The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced last week that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic will not affect the election already scheduled for September 19, 2020.
While speaking during an interview on Channels Television on Wednesday, May 27, Obaseki said his first term performance will easily earn him another four years in the Edo Government House.
“I’m not bothered. The evidence is out there. As the governor of Edo State in the last three years, we know we’ve done well. People say we’ve done well. Therefore, any contest will be no contest, if it’s not manipulated.
“My party is a lawful party, I hope and pray that things are done properly and in line with the party constitution,” he said.
Obaseki was first elected governor in 2016 on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) with the full backing of outgoing governor, Adams Oshiomhole.
He has since had a very public falling out with Oshiomhole who is now the APC’s national chairman, and is reported to be using his influence to replace Obaseki after one term.
Osagie Ize-Iyamu who lost to Obaseki in 2016 while with the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) joined the APC last year, and is rumoured to be Oshiomhole’s choice.
Last week, the APC’s National Working Committee (NWC), headed by Oshiomhole, reportedly granted Ize-Iyamu a waiver to contest in the party’s governorship primary election scheduled for next month.
The former Secretary to the Edo government would have been unable to contest otherwise, because he hasn’t been with the party for up to the required one year stated in its constitution.
Osagie Ize-Iyamu has been touted as Oshiomhole’s choice for the September governorship election [The Bridge News NG]
Despite Ize-Iyamu’s growing influence, Obaseki said he’s confident of winning the party’s ticket because the APC is governed by rules and not one man.
He said, “Even when some people in the party don’t subject themselves to the rule of law, it doesn’t obliterate the fact that APC is a lawful party.
“Yes, I have issues with the national chairman, and we’ve suspended him from the party in the state because of his anti-party activities, but I don’t think the party will sit down and allow him be a judge in a matter he’s involved in.
“APC is not the sole property of an individual or a chairman. APC is a collection of interests; a political party that’s governed by rules.”
Despite his confidence, the governor said he’s worried about bloodshed and concerned about protecting the people of the state from an election rigged with violence.
He also waved off public flirtations from the opposition PDP which said it’s open to the possibility of him jumping ship.