Edo PDP Delegates Election: Predenters Finally Separated From Contenders – By Darlington Okpebholo Ray
WATCHING the Nine Disgruntled Edo People Democratic Party, PDP Gubernatorial aspirants filed out to register their rejection of the February 4 , 2024 wards congresses took me back to the Holy Book where our Lord Jesus Christ healed ten lepers and only one of them returned to testify of the miracle. Reading from the gospel according to St. Luke chapter 17, verse 17, Jesus Christ asked, “where are the 9″?
In Edo State PDP, the question party faithful from the 192 wards are asking today is “where were the 9”? Party members are wondering and eager to know who among these disgruntled aspirants went through the wards to market themselves to the would-be delegates even before the congresses were held.
As a critical stakeholder in the party, and one who still play grassroots politics even from the diaspora, I am very much in touch with my ward 5, Uromi, Esan North East Local Government Area, LGA, and with my journalistic instincts I have put calls across to my ward executives asking if they ever received any of the 9 in our ward to campaign, and the answer from the 3 people I spoke with was negative.
With all intents and purpose, only Dr Asue Ighodalo, the top aspirant painstakingly visited the 18 LGAS and the 192 wards soliciting for support. Many of them were not even known to be aspirants until we started seeing them on national television stations complaining about the congress they were never prepared for, or took part of.
Investigation revealed that they didn’t want the congresses to hold, hence they manipulated the governor of Oyo State, Governor Seyi Makinde, to resign his appointment as the congresses organising committee chairman at the last minute. Their plan was to frustrate the process and another date fixed, so they could have enough time for their shenanigans and plots of destabilising the party through unecessary litigations. But these plans failed woefully.
One of their complains was that the congresses was not conducted according to their agreement which they claimed was reached in their stakeholders’ meeting.
But listen to the state chairman, Dr Tony Aziegbemi, on a live Interview on Channels TV on Monday, it was clear that there was no meeting where it was agreed on how the congresses was to be conducted – at least none was known to the state chairman, as he opined during the interview.
The governor of Enugu State, Dr Peter Mba, who was hitherto the vice chairman of the committee instituted by the party highest body, National working Committee, NWC, stepped in as the chairman owing to the resignation of Engr. Seyi Makinde and kconducted what has been adjudged by many as the most credible, free, fair and transparent congresses ever conducted by the party anywhere in Nigeria and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, duly observed the whole process and gave a pass mark.
The question is, does the party have a laid down constitution for the exercise? Yes! Was the constitution duly followed in conducting the congresses? The answer is Yes!
According to Dr. Aziegbemi, there’s no other agreement on how to conduct congresses in the party other than the rules of engagement as enshrined in the party’s constitution, and that was what was strictly adhered to before, during and after the congresses.
One begins to wonder what the disgruntled 9 members were expecting when they did not prepare for the exercise.
While Asue Ighodalo was busy moving from one ward to another, these aspirants were moving from the office of the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, to the house of PDP National Vice Chairman, South-South, Chief Dan Osi Orbih, claiming imaginary entitlement or plotting ways to truncate the exercise. They made themselves too far away from the people, not realising Asue Ighodalo was moving from the house of one party faithful to another, embracing, hugging and sharing his programs with them.
In Edo State, the era of reaping what you did not sow is over. The leader of the party in the state, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has continued to preach fairness, equality, justice and inclusiveness to everyone in the party and the message is resonating among the people who are so much pleased and happy with the outcome of the exercise and are eagerly awaiting the gubernatorial primary fixed for 22nd February, 2024 to choose who the party’s candidate for the September, gubernatorial election would be. Everyone is waiting and Edo PDP is united on this issue. The question now is, where are the disgruntled 9?
An olive branch will be extended to some of them by the Asue I know, it is left for those who are politically sensible to take and come under the ever covering PDP umbrella, or else, the train will move away from the tarmac.