The raging disagreement between Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State and his estranged benefactor and national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, may have finally come to a head, with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stepping into the battle, THISDAY has learnt. PDP is said to be making quiet overtures to Obaseki to get him to defect.
But in a seeming counter offensive, a section of the governing APC in the state is alleged to be making frantic moves to poach a prominent businessman and philanthropist, Captain Hosa Okunbo, as a choice that could undo Obaseki’s calculations in his bid to secure re-election.
Should Obaseki defect to PDP, and Okunbo caves in to the APC overtures to fly its flag, then a titanic race would be in the offering. The PDP is quite formidable in Edo State and the stakes couldn’t be higher in such a scenario. Edo State is the only state under the APC control in the entire South-South zone. Should Obaseki defect to the PDP, the APC would have lost its only presence in the zone while the PDP would consolidate its grip. Okunbo is an immensely successful businessman with a massive war chest and name recognition in the Edo state and beyond. He is very well connected in business and political circles.
Obaseki and Oshiomhole have had a running battle for some time over political interests. Both men had engaged in a hushed battle until the inauguration of the Edo State House of Assembly, when the governor seemed to outwit his former boss by influencing the choice of the speaker.
Oshiomhole fiercely condemned the development, saying the action of the governor cannot stand the test of the laws of the land. But Obaseki responded, saying Oshiomhole has openly shown bias. Although Oshiomhole has since that initial exchange appeared to have reclined to his shell, Obaseki has continued to make public statements, suggesting that all is not well.