Ripples in Edo PDP as chieftains endorse Obaseki

There is furtherance in fiasco in the PDP as Chieftains of the Opposition party canvasses for supports from the people of the state for Governor Godwin Obaseki of the APC in the governorship election coming up in the state.

CHIEF Gabriel Igbinedion, Esama of Bénin Kingdom, and Chief Tom Ikimi, former External Affairs Minister, are two prominent leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party in Edo South and Edo Central senatorial districts respectively. They are pillars of and much is expected of them as the party prepares for the PDP and next year’s governorship election. But, recent move by both men suggested that all is not within the opposition PDP. It has unsettled some leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) about the political cards being played by Governor Godwin Obaseki.

 Chief Igbenedion (r) and Governor (l) Godwin Obaseki of Edo state

Both chieftains paid separate visits to Obaseki where they praised him to high heavens, contrary to views of the PDP leadership as regards the APC administration under Obaseki. Their visits and subsequent endorsement came at a time some APC chieftains are grouping to stop Obaseki from getting the second term ticket of the APC.

Chief Tom Ikimi (R) and Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state

A week later, Chief Osamede Adun (Bob Izua), who left the APC to join the PDP last year, also visited Obaseki and hinted of his plans to return to APC.

Chief Osamede Adun a.k.a Bob Izua (R) and Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state (L)

The ripples in the PDP, according to sources, is due to the battle over the party’s ticket for next year’s race. The Chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, is said not to be disposed to Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu securing the ticket. Pastor Ize-Iyamu was the candidate in 2016. It was learnt that the party’s leadership might settle for Senator Matthew Urhoghide.

Besides, the PDP Parliament for Positive Change, led by Davison Osas Davison, has begun campaign for the change of PDP’s leadership for the purpose of reversing its electoral misfortunes.

Davidson said: “We can no longer fold our hands and allow a group of political merchants to destroy the Party we labored to form and nurtured before the so-called leaders came in from their former political parties to reap where they did not sow.

“Edo PDP Parliament for Positive Change is irrevocably committed to return the party to the people from the present hold of the few Cabal”.

“We are not unaware of the fact that the state chairman’s second term of four years will lapse in March 2020 and having first completed the remaining two years of the former Chairman, he will be spending ten years as Edo State PDP Chairman.

“In that past nine years, Dan Orbih has never won any reasonable election. Rather, he has consistently pretending to be wining his unit and ward only to be losing his LGA, senatorial district and the State to the ruling APC. It is only in Edo, that the PDP will win the Presidential elections only to be lose the State assembly election.”

During the visit to Obaseki, Igbinedion, whose son, Lucky, ruled between 1999 and 2007, urged the governor not to be distracted by those asking for stomach infrastructure. He said Obaseki is doing well in developing the state and urged him not to listen to sides talks, promising to join hands with him to defeat politics of stomach infrastructure in the state.

“Don’t listen to sides talks; we will join hands with you to defeat politics of stomach infrastructure in the state. We see your performance. Remain focused and be silent. Just work, as the people will fight for you when the time comes,” Chief Igbinedion said, expressly pledging support for the governor in the coming elections in Edo State.

“People who own the town are with him. When the bell rings, he will know who owns the town. He is doing well. Everybody should praise him, encourage him and not distract him.”

Ikimi, who visited Obaseki to discuss how his oil palm plantation could be supported, said the governor must be supported to continue the good works. He urged Obaseki to remain focused and continue to work for the good of the people.

Ikimi lauded the governor for the on-going development, especially in healthcare, education, infrastructure and housing across the state. He also commended the governor for the manner he has piloted the affairs of the state and shown uncommon commitment to far-reaching reforms across different sectors.

It was the visit of Adun that shocked both the APC and the PDP because the state government had in April asked him to remove his motor park along the Oba Market Road. The government said it is built on a major drainage that linked Lagos Street and Ibiwe. The blocking of the drain usually caused heavy flooding of the area whenever it rains.

Adun hailed Obaseki’s focus on infrastructure and development-oriented projects. He endorsed him for a second term in office. He urged all right-thinking, development-focused residents to throw their weight behind the governor for the continuation of his praiseworthy strides.

Adun said: “You can fly away and fly back. It is my house, and there is no problem in returning to your house. APC is my house. I went to PDP before, but I have come back to my house.

“I decided to come here today to appreciate him for the work he is doing in the state. I was not forced by anybody to come here. I, Chief Osamede Adun, endorse him for second term.”

Reacting to visit by the chieftains, Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Chris Nehikhare, said it was abnormal and not politically suave for party leaders to endorse aspirants of another party other than the candidate of their party.

Nehikhare said the visits of the chieftains were private and so were the comments, discussions and purported endorsements credited to them.

He added: “However, at the appropriate time in accordance with our party’s constitution, a credible PDP candidate will be nominated to contest the Edo State 2020 Governorship election to liberate the state from poverty, insecurity, unemployment and unimaginable colossal debts.

“In the last three years, this government has been on a merry-go-round. The “commissioned” 5 star specialist hospital is still home to reptiles, Tayo Akpata University of Education, an unfulfilled political greek gift, College of Agriculture Ogierieki, a victim of policy lip-service, the gele gele sea port project is still a mirage and the industrial park is still at the MOU level.

“Taxes and levies are at an all time high and the condition of infrastructure unchanged in the last 11 years of the APC Edo State government. Edo earnestly needs a CHANGE in government to right all the wrongs.”

(The Nation)

Shawn Solomon Elliot

Ukpiebo Solomon Elliot is a talented and well motivated Professional Associate Writer, Proofreader and Political scientist. He is a graduate of Political Science and Public Administration, University of Benin and also holds a Diploma in Desktop Publishing and Computer Science.

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