…Demoralized Supporters Seeking Exit
Dangote’s public humiliation of Godwin Obaseki yesterday with a fierce statement disowning the embattled Governor and his second term ambition has thrown the Edo PDP into disarray, with many supporters of the Governor demoralized and seeking an exit.
Apart from corroborating reports that Obaseki has been deserted by a number of high-profile persons who are convinced of his comprehensive defeat in September, Dangote’s statement revealed the falsehood of Obaseki’s claims that he had lined up a team of friends from the private sector who are ready to commit funds to his wobbly re-election campaign.
The embattled governor sold the gimmick to the leaders of the PDP who immediately forsook the likes of Kenneth Imasuagbon and Ogbeide-Ihama and forcefully imposed Obaseki on the party with hopes of sharing from the largesse purportedly coming from the private sector after an initial down payment of 15 billion naira which Obaseki illegally sourced from the state treasury.
However, they were stunned yesterday when news of Dangote’s furious call to Obaseki warning him to leave him out of his political travails was confirmed with a follow-up statement in which the billionaire businessman repudiated the governor and his team as “malicious, mischievous, and irresponsible.”
Confidential reports from influential figures in the PDP indicate that the statement has widened the cracks in the party. Many leaders of the party are said to be agitated and frantically calling Obaseki, demanding to know why he lied to them of securing private sector support when his sole plan was to fund his campaign from state funds, a situation that could open them to litigation and possible imprisonment if the Governor is defeated in September.
Other supporters of Obaseki who have watched morosely as several PDP Chieftains and spirited grassroots mobilizers express their rejection of the Governor in large numbers for days now are completely demoralized and reportedly seeking a way out of the sinking ship.
It remains unclear how Obaseki intends to manage this escalating crisis but some have warned that he may yet turn to the state coffers again to cause another “money rain” in the PDP even though important workers in the state are unpaid and suffering the worsening poverty conditions amid a pandemic that has increased inflation rates.