OUR attention has been drawn to an open letter, now circulating online, supposedly signed by: Chief Tom Ikhimi, H E. Lucky Igbinedion, Chief Mike Ogiadomeh, Senators Clifford Ordia, Mathew Urhohide, and Yisa Braimoh, on the state of affairs of our dear party, the PDP, in Edo State.
We boldly assert here that the letter was empty of reality and can best be described as an abstraction laced with so many untruths.
It was an attempt to mislead the focused National Leadership of our Party and the general public concerning the avoidable crisis in the Edo State chapter orchestrated majorly by some of these defunct politicians who lack real leverage but now grandstanding as “Elders”!
We are shocked that the signatories could still be pursuing a moribund Harmonization Agenda that has been laid to rest by a court of competent jurisdiction in Abuja, even whilst they deliberately discountenance the Party’s Constitution which has no such provision ingrained in it. We are strongly beginning to doubt the sincerity of these members on issues that concern our great Party, PDP, in Edo State. Do they want to throw away the baby and the bathwater as was done by some APC members in Zamfara State because they lost out at the 2020 State Congress and are still seething from it ungamesmanly? One is at a loss what their letter is aimed at achieving really, If not a clear attempt at taking through the back door that which they failed to achieve legitimately at the 2020 Congresses due to their poor leadership value at ALL levels in the State. Surprisingly some of these people have held very high and Influential positions in the Party but frittered away the goodwill and influence those exalted positions would naturally have bestowed on them. One would have expected these members of PDP to approach the Appeal Court if they were dissatisfied by the recent ruling of the Abuja High Court which pronounced with equanimity that Harmonization is illegal and amounts to impunity.
Do these leaders want to be seen as individuals above the law who can get away with contempt of court?
We want to say without any fear of contradiction that with the crisis in the Edo State APC in 2020, any of the three PDP aspirants would have won the Governorship Election.
The sabotage and drafting of Governor Godwin Obaseki into the PDP was not done in good faith but for selfish reasons, basically to spite the then critical stakeholders in PDP. Governor Obaseki and his followers desperately needed the PDP and not the other way round as misconstrued in the letter.
There are questions that have been begging for answers and we wish to ask these elders and leaders who have openly confessed to being behind the anti-party activities that brought the Governor into the PDP:
1. When they met with the Governor in Abuja and Benin City, what were the terms of agreement for him to join the party? Were dissolution and harmonization of the party structures part of it?
2. How much money did the Governor give to them to execute this coup against the aspirants on the ground?
3. Were Chief Dan Orbih, the State Executive, and the Aspirants part of these meetings?
4. Why did they not inform the National leadership of the party that 95% of appointments so far in the Obaseki Administration since 2020 have been skewed towards those who came with him from APC leaving the Legacy PDP members home and dry?
We wish to also address this issue of registration of 540,000 members of the PDP by the Governor. We make bold to say that this statement is nothing but an attempted hoodwink only a novice will fall prey to. Happily the National Leadership and general public are not deceived.
If they say that they have such followership, let them go and register in another political party to use the over 500,000 registered members to win elections in the State going forward. With that number, they will overrun all the parties combined together in Edo State.
On the part of the elders and leaders who signed the letter in question, how much have they contributed in terms of finance to mobilize PDP members for voter registration? Out of these over 500,000 people, how many have they mobilized to register with INEC for their PVCs?
This question is pertinent because it is those who have voter’s cards that will vote, not those with e-registration. Why are they more interested in the e-registration that is not backed by any PDP law, that is at best phantom, than the actual INEC registration?
We want to state categorically that the leader we know in Edo State PDP is Chief Dan Osi Obih. He has stood with the party through thick and thin days.
Chief Dan Orbih remains that shining light of the Party in Edo State and we stand by him. The above so-called leaders should be told that leadership is not bequeathed, the essence is followership. They should not look and continue to look at the PDP structure in Edo State as a group of inanimate objects that can easily be handed over to the Governor; it is very insensitive of them as humans too.
They should know that the members of the PDP structure in Edo State are humans who had chosen to follow Chief Dan Orbih as their leader because of his detribalized nature and his humane disposition. The structure cannot be forced to follow any other individual by the National leadership of the Party, as requested by these by-standing so-called critical stakeholders who are mere opportunists merely playing to the gallery to a disinterested audience
The National Leadership should bring the warring parties to a round table to settle their personal differences without tampering or attempting to tinker with any part of the PDP Constitution to avoid the Zamfara experience.
If we must talk of harmonization, it should be about the government structure. There is no denying the fact that without the PDP, Governor Godwin Obaseki would have long returned back to his base in Lagos by now but the PDP without Obaseki would have truly been in power by now in Edo State.
These men did more harm than good to the party for their selfish reasons. Out of the signatories, Chief Tom Ikhimi was given a commissioner slot which he gave to Idehenre, Sen. Yisa Braimoh gave his to his daughter while Chief Ogiadomeh gave his slot to his loyalist. Senator Ordia and Senator Mathew Ughoride are still clinching to their third tenure promise as part of what they negotiated with the governor when they wanted to go and join him in the APC.
The only name we are confused about is H. E Lucky Igbinedion but then a lot of theories are behind his position.
The court has spoken concerning the issue of harmonization and as a law-abiding party that preaches respect for the rule of law, we are very confident that our national leadership will jettison the idea. Any discussion about harmonization or integration of the party structures is tantamount to contempt of court and punishable under the law.
It is surprising that the legacy PDP members that are supposed to be the victims of no harmonization by Governor Godwin Obaseki in all his appointments so far are being accused of being villains. That trick worked against Oshoimhole, it won’t work here in the PDP.
We call for genuine peace within the party. The enemies are out there and we need a united house to face them.
God bless Nigeria
God bless Edo State
God bless The PDP
1 Amb. Tony Okonigene – Edo Central Senatorial District
2. Dcn. Darlington Okpebholo-Ray – Edo Central Senatorial District
3. Mr. Elempe Dele. – Edo North Senatorial District
4. Mr. Anthony Lawani. – Edo North Senatorial District
5. Mr. Olamide Anifose – Edo South Senatorial District
6. Mr. Sylvester Matthias – Edo South Senatorial District.
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