Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo has ruled out a return to the All Progressives Congress after winning his reelection under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party.
The governor was disqualified from the governorship primaries of APC, the party under which he was first elected four years ago had to decamp to PDP to seek a second term.
Obaseki spoke on Friday after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, saying he could not contest under one party, win and then move to another.
He said, “I couldn’t have contested in one party, won on that party and then consider moving to another party. It is not the kind of thing to do, it’s not the right thing to do and I am sure you will not encourage me to do that.
Speaking with journalists, he denounced the idea of godfathers in Edo politics.
Obaseki said, ”God forbid I become a godfather, I should be dealt with accordingly because it’s dangerous to the concept of democracy.”
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He said, “We are here in the villa to show our profound gratitude and appreciation for this, which on the surface will look normal but the implications are very far reaching.
“Because, this is a sitting president whose party’s was contesting an election and insisted that the right thing be done and a level playing field be created for contestants.”
He said, “By doing so, that singular action has deepened our democracy, far beyond what we can understand and imagine today.
”So, for that act alone, we felt we must come and say thank you. Mr President in his characteristic humorous manner, said he reluctantly congratulated me for beating his party.”
Continuing, Obaseki said, “He also pointed that his role first we foremost as president of Nigeria, is to be president of all regardless of your party, race, tribe, creed. We couldn’t ask for more from Mr President, he really played the role of a statesman.”
He said, ”from the comments of Mr. President, he said that he wants to leave a democracy that is built on integrity, accountability and hard work.
“Those were his words and I subscribe totally to that. It will not show integrity; it will not demonstrate somebody that has ethical or moral foundation to do what you asked about.”
“In the case of godfathers in our politics, I have said in several fora that the whole concept of godfatherism is very dangerous to our democracy. And that is why when we came into the political fray 2006/2007, the mantra then was to get rid of godfathers from our political life.”
He said, ”The reason is simple, the godfather has no constitutional responsibility, the godfather acts outside the constitution and controls people who are constitutional players.
“So, if we allow that sort of situation to continue, it will be worse than military rule. When people who have nothing at stake, no checks and balance, just arbitrarily decide that this is the way the constitution should be interpreted or constitutional players should operate, that’s why problems come in.”