*Clears Ize-Iyamu, two others
*Says Obaseki’s certificates, age are doubtful
By Ezeocha Nzeh (Group Politics Editor)
Nail has been laid on the ambition of the incumbent governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, to fly the flag of his All Progressives Congress (APC) in the governorship election in the state as information emerged that the governor and two other aspirants have been disqualified from contesting the party’s June 22nd primaries.
The panel also announced his main rival who decamped from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Pastor Ize-Iyamu, Pius Odubu and Osaro Obazee qualified to contest.
Joining Governor Obaseki on the list of disqualified candidates are Matthew Aigbuhuenze Iduoriyekemwen and Chris Ogiemwonyi.
Governor Obaseki had informed after appearing before the Screening Committee that he was not sure of getting justice from the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC), urging him to recuse himself from the Edo nomination process as an interested party.
The embattled governor had stated: “The last time I came here, I asked that Oshiomhole should recuse himself from the process in the interest of peace and justice.
“But as a party man, I had to go through the screening like everybody else.
“Since he is the judge and the jury in this matter, I will just wait for the outcome of the screening.
“I have given them all the information they need: my certificate they dubbed a controversial certificate, from the University of Ibadan, has been tendered.
“Like I said, as a party man, I have to go through the screening process but I do not believe that I will get justice because Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is an interested party in the Edo process.
“One of the questions that was asked was why did I issue a gazette that will prevent the party from performing direct elections in Edo.
“That, did I not see it as an anti party activity? I just felt that if we put politics above the the lives of the people of Edo State, then we may be missing the point”.
State governors of the APC extraction had equally intervened in the matter asking President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, to intervene.
But, it appears the governors interventions failed to make any impact.
Addressing newsmen while receiving the report at the party’s national secretariat, Chairman of the Screening Committee, Prof. Jonathan Ayuba, hinged Gov. Obaseki’s disqualification on defective certificate.
Defending the reason for his disqualification, the committee said that the disqualification was based on the governor’s certificate and age discrepancies.
He noted that “the job is difficult because it came at the most difficult times in the history of our democracy”, but added that, “we were thorough in our work.
“We want to be judged by what we have done, not party politics. We went beyond screening, but didn’t investigate much.
“Our report should be based on the facts we presented, not on assumptions. We finished on Thursday, but left it till today (Friday) which has become Democracy Day, to do the presentation”.