The Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) has said that if the governor wants to join the main opposition party, the party will readily welcome the embattled Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, into its fold.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, revealed this on Friday in a telephone chat with our correspondent on the phone.
Asked if the PDP was willing to admit the governor into its fold, Ologbondiyan said: “Yes , of course we’ll accept him.”
However, the party spokesman said Governor Obaseki had yet to join the PDP as he spoke to our correspondent at 6.57p.m.
Asked if the PDP would offer Obaseki their Edo state governorship ticket if he joined the party, Ologbondiyan said the governor would not get an automatic ticket if he joined the party.
“Party membership is different from contesting election. Those are two distinct things. People are coming from their wards to join political parties. We ‘re in touch with our chapter in Edo State and they didn’t tell us the governor had joined our party, “Ologbondiyan said.
There had already been screening of three aspirants seeking the PDP ticket for the Edo election, signalling the close of nominations.
Leaks making the rounds on Friday suggested that the PDP had foreseen the imminent defection of Obaseki from the All Progressive Congress (APC) and that the opposition party had planned for him ahead.
A party source indicated that the eventual PDP ticket winner could be persuaded to withdraw on negotiated terms from the Obaseki race.
The PDP leadership has always maintained that it would not hesitate to grant waivers for contesting elections to new entrants, even on the day they joined the party.
Governor Obaseki was barred yesterday from seeking re-election on the APC list, as the screening committee of the party shut him out.
The governor has said that he would not contest the decision.