Ahead of the Saturday Election in Edo State, the all Progressives Congress leader, Bola Tinubu, has declared that governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State does not deserve any democratic paper, so should not be voted for.
Speaking in a sponsored broadcast on TVC on Tuesday, Tinubu called on Edo State voters to reject Obaseki who is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Tinubu said, “He (Obaseki) does not deserve any democratic ballot paper. Don’t vote for him, I appeal to all of you.”
The APC leader said while he was taking part in the democratic struggle in the 1990s, Obaseki was nowhere to be found hence the governor’s inability to appreciate democratic institutions.
“I want to appeal to you to reject Godwin Obaseki in this coming election. I have suffered with many others to bring about this democratic regime, that today, we are enjoying in the country. Then, Godwin Obaseki didn’t participate in any aspect of the struggle to enshrine democracy in the country.
“Therefore, he could not understand the value and the pains associated with this democratic struggle,” Tinubu stated.
The former governor of Lagos State said Obaseki prevented 14 of the 24 elected state lawmakers from being inaugurated.
He said Obaseki refused to take the advice of the National Assembly and the Attorney-General of the Federation to let the 14 members of the House of Assembly be inaugurated.
Tinubu said rather than let them be inaugurated, Obaseki supervised the destruction of the House of Assembly complex all in a bid to prevent them from being sworn-in.
He, therefore, called on the people of Edo State to punish the governor.
The APC chieftain added, “He demonstrated the act of dictatorship, lack of respect for rule of law, lack of respect for you the people who voted for those legislators prevented from being sworn-in. Today, he now comes back as a democrat wanting you to vote for him. Please, I appeal to you, reject him.
“Several institutions and leaders of our country appealed to him to respect constitutional democracy but he rejected all entreaties. He rejected the appeal of the National Assembly.
“When the Attorney-General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria enumerated the path of honour and the constitution of the country, rather than obey and respect the law, he vandalised the House of Assembly in Edo by removing the roofs, burning gravels and rocks at the entrance of the House of Assembly only to prevent these 14 members from being sworn-in. Now, he is asking for our votes, your votes, our dear people. Is he a democrat? No, he is not.”
The crisis in the Edo State House of Assembly began when it was inaugurated under controversial circumstances at night with only nine, out of 24 lawmakers-elect, on June 17, 2019, following a proclamation by the governor.
The lawmakers, who were not part of the process, as well as the APC, rejected the process and called on the governor to issue a fresh proclamation.
However, a Federal High Court in Rivers State barred the governor from doing so. A separate court also barred the National Assembly from taking over the Edo Assembly.
This worsened the crisis within the APC in the state and deepened the feud between Obaseki and his predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole, who was also the National Chairman of the APC.
The governor orchestrated the suspension of Oshiomhole from the party at the ward level. In retaliation, Oshiomhole ensured that Obaseki did not clinch the governorship ticket of the APC and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu emerged as the winner of the primary.
The crisis in the Edo State chapter of the APC and the multiple court rulings on Oshiomhole’s suspension snowballed into a national crisis that culminated in the President Muhammadu Buhari, dissolving the National Working Committee of the APC causing Oshiomhole to lose his position.
An attempt by the aggrieved lawmakers to be inaugurated was, however, scuttled by men claiming to be renovating the Assembly complex.
However, the APC claimed the men were thugs hired by the governor who was afraid of being impeached.
Tinubu, who is rumoured to be nursing a Presidential ambition, is an ardent supporter of Oshiomhole.