The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has denied the request by the embattled Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State to obtain an advantageous ‘right of first refusal’ which would see him secure a ticket for another term without contest.
The denial was announced today, when a delegation from the Progressives Governors’ Forum led by its Chairman, Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu led his colleagues to the APC National Leader in Lagos.
The delegation that accompanied Obaseki to Lagos were Governors Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Mai Mala Buni (Yobe), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Adegboyega Oyetola (Osun), Simon Lalong (Plateau).
He was told by the former Governor of Lagos state to abandon the quest to circumvent party processes and prepare himself for participation in the direct primary as directed by the National Working Committee at a meeting held today at Lagos House, Marina, according to reliable sources.
A visibly distressed Obaseki was reportedly begging frantically in the meeting for a special consideration having failed in his attempt to bulldoze his way to a guaranteed ticket.
His sojourn in Abuja handed him no lifeline as the President refused to meet with him, leaving him stranded and with no legs to stand on. He had earlier in the day sent in Osarodion Ogie and Wole Iyamu, two senior government officials, as emissaries to the National Leader in Lagos but both were turned back on the account that they hold no real significance.
Tinubu’s denial of Obaseki’s request is widely considered as the end of the road for the Governor who is unpopular within the party and is expected to lose in the primary election. It is unclear what Obaseki will do next, though he is reportedly plotting a possible move to the PDP.
A close associate of the National Leader, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, posted on his Facebook page saying, “just confirmed that Governor Obaseki was sweating and practically begging and pleading with Asiwaju to intervene on his behalf – but they said Edo is not Lagos”.