The National leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has denied collecting money or making any monetary demand to give Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki the party’s 2020 gubernatorial ticket.
The party’s national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan made the denial on Wednesday during the valedictory session for the outgoing National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.
Olgbondiyan added that Obaseki owed them a responsibility to make it known to the public that no monetary exchange or promise took place before he got the ticket.
Newspot recalls Obaseki belonged to the All Progressives Congress (APC) but was disqualified by the screening committee from contesting the party’s primary election, prompting him to decamp to the PDP a few months to the scheduled guber election in the state going ahead to get the PDP ticket under which platform he ran and won the 2020 Edo governorship election.
The development however sparked speculations that there had been a heavy exchange of cash between the Governor and party leaders.
However, Ologbondiyan has denied any financial gratification was involved in the process.
He said: “Let me state without mincing words that the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, owes the members of this NWC the responsibility of clearing our names before the public.
“I will like to place on record that this NWC did not demand for any form of gratification from Obaseki before he got the ticket of our party.
“It is also important to restate that this NWC did not demand for any form of ‘tax’ from Governor Obaseki neither did we collect same. He, therefore, owes it a duty to clear our names.”
Speaking further on the achievements of the outgoing NWC, the PDP spokesperson said they put a stop to money politics for positions in the party, repositioned for election winning, and massively embarked on reconciliatory efforts.
According to him, “Before the 2019 elections, we had already added three governors from Sokoto, Kwara, and the Benue States. The Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives led a good number of their colleagues to team up with the party. The All Progressives Congress, APC adopted a reckless maximum rigging to snatch Ekiti and Osun.
“We rebuilt the party in content and character and this made it an attraction. We came out of the election with 17 Governors, the APC stole Imo State while three governors later left the party to pursue personal endeavours which were not as a result of NWC’s fault.
“The 2018 elective national convention which produced our Presidential candidate was adjudged the best. It was keenly contested and not by consensus. At the end, none of the aspirants left the party.
“The NWC carried out reforms that stopped the use of Ghana Must Go to win nominations or tickets, restructured the workforce and adopted a smart approach. For many years, the party was unable to conduct online registration of its members. Today we have our members registering online and our party has become digitally prepared ahead of any other party in our country.”
The valedictory session was attended by prominent party stalwarts including the PDP national chairman-elect, Senator Iyorchia Ayu.