Asue Ighodalo, the declared winner of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary election in Edo State, has asserted his autonomy from political godfatherism, firmly stating that Governor Godwin Obaseki does not serve as his political godfather.
This proclamation followed the announcement of Ighodalo’s victory by the Governor of Zamfara and returning officer of the election, Dauda Lawal, who disclosed that Ighodalo secured the nomination with 577 votes, surpassing other aspirants in the closely contested primary.
Although Ighodalo was perceived as the favored candidate of Governor Godwin Obaseki, his victory sparked discussions around political influences and godfatherism within Edo State’s political landscape.
However, in a parallel development, Philip Shaibu, the Deputy Governor of Edo, won another governorship primary organized at his residence, underscoring the ongoing divisions within the party.
In an interview with Channels Television on Thursday, Ighodalo, a seasoned lawyer, emphasized the autonomy of the people of Edo State in choosing their governorship candidate.
He stated, “Nobody can impose a governorship candidate on the people of Edo state,” distancing himself from any notions of political godfatherism.
Ighodalo further clarified his relationship with Governor Obaseki, describing it as a long-standing friendship dating back to 1977, rather than a political patronage system.
He emphasized, “Nobody can impose anybody on the people of Edo state. It is impossible. Governor Obaseki is not my political godfather. He is my friend.”
“I have known him since 1977. We have been friends, and we respect each other tremendously,” Ighodalo added, elucidating the nature of their relationship.