The political battle between the godfather, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and his godson, Governor Godwin Obaseki became messier on Friday, when the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), disqualified the sitting state helmsman from contesting in the party’s primary election.
The party’s screening committee had announced the disqualification of Obaseki from contesting in the governorship primary election in Edo State, slated for July 22, while presenting its report to the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee in Abuja on Friday.
Two other aspirants, Mr Matthew Iduoriyekemwe and Mr Chris Ogiemwonyi, were also disqualified from participating in the June 22 Edo governorship primaries.
The seven-member screening committee, headed by Prof. Jonathan Ayuba, also cleared three aspirants: Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Hon. Osaro Obaze and Dr Pius Odubu to contest the primaries.
Ayuba made his committee’s decision known on Friday, while presenting the its report to the party’s National Chairman, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, at the APC national secretariat in Abuja.
He described the methodology used in screening the aspirants as evidence-based.
“The methodology we used is clear. It was evidence-based. All we did was an interaction.
“We screened six aspirants, three were eligible to contest and three were deemed ineligible to participate,” the committee chairman said.
He said that the committee disqualified Obaseki due to what he called the defect in his Higher School Certificate (HSC).
Ayuba added that Obaseki’s name, written in his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate, was issued in error by the NYSC authority.
“Though, His Excellency, Godwin Obaseki, in his nomination form claimed to have obtained a Higher School Certificate (HSC) from an Institute of Continuing Education, Benin, it was observed, however, that no educational certificate such as HSC is known in Nigerian educational system.
“Even then, the same HSC was never presented in the course of the screening exercise. The aspirant admitted that he has never collected it.
“The attestation from the Institute of Continuing Education, Benin, from where the alleged HSC, which was indicated in the field of attendance, is of no consequence.”
According to him, it only attests that Obaseki was a student of the institute.
“So what we had was like an attendance; it was not a result.
“Although, the committee received a petition on his University of Ibadan Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Classics certificate, which he submitted to INEC in 2016, when he first contested as governor, it, on further probing, was presented with original certificate, issued by the university and the original was sighted.
“On the NYSC certificate, dated 6th August, 1980, the committee observed that he bears the name “Obasek” Godwin.
“While this may be an error on the part of the issuing authority, we observed, however, that the aspirant has not taken any step to have the anomaly corrected by the issuing authority.
“In our interaction with the issues raised, we concluded that HSC was defective and the NYSC certificate, and based on the party’s constitution, this has made us to recommend that the above candidate, Obaseki, is not eligible to participate in the election,” he said.
Ayuba also said that the names on all the certificates presented by another aspirant, Ogiemwonyi, were in contradiction with one another.
“Also the sworn declaration of aged, deposed to by one Capt. Steven on 3rd June, 2016, bore two conflicting names of the aspirant.
“There is discrepancy in all the certificates presented and also the difference in the names contained in the sworn affidavit of June 2016.
“Having regards to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Electoral Act, APC constitution and the party’s guidelines for the nomination of candidates and the reliance on the cases that have been settled by the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal, it is the considered view of the committee that this aspirant does not meet the requirement to participate in the APC primary.
“In view of the findings of the committee above, Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi is not cleared,” he said.
He, however, said that the committee, after screening and the verification of Mr Osaro Obaze’s documents, found him eligible to contest the primary.
Based on the committee’s observation above, the candidate is cleared,” Ayuba said.
Responding, Oshiomhole, who said that the outcome of the committee was subject to appeal, urged any aspirant, who disagreed with the committee’s report, to present his appeal or disagreement to the party’s appeal panel.
However, Nigerians have reacted on Twitter to the disqualification of the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, to contest in the July 22 governorship primary election in Edo state.
Below are their comments:
According to reports, they disqualified Obaseki because the name on his NYSC certificate read “OBASEK”.
This is from the same party that convinced us 7 months ago that “Mohamed” and “Muhammadu” were the same name.
