The subterranean crisis rocking the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State came to the fore on Tuesday as the State Working Committee led by chairman of the party in the state, Dr. Tony Aziegbemi, officially accused Governor Godwin Obaseki of ambusing the party.
Dr Aziegbemi has reportedly written to the National Chairman of PDP, Uche Secondus over the issue.
A protest letter signed by chairman of the party in the state, Tony Aziegbemi, and secretary, Hillary Otsu, respectively, after an ’emergency and expanded state working Committee meeting’ stated that the only pathway for the Governor to harmonize the party members in the state as he claims, must start from his office, just as they called for the replacement of his deputy, Philip Shaibu and Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Osarodion Ogie with old PDP members.
Trouble started when Obaseki allegedly held a meeting with three old members of the PDP in the state namely: Dr. Raymond Dokpesi, Chief Tom Ikimi and Chief Mike Oghiadomhe Sunday where he (Governor) allegedly proposed desolution of the state EXCOS.
The protest letter which stated that convening such a meeting was aimed at “ambushing state chairman of the party whom it said was constitutionally empowered to host such meeting,” reiterated that “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 letter reads in part, “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.”
The agrieved old PDP members who admitted that Obaseki is being misled by elements they regard as aspirants for 2023 and 2024 elections, specifically mentioned his deputy and the SSG as culprits whom they said are rumoured to have governorship and Senatorial aspirations respectively.
The members led by Aziegbemi also accused some former APC members they regarded as godfathers and some old PDP members of influencing the Governor on his planned dissolution of the state excos.
“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.
“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,” the letter further read.