A coalition of 35 political parties in Edo State on Friday collapsed their structures in support of the re-election of Governor Godwin Obaseki in the September 19 governorship election.
The parties include the Social Democratic Party, Accord Party, KOWA, and 32 others.
Leader of the coalition, Collins Oreruan, who addressed journalists in Benin City, said the 35 registered political parties including those recently deregistered by the Independent National Electoral Commission still have their structures intact.
He said the parties would mobilise their members and supporters to massively support Governor Obaseki to ensure continuity of his developmental strides.
Oreruan said, “We have resolved to advise our governorship candidates to withdraw and join hands with Governor Obaseki to build on the growth, developmental legacies achieved in his first term in office.
“We shall synergise with PDP to mobilise the voters at the grassroots on the reasons why Governor Godwin Obaseki should be returned.
“The governor’s legacies include positive economic development, the industrial revolution, workers’ welfare, security architecture, comprehensive and qualitative educational programmes, development of agricultural value chains, friendly taxes, levies and rates, regime amongst others.”
Oreruan added that the governorship election in Edo State is not about religious titles but the development of the state.
“Our grassroots campaigns shall be issues-based, highlighting the visible projects and programmes of Governor Obaseki, which are devoid of lies, false propaganda, insults and character assassination,” he assured.
Reacting to the endorsement, the state Media Campaign Council of the All Progressives Congress for the Edo governorship election, accused the political parties of doing so in exchange for cash payments.
Chairman of the council, Mr John Mayaki, said the ‘motley of parties’ have sold out their platform and done irrevocable damage to their potential for growth in the state by agreeing to offer their support to a widely rejected governor.
“These parties, which ordinarily ought to present themselves to the people of Edo State as viable alternatives to building the necessary followership required for future relevance, have decided to instead cash in on the greed of their leaders and offer their platforms in exchange for an initial down payment of N5m each, and an additional promise of N65m to support a governor widely rejected in his state for his non-performance.
“With this act of betrayal and greed, it is safe to say that these parties have successfully and irrevocably done damage to their integrity and placed a final barrier to any potential for growth and relevance in Edo State.
“It is shameful, and unfortunate, how these persons negotiate with platforms that should contest with the major parties and force through policy changes if at all they cannot, by themselves, form the government in the interim,” he said.