PDP’s Loss, APC’s Gain In Edo | Independent Newspapers Limited
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PDP’s Loss, APC’s Gain In Edo

Posted: Sep 24, 2015 at 12:02 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By  Francis Onoiribholo



When the Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole boasted last year that the last oxygen cylinder that is keeping the PDP alive will finally be removed before the 2016 governorship election in the state, nobody took him serious. But with the present development in the entire camp of the PDP in the state, nobody, particularly politicians and their followers need any soothsayer to believe what the comrade governor has predicted.

Those who have been following the political development of Edo state will agree that it is no longer a secret that members of the PDP have been putting everything in their arsenal to ensure victory for the party in the 2016 governorship election in the state. Especially, when the road to Abuja for its sustenance is closed at least for now following the dethronement of the party at the national level, therefore the only means by which the party can remain relevant till 2019 is to occupy the Osadebey Avenue come 2016.        

Surprisingly, Friday September 18, there was a press statement signed by the PDP Publicity Secretary, Mr. Chris Nehikhare, announcing the suspension of one-time deputy governor and former state Vice Chairman (Edo South) of the party, Chief Lucky Imasuen, and two other members for alleged anti-party activities. The two other members are a former Deputy Chairman, Hon. Christopher Adesotu and a former Organising Secretary, Mr. Richard Ehimagbi and they were directed to appear before a disciplinary committee of the PDP the following Monday in accordance with the party constitution. Mr. Nehikhare in the statement also said the decision to suspend the members was “in the spirit of rebirth and re-organization of the PDP and in line with the solemn pledge to bequeath a responsible and responsive government to Edo people in 2016”.  However, before the suspension news could hit the airwaves Imasuen and Adesotu came up with a statement of their intension to defect to the ruling party APC with more than 3,000 members of the party and their supporters at the traditional Urhokpota Ground the following day – Saturday and described the claim of being suspended as nonsensical.

True to his publicized threat, those who thought Imasuen was trying to fly a kite with his announcement