Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki and Deputy Governor Phillip Shaibu yesterday resigned their membership of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
While Obaseki spoke at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Shaibu made the announcement in Benin, the state capital and went ahead to remove the ruling party’s flag from the Government House.
Last week, the APC screening panel disqualified the governor from participating in the primary election slated for Monday.
Obaseki, who until yesterday, was the only APC governor in the Southsouth, did not announce his new party.
But he met with Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors Nyesom Wike (Rivers) and Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom) at the weekend ostensibly to lobby for admission into the opposition party and to be given the ticket to contest the election.
Obaseki said: “You remember in my last tweet after my disqualification was announced by the APC, that I’ll make a decision after I’ve consulted with the leadership and my supporters in Edo State and also having informed the President.
“Just here today (yesterday) to inform you that I have now decided, formally, to resign my membership of the APC. Having done that, I will now announce in the next few days my specific line of action and what platform I will be contesting the gubernatorial election.
”Someone who hasn’t gone to school, who doesn’t have certificate himself, will not know and understand what inconsistencies in certificates are, that’s the starting point.
“What is the inconsistency? There’s no inconsistency in my certificates. The issue was in 2016, when I contested in gubernatorial election, I could not find the originals of my certificates because I didn’t require them for more than two decades. So, I deposed to an affidavit that I couldn’t find the originals.
“Subsequently, I found all the original copies of all my certificates and they are with me. So, I don’t understand what’s inconsistent about that.
“Maybe the inconsistency in the National Youths Corps certificate where he said my surname was missing an ‘i’ at the end, but if you look at that it was like a cursive, it was written in a cursive manner. If that’s inconsistency for him, then it’s really sad that people of that quality are leading Nigeria’s ruling party.
“For him, it was just to look for an excuse to take whatever decision he wanted to take and it’s really sad that the party structure today gives him that sort of authority without checks; that is dangerous for any system or any institution.
He also accused Oshiomhole, of using the party machinery to intimidate those he considered educated and had more substance, adding that his disqualification was driven by fear.
The governor added that the APC national chairman is ”afraid of people who have something to offer because all he knows are brigandage and crisis.”
Shaibu, gave no reason for his resignation in a letter to the Ward Chairman, APC Ward 11, Etsako West Local Government Area. The terse letter reads: ”I write pursuant to Article 9.5 (i) of the constitution of the APC to formally resign my membership and to inform you of my formal withdrawal from all or any of its proceedings and processes whatsoever.
“Please note that this resignation takes immediate effect.”