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Crack In Edo PDP: Faction Asks Obaseki For Dep. Gov Post As Condition For Peace

Edo State's Governor Godwin Obaseki.
Edo State's Governor Godwin Obaseki.

BEVERLY HILLS, May 12, (THEWILL) – There is fire on the mountain of the Edo State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), where a group has petitioned the national leadership, to lament Governor Godwin Obaseki’s purported refusal to carry along the old party structure in government and party affairs.

A letter by Edo PDP Chairman, Chief Tony Aziegbemi, and Secretary, Hillary Otsu, to the National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, gave as condition for peace Obaseki conceding to them the position of Deputy Governor, currently occupied by Comrade Philip Shaibu, who has been in that position since the Governor’s first tenure in 2016.

They pointedly accused Obaseki of running a government that sidelined the old structure of PDP that gave him the ticket to contest the September 19, 2020 polls, after Comrade Adams Oshiomhole (as National Chairman of his former All Progressives Congress, APC) denied the Governor the platform for a second term.

According to them, matters had now come to a head following a meeting between a few chieftains of PDP and some Obaseki acolytes, which resolved to dissolve all state, local government and ward chapters of the party in Edo.

As a condition for peace, the group has insisted that: “We have resolved strongly, that if any harmonization MUST take place, it MUST start from the Governor’s office, where his Deputy Governor should resign and a Deputy nominated from the old PDP is sworn in. This can be a spring board for broad harmonization across the state party organs.”

THEWILL here produces in full the faction’s letter to the PDP National Chairman.

10th May 2021

The National Chairman

People’s Democratic Party

Wadata Plaza

Abuja

ATTN: PRINCE UCHE SECONDUS

Dear Sir,

RESOLUTIONS PASSED AT AN EMERGENCY AND EXPANDED STATE WORKING COMMITTEE MEETING OF EDO STATE PDP HELD ON MONDAY 10TH MAY 2021:

At an emergency meeting today, the State Chairman, Dr. Tony Aziegbemi, briefed the State Working Committee and LGA Party Chairmen, on the “A PURPORTED STATE LEADERS’ MEETING HOSTED IN EDO STATE GOVERNMENT HOUSE, BY THE EDO STATE GOVERNOR, GODWIN OBASEKI, WITH CHIEF TOM IKIMI, DR. RAYMOND DOKPESI AND CHIEF MIKE OGHIADOMHE AND OTHERS IN ATTENDANCE, ON THE 8TH OF MAY 2021, WITH THE AGENDA TO PROPOSE A DISSOLUTION OF THE EDO STATE PDP EXECUTIVE COMMITTEES AT ALL LEVELS”.

After more than 5hrs of deliberations, the following resolutions were adopted:

The expanded State Working Committee and Local Government Chairmen of the Edo State PDP reject in its entirety, the proposal by the abovementioned meeting to dissolve the legitimately elected executive committee members of the PDP at the Ward, Local Government and State levels. We also condemn totally, the convening of such a meeting aimed at ambushing our State Chairman (who is constitutionally empowered to call such a meeting) at a meeting where only three (3) old PDP members, namely Dr. Raymond Dokpesi, Chief Tom Ikimi and Chief Mike Oghiadomhe, as against ten (10) members from the Godwin Obaseki faction that decamped from the APC to PDP.
We hereby reiterate to the National Executive Committee of our party that the issue of dissolution of executive committees in Edo State is “subjudice” and it will be an act of contempt of court to revisit it by the Party.

The genesis of this looming crisis results from the acquiescence of the National Working Committee members who negotiated Godwin Obaseki’s movement to PDP, to reach a verbal or written agreement on the integration of the new members vis a vis the sharing of appointments, after the elections had been won. We therefore condemn Gov. Obaseki’s re-appointment of his former SSG without any consideration for the legacy PDP he joined. To this end, they have consistently sang a tune of “harmonization” ever since Obaseki was sworn in, know that he now has the “yam and the knife”. We have resolved strongly, that if any harmonization MUST take place, it MUST start from the Governor’s office, where his Deputy Governor should resign and a Deputy nominated from the old PDP is sworn in. This can be a spring board for broad harmonization across the state party organs.

The proposed dissolution and, or harmonization are designed to hold Edo people and the PDP to ransom by the Obaseki led administration. WE WILL NOT ACCEPT THIS. Edo people voted for PDP and Godwin Obaseki to deliver the dividends of democracy to them, but if Gov. Obaseki wills to conduct governance by a triumvirate of the Governor, the Deputy Governor and the SSG, so be it. If he wishes to appoint only his friends and former APC colleagues in his cabinet and sundry positions, and leave out the legacy PDP members, so be it. We, the Peoples Democratic Party leadership will not accede to any form of harmonization that has no backing or interpretation in our party constitution.
We recognize that the Governor is being misguided and misled by three (3) groups of individuals who are bent on bringing our party to disrepute.
Group A: Aspirants for 2023 and 2024 elections – The two main culprits here are the Deputy Governor and the SSG, who are both rumoured to have governorship and Senatorial aspirations. This is legitimate. However, such ambitions will not be used to rubbish the integrity of the party.

Group B: Congress Losers – These are primarily Dr. Raymond Dokpesi, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe and Chief Tom Ikimi. These members have never hidden their disdain for the new executives across the state, simply because they backed the wrong horses and lost woefully at various congress levels. For the records, these three members have consistently lost their units in previous elections, despite the exalted positions and appointments they have held in the party. They cannot now be wiser than Solomon by asking for the living child to be split in two. Please refer to attached INEC result sheet…

iii. Group C: The Godfathers – Coming from APC, these individuals have brought the extinct APC culture of godfatherism, where they usually sat and wrote names for Gov. Obaseki to install as Chairmen, councilors etc. They have refused to register in their wards as PDP members while continuously attending PDP meetings under the Governor’s auspices, with impunity. Chief Osaro Idah, Chief Charles Idahosa, Chief Henry Tenebe, Sen. Ehigie Uzamere and Mr. Theo Okoh are the key culprits here.

Edo State PDP will not be cowed into any illegalities by the State government.

We have consistently bent over backwards, to a breaking point, in our efforts to integrate Gov. Obaseki’s former APC supporters. How did we do this? At the Zonal congress held in Port Harcourt recently, the two positions zoned to Edo State (Financial Secretary and Ex-Officio Member), were conceded to the Governor without any deliberation by the party hierarchy. The National Ex-officio position was also conceded to the Governor without any deliberations. Mr. Chairman, how far do we have to go to show good faith Let it be known that we will not concede anymore positions, and those already nominated will be recalled and re-allocated.
The Binis say that “the woman whose child is an albino, but gladly answers the call of ‘Mama oyinbo’, is only living in self-deceit”. Mr. Chairman, we cannot live in self-deceit.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your attention, as we extend the assurances of our kindest regards.

Signed:

Dr. Tony Aziegbemi –State Chairman

Hillary Otsu –State Secretary