— Feral Jack Phoenix. (@Letter_to_Jack) June 12, 2020
When Obaseki was in good terms with Oshiomhole, his academic documents were correct. APC cleared him and he won the Governorship.
Now that Obaseki fell out with Oshiomhole, the same documents he submitted 4 years ago suddenly became "fake/defective."
Nigeria, I hail una 😂
— Kelvin Odanz (@MrOdanz) June 12, 2020
If what happened in Lagos with Ambode is allowed to happen to Obaseki in Edo State, then no APC-leaning person here should ever say their party is progressive again. Let's know it's a party of godfathers who care more about egos than good governance.
— EDWARD Israel-Ayide (@wildeyeq) June 12, 2020
APC is using Obaseki’s NYSC certificate against him but the President doesn’t have SSCE and no one in APC bats an eyelid.
— DANNY 👑 (@Danny_Walterr) June 12, 2020
On Nigeria’s Democracy Day, a seating Governor is disqualified from re-contesting for the same office by the same party that presented him the first time. What a way to mark the June 12 annulment. Obaseki on his part kept swimming against the tide. https://t.co/JTSdtW10ff
— JJ. Omojuwa (@Omojuwa) June 12, 2020
Such an irony that it was on Democracy Day of all days that Godwin Obaseki's controversial disqualification from the gov primary was announced by the APC.
To be sure, I couldn't care less about Obaseki or Oshiomhole. When politicians fight like this, it is NEVER about the people
— 'Fisayo Soyombo (@fisayosoyombo) June 12, 2020
Edo Striker, Obaseki is reportedly set to submit his Transfer Request to APC.
The club had announced that the player is not in their plans for next season.
And this is coming after a row with Manager, OshiomOLE Gunner Solksjaer.
— Ebube The Statesman (@akaebube) June 12, 2020
Basically APC is telling us Obaseki was "qualified" to contest for the first elections but "not qualified" to contest for the second.
— Igala Alan Shore (@I_Am_Ilemona) June 12, 2020
Ambode did an amazing job in Lagos state, but APC denied him a return ticket because he refused to play the loyal dog.
They're doing the same thing to Obaseki. And funny thing is they're using his NYSC certificate against him but their oga doesn’t have an SSCE.
— Obi Of Onitsha🇨🇦 (@Uncle_clique) June 12, 2020
I'm not Obaseki, but if I were him, I'll remain in the APC with a singular plan; to never allow anyone chosen by Oshiomole emerge as Governor.
Whatever it takes!
— Henry Shield (@henryshield) June 12, 2020
I live in a country where a man who does not have even a Secondary School Certificate is the President and duly qualified, but Obaseki who has his school certificate is disqualified because of NYSC.
Nigeria is confusing my confusion.
— MONITORING_SPIRIT (@Sonjoe_Kutuh) June 12, 2020
When I was at the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium preparing for the Sports festival, I saw the newly remodeled stadium by Governor Obaseki @GovernorObaseki and took this awesome pictures. Actions speak louder!! #Obaseki2020 pic.twitter.com/yI7UrL1uDS
— Panda 🐼 (@iam_chydymah) June 12, 2020
Democracy was good when Obaseki wanted to use Court Injunction to remove Oshiomole but democracy is in danger because Obaseki was disqualified due to Certificate issues.
Continue to display your crass bias.
— Ayekooto (@DeeOneAyekooto) June 12, 2020
If you plan to ever participate in party politics and have a problem with party supremacy, you are not yet ready to even be a politician. Party supremacy suited Obaseki in 2016 & he didn't complain. It doesn't suit him in 2020 & suddenly, party supremacy is the problem. 😊
— Babanla (@biolakazeem) June 12, 2020
One of the most important virtues in life is LOYALTY. Never bite the finger that fed you. Obaseki has learnt this lesson the hard way. I have known Oshiomole for years. He is a formidable adversary, a skillful fighter &a tough cookie. Obaseki could never have outmanouvered him.
— Femi Fani-Kayode (@realFFK) June 12, 2020