…as two aspirants battle with gov for PDP ticket
. I’ll rather die than step down, Imasuagbon vows
. PDP govs intervene, placate aspirant
A total of 2,229 delegates from 18 local government areas in Edo State will today decide who emerges as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the September 19 governorship election in the state.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, disclosed this, in Abuja, on Wednesday.
The party spokesman said the PDP followed due process by electing eligible delegates, who will in turn elect the most suitable candidate among the eligible aspirants seeking the ticket to represent the party in the September 19 governorship poll in the state.
According to Ologbondiyan, “All sensitive and non-sensitive materials have been dispatched to the state.
“The election will be carried out in strict compliance with COVID-19 prevention guidelines. Members of the Governorship Primary Election Committee are already in Benin for the exercise.”
Four aspirants initially obtained the expression of interest and nomination forms and were screened and cleared to contest.
Apart from Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, the other aspirants are Gideon Ikhine, Ogbeide-Ihama and Kenneth Imasuagbon.
But barely 24 hours to the PDP primaries in the state, a frontline aspirant, Hon Kenneth Imasuagbon, vowed not to step down for Governor Obaseki.
The aspirant said he would rather die than step down for Governor Obaseki in today’s PDP governorship primaries in the state.
Imasuagbon said it would be ethically wrong and against moral judgment for him to give up his long-term ambition of governing the state.
He noted that having laboured for the PDP along with his supporters in the past 16 years, he would not yield to pressures to step down from the governorship race.
Imasuagbon added that today’s primary election in the Edo PDP would be a war between the ordinary people of the state and the godfathers, whom he said were “insignificant in number.”
The aspirant, however, warned that if any manipulation occurs in today’s primaries, he would not hesitate to approach the courts for redress.
Imasuagbon said, “Where is our conscience as human beings? Which church do we go to? Which mosque do we worship in that we can’t even do the right thing?
“You’re leaving in 72 hours to come and take a ticket of a party and you want me to submit my 16 years of labour, of pain, of torture, of defeat, of tears, of moments I didn’t have money, moments in the 16 years I received shame, I received disappointments.
“I’ll rather die than for you to take the ticket by force. It’s not going to happen!”
First News, however, learnt that some PDP governors have been putting pressure on Imasuagbon to step down and allow Obaseki emerge the party’s candidate for the September 19 governorship poll in the state.
The PDP governors, some of whom were said to have arrived in Benin, the state capital, since Wednesday, it was gathered, have been meeting with the aspirant to have a change of heart.
But as of the time of this report, it was not clear if they were making any headway in convincing Imasuagbon to step down for Governor Obaseki.