One of the three governorship aspirants on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Gideon Ikhine, an engineer, may have caved in to pressure to step down for the governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki who is seeking to fly the flag of the party for his re-election after dumping the All Progressives Congress, APC in Tuesday June 16.
Obaseki resigned from the ruling APC. following his disqualification from contesting the primary election of the party slated for Monday June 23 ahead of the September 19 governorship election in the state. The governor formally defected to the PDP on Friday and was same day granted a waiver to participate in the party’s primary election which was initially scheduled to take place on the day he joined the party. But was shifted to Tuesday June 23.
The three PDP aspirants namely Ikhine, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, a member of the House of Representatives, and Kenneth Imasuangbon, a lawyer and educationist, shunned the ceremony in which Obaseki was received into the party..
The trio had since the speculated defection by Obaseki into PDP, vowed to resist any attempt to impose him on the party.
However, there seems to be a new twist in the matter as feelers from the camp of the three aspirants suggested that they may have succumbed to pressure more so when leaders of the party had agreed to field Obaseki along with his deputy, Philip Shaibu.
On Friday, Ikhine’s campaign team (Edo Restoration 2020), headed by Victor Edos Ebomoyi, the Director General, issued a statement which suggested that he may have thrown in the towel. Ikhine, a Port Harcourt- based business man, is a close associate of the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, who facilitated Obaseki’s coming into the PDP
Tony Okonigene, spokesman of the campaign organization, in the statement, said ithe team welcome Obaseki and Shaibu into the party and would make the position of its principal known on Monday at a press briefing after a “detailed review” of the circumstances surrounding the postponement of the primary election and the coming in of the governor and his deputy.
According to Okonigene, the campaign Organization “has been studying the political development in the PDP. The council has met with the leaders of Edo Central Senatorial District and consulted widely with members of our campaign council, coordinators and well-meaning party faithful.
“We wish to make the following statements.
We reiterate our belief in the vision of our Principal, Engr. Gideon Ikhine FNSE in his quest to get the PDP out of the shackles of opposition in the state.
We salute the courage and dedication of Engr. Gideon Ikhine and the entire members of the team in this noble vision
Our collective concern is to ensure that the PDP takes over the affairs of governance in Edo state and ultimately the country.
We welcome the coming of His Excellency, Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, His Excellency, Philip Shaibu into the PDP.
We have had a detailed review of all the circumstances surrounding the postponement of the primary and the coming of his Excellency, Godwin Obaseki with his deputy, His Excellency Philip Shaibu into our party.
We have advised our Principal, Engr Gideon Ikhine accordingly and he will be making his position known to the public … on Monday 22nd June…
In reaching his decision, Engr Gideon Ikhine will take into consideration the overall interest of the party and the future well being of Edo state above his personal ambition”.