Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo state, met with Nyesom Wike, minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), in Abuja Tuesday night to enlist his support for Asue Ighodalo’s governorship bid, TheCable understands.
Ighodalo is seeking the governorship ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo state in the February 22, 2024 primary election.
The meeting took place at Wells Carlton Hotel, Abuja, and was attended by Ahmadu Fintiri, governor of Adamawa state, who came with Obaseki.
TheCable understands that Obaseki’s peace moves were informed by the reality of a strong opposition from Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, a former member of the house of reps and the preferred candidate of Dan Orbih, Wike’s key ally in Edo state.
There is also the challenge from Philip Shaibu, the current deputy governor.
Although Ighodalo has expressed confidence in winning the party’s ticket, going into the primary against Ogbeide-Ihama and Shaibu is viewed in Obaseki’s camp as a delicate game.
At the meeting with Wike, Obaseki was said to have sought “reconciliation” and apologised for previous misunderstanding between them.
Ighodalo would be willing to pick Ogbeide-Ihama as his running mate, according to the deal offered by Obaseki.
Wike reportedly told him point-blank that he would not have any dealings with him as he is not known to have kept faith with anyone that assisted him in the past.
The former governor of Rivers state demanded a “level-playing field so that most acceptable candidate can win”, sources in the know told TheCable.
Obaseki fell out with Wike in 2020 shortly after defecting to the PDP from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and securing his new party’s governorship ticket to run for second term.
He had left the APC after a face-off with Adams Oshiomhole, who decided to back Ize Iyamu, formerly of the PDP, in the 2020 governorship election.
Obaseki won his re-election bid but fell out with Wike thereafter.
In the presidential primary of the PDP ahead of the 2023 general election, Obaseki backed Abubakar Atiku against Wike for the ticket.
After Atiku controversially won the presidential primary, Wike led a group of five governors, named G5, to work against the party’s candidate.
Although officially still in the PDP, Wike is now a minister in the APC government led by President Bola Tinubu.