Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has assured that his defection to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), will not divide the party rather he will unify the party ahead of September gubernatorial election in the state.
Obaseki who spoke on Saturday at the national secretariat of the PDP in Abuja after his screening said he has been holding talks with other aspirants who had earlier been screened by the party.
“I am not a dividing candidate. I am speaking with all the aspirants. My hope and purpose for the PDP is to have a united and very strong party.
“Party primary should not be divisive because we as a party are focused on the same objective, and because we are separate individuals, our approach may be different.
“So, party primary, in my view, should not be acrimonious and destructive. And there are common grounds, common interest and I am very hopeful that I will get it (ticket) even as there are quite a number of delegates for the exercise” he said.
On what his defection meant for his ideology, he explained, “My experience is that having served four years as a governor, I don’t see that ideological divide. It doesn’t exist. I think the focus for me is development.
“Whether you are a conservative or a progressive, it is expected that the outcome should be development.
“And unfortunately, I got a bit confused in the APC. At some point, I was being accused of not sharing the money.
“When we were campaigning against PDP, we said that the problem there was that they were sharing the money. So for me, it cannot be about ideology.
“At this point in time, it is important that I will provide strong and correct leadership, provide a direction for the country and for our people, provide the basic amenities that they need – education, health care, good infrastructure.
“These are the things that our people are yearning for. These are the things that we are doing in Edo State today.
“So as a progressive or as a conservative, my ideology is about the people: getting the people to enjoy the benefits of democracy.”
The Governor said he enjoys the support of APC Governors and many Nigerians who were opposed to the injustice meted on him by his former party.
“I still thank God that I enjoy national support; not just support from my colleagues from the APC. I think the support is national.
“There are elder statesmen who are apolitical, there are traditional rulers. I have people from different spectra of the society who come around in solidarity with me and they support me because I think Nigerians are generally fair minded people.
“They are people who do not accept injustice. From what I have seen over the past several weeks and months, the support is across board. It is not just from APC governors alone” he said.