By Deborah Coker
Mr Peter Esele, a former staunch APC ally of Gov. Godwin Obaseki, has dumped the governor, as he said he has no intention of joining him in the PDP.
“As for me and my house, we’re going nowhere. I will not be leaving the APC,’’ Esele told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Benin.
According to him, the decision is in spite of his having openly supported Obaseki in the crisis that later resulted to the governor jumping ship and pitching his tent with the PDP, a party previously in the opposition in Edo.
Esele argued that his decision to remain in the APC was borne out of collective interest, rather than fostering the interest of any individual.
“I have openly supported Mr Obaseki on the ground that the crises he was engaged in affected the party as a whole.
“My stand is for the collective and not for the individual. While he has chosen to move on, I will remain and carry on working with the collective.”
Esele noted that being a card-carrying member of the APC was not “a walk in the park’’, pointing out that most of the party’s challenges were self-inflicted.
“But we must never forget the importance of institutions in nation building,’’ he stated.
The unionist, who contested for the governorship ticket of the APC with Obaseki in 2016, described the democratic process as an aspiration, rather than “a ready-made state of affairs”.
He argued that in the pursuit of a better Edo State, the state’s democratic processes must continually make room for ideas to be contested but “without violence.
“Sept. 19 is almost here. It is up to us to make it count collectively.
“Politics in Edo State has been in a state of heightened animation and I have been reflecting on some particular emerging trends.
“I feel the need to share some of my musings, considering that I have been very vociferous about disputes in my party, the APC.
“I have made my views known about how the party was being run. This led to a disagreement with the former National Chairman, Mr Adams Oshiomhole.
“My misgivings about power relations and party administrative processes have caused me disagreements in the past but I still insist that my comments are not based on personal bias but on my integrity.
“It is based on the principle that “an injury to one is an injury to all — the central ethic of the labour movement, which I believe encompasses all ethnic and religious divides.”
Esele noted that irreconcilable differences, prompted Obaseki to decamp to the PDP, saying: “I respect his decision and those who joined him”.
Edo State, one of the seven off-circle election states, is scheduled to hold a high-stakes governorship election in two months’ time with analysts expressing fears over what the future holds for the state.
The countdown to the election has been characterised by high-drama, stoking fears that the election may be marred by betrayals, intrigues, violence and bloodshed.