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Edo PDP crisis: Kenneth Imasuagbon storms out of meeting, rejects directive to step down for Obaseki.

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° Ogbeide Ihama also blows hot, insists he is not quitting for anyone.

° Oba of Benin warns against imposition and forced consensus

Kenneth Imasuagbon, one of the three candidates of the PDP originally cleared to contest for the party’s governorship ticket in the now postponed primary, abruptly cut short a meeting convened to intimidate him into dropping his ambition for the defecting Godwin Obaseki today at Protea Hotel in Benin City.

Kenneth reportedly stormed out of the meeting, threatening to sue the party for its blatant violation of established rules and provisions in the attempt to compel a ‘consensus candidate’ through the imposition of Godwin Obaseki.

The PDP had already carried out its screening and set the date for a primary election before the entrance of Godwin Obaseki following his disqualification by the Screening Committee of the All Progressives Congress over discrepancies in his academic credentials – an issue first raised by the Edo PDP.

The Governor has held a series of meetings with the national leadership of the PDP in Abuja where he reportedly offered inducements meant to land him the party’s ticket in Edo State.

However, the aspirants in the party, claiming disrespect and illegality, have vowed to fight the attempt by ‘Abuja politicians’ to deny them a chance to run a platform they contributed to its survival for a new entrant who has done nothing for the party or its growth in the state.

Another aspirant, Ogbeide Ihama, in a campaign video released by his team, insisted that he is proceeding with his ambition, and will not succumb to pressure to step down for Obaseki. A visibly appalled Ihama recalled his 13 years in the PDP and declared to his spectators that “it is not our portion” to step down for a newbie, throwing jibes to the embattled Godwin Obaseki.

The spiraling crisis in the party is caused primarily by Obaseki’s refusal to participate in any form of contest for the ticket but instead relying on ‘godfathers’ in the PDP to bully the other aspirants into a surrender.

This behavior, similar to what he displayed in the APC that eventually contributed to his ouster, is said to be driven by his lack of popularity – a situation worse in the PDP, a party where he has no corresponding influence against the popularity of the likes of Kenneth Imasuagbon and Ogbeide Ihama. Hence his resort to intimidation through godfathers and desperation to achieve a forced consensus arrangement against the wishes of the aspirants involved.

Meanwhile, the revered Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, in a recent Palace Press Release signed by Frank Irabor, the Secretary of the Benin Traditional Council condemned the “twin evil political vices of Godfatherism and consensus arrangement’.

“Let everybody take note that the Palace is very wary of the imposition of candidates whom only certain individuals want but the majority of the people do not want. ‘Ghana Must Go’ politics should end in the State. Politicians should stop cashing in on the poor masses and exploiting them for their votes.”

“We believe all qualified aspirants to any elective office should be given a level playing field for democracy to develop to the next level in Nigeria,” the Palace said.

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