the re-election of Governor Godwin Obaseki and Phillip Shaibu for another four years.
“WE resolved that instead of acting as individual entities, it will be more effective to support the governor as a block with our existing party structures across the state.
“We also resolved to advise our individual governorship candidates to withdraw and join hands with Governor Obaseki to build on the growth and developmental legacies and foundation he has laid in his first tenure”, he said.
Oreruan noted that the forthcoming election was not about religious titles but about the civility, order, very peaceful atmosphere pervading the state under the current administration of Obaseki. According to him, it is also about the liberation of the market women and men from multiple levies/taxes and harassment by touts.
He asserted that their campaigns shall be issue based, highlighting the visible projects and programmes of the state governor, devoid of lies, false propaganda, insults and character assassination and violence.
But in its reaction ahead of the press conference, the State Media Campaign Council of the All Progressives Congress, APC, accused the 35 political parties of compromise. It alleged that the parties were planning a “staged press conference” to endorse the incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki of the PDP.
In a statement by John Mayaki, the Chairman of the Media Campaign Council, the APC said the ‘motley of parties’ have sold out their platform and done irrevocable damage to their potential for growth in the state by agreeing to offer their support to a widely rejected Governor.
Mayaki said “These parties, which ordinarily ought to present themselves to the people of Edo State as viable alternatives to build the necessary followership required for future relevance, have decided to instead cash in on the greed of their leaders…. to support a governor widely rejected in his state for his non-performance.
“With this act of betrayal and greed, it is safe to say that these parties have successfully and irrevocably done damage to their integrity and placed a final barrier to any potential for growth and relevance in Edo State.
“They make no attempt to increase their followership, present logical ideas to the people, or even make the most basic preparations for elections, whether statewide or grassroots. Rather, their entire existence is to negotiate and declare support for the highest bidder”.
According to the APC, “Luckily for them, they have found a good client in the desperate and rejected Godwin Obaseki. As we have repeatedly said, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is not in the business of paying for support. This is why he has focused on selling his manifesto to the people through an issue-based campaign devoid of name-calling and propaganda. The support he enjoys now from the millions of people in the state, advocacy groups, political parties, and the many others that will endorse him in the immediate future, is organic and based solely on their conviction.”
The party said “Obaseki can enjoy the few headlines and news mentions that these procured endorsements will fetch him, but he must never lose sight of the fact that, in the final analysis, they are irrelevant and incapable of changing the minds of the majority of Edo people who will be voting the All Progressives Congress on the 19th of September.”