By Emmanuel Aziken
Godwin Obaseki was on Sunday progressing towards obtaining the governorship ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Edo State with the national leadership of the party boosting his efforts.
He, however, has been told to go and find a settlement with the local chapter of the party where issues according to GWG sources issues appear to be more difficult.
The chairman of the state chapter of the PDP, Dr. Tony Aziegbemi told GWG on Saturday evening that he had not received a call from Obaseki but that “proxies everywhere are reaching out.”
A South-South governor it was learnt has become the intermediary who has taken the role of brokering a pathway for Mr. Obaseki to enter the party.
The South-South governor it was learnt is expected to broker a meeting with South-South governors in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State. The choice of Port-Harcourt it was gathered was essentially to find accommodation with Governor Nyesom Wike who some sources say had been opposed to Obaseki.
Governor Wike’s stance has also been reflected in the opposition of Chief Dan Orbih the immediate past chairman of the party who continues to wield a strong influence in the party.
If Wike is won over he is also expected to win over Orbih which if successful, could be the first step towards approaching the local chapter of the party.
Orbih, GWG gathered would not be at the Port-Harcourt meeting which is expected to hold on Sunday.
In the next phase, Governor Obaseki is expected to meet the three declared aspirants who have been screened. The meeting with the aspirants is to win them over to his second term aspiration. The three aspirants are Gideon Ikhine, Ogbeide Ihama and Kenneth Imansuangbon.
Winning over the three men, PDP national leaders it was gathered, told Obaseki is crucial to him having a cordial entry into the party.
“They want him to come out as a consensus candidate to avoid internal wrangling,” a source privy to the development told GWG.
Ihama who is the favoured aspirant of the party establishment in the state, it was gathered, could be assured of a third term ticket to the House of Representatives.
However, one of the aspirants had in the past declared his opposition to any deal with Obaseki asking that the rules should not be waived for him.
The national leadership of the party is, however, reserving a joker to deal with a rebellion by any of the three aspirants.
The party it was gathered is keeping the result of the screening committee and may not release it until an agreement is worked out with Obaseki.
“Any of the aspirants who fails to get a deal with Obaseki or proves stubborn could just be screened out and since screening is an internal affair of the party he cannot go to court,” the source revealed.
The state chairman of the party, Dr. Tony Aziegbemi on Saturday confirmed to GWG that the Obaseki camp had started reaching out through proxies.
He, however, expressed his concern on the fate of loyal party members who had stayed with the party thick and thin in the last 12 years.
“That is my concern, the ordinary party members, the organizers at the grassroots what is their response and how do we accommodate them,” Dr. Aziegbemi told GWG.
PDP leaders in Abuja in giving support to Obaseki it was gathered believe that he would come in with enough resources to match the formidable machine of the federal forces and the solid political structure of the likely APC candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.