Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has formally resigned from the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The governor announced this on Tuesday after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
His deputy, Philip Shaibu, has also resigned from the APC, through a resignation letter addressed to the ward chairman, APC Ward 11, Etsako West Local Government.
Obaseki’s resignation came days after the All Progressives Congress disqualified him from contesting in next week’s primary election – jeopardizing his bid to win a second term in the September 19 governorship election.
He was disqualified on the basis of his certificates – a reason believed to be widely influenced by Adams Oshiomhole, the APC’s national chairman, Obaseki’s political ally turned adversary.
However, Governor Obaseki had met high-ranking personalities of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the past few days and believed to be headed to the main opposition party ahead of the September election.
Asked what his chances would be vying for office on another platform, he replied: “I’m sure if you’ve scanned the environment, you’ve scanned the media, you’ve scanned social media, the reaction from people across the world, particularly Edo, at home and in the Diaspora, for me, has been unbelievable. They’ve said to me, ‘wherever you go, we go’.”
On why he chose the State House to announce his resignation, the governor said: “I’ve said that before I make a decision, I have to show respect to my president, who I adore, who, for me, is an epitome of incorruptibility, epitome of order, an epitome of lawfulness. I think I owe him that respect to come and tell him what I have done and why I decided to take the decision I took.”
He, however, refused to disclose what President Muhammadu Buhari’s reaction was about his decision to quit the ruling party, saying: “You’ll get that from Mr. President.”
Responding, APC said it was yet to be notified of the reported resignation of the Edo State Governor.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said this in response to inquiries, said that “the party has no record of the reported defection of Governor Godwin Obaseki from the Progressive party”.
“We cannot comment at this moment on media reports suggesting the Edo governor or anyone else has left our great party”, he explained.