The National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress has confirmed the disqualification of Governor Godwin Obaseki to contest the party’s primaries for the Edo state governorship elections.
Making the announcement late Saturday in Abuja, APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole said Obaseki, in addition to presenting faulty certificates, had abused his powers as Governor of Edo State.
He accused Obaseki of orchestrating the inauguration of only nine out of 24 members of the State House of Assembly, an act he described as unacceptable to the party.
“Our democracy is founded on a tripod of executive, legislature and the judiciary,” Oshiomhole said. “When a Governor decides to muzzle the legislature, then democracy is dead.”
He insisted that Obaseki frustrated moves to resolve the issue as he obtained court orders restraining the Senate President, the National Assembly and the reconciliation committee from intervening in the matter.
The APC National Chairman said the party has cleared three persons that will participate in the Edo state primaries: Hon. Pius Odubu, Mr. Osaro Obaze, and Pastor Osagie Eze-Iyamu.
He added that the party’s constitution had empowered the NWC to screen all aspirants for significant political positions.
“Part of the duties and responsibilities of the National Working Committee includes organising primary elections for the nomination of its presidential candidate, governorship candidate, and candidate for election into the national and state assemblies,” Oshiomhole said.
“So the responsibility to carry out this exercise is fully vested in the National Working Committee. And we have exercised these responsibilities to the best of our ability.”
Earlier on Saturday, an APC appeal committee had upheld Obaseki’s disqualification which was first announced by the party’s screening committee on Friday.
The appeal committee, in a press briefing held in Abuja on Saturday, said it was aligning itself with the APC screening committee’s inability to vouch for the authenticity of the NYSC Certificate presented by Governor Obaseki.
Although he rejected the screening committee’s report, Obaseki has said he will not appeal the decision.
The NWC is the highest appeal body in the APC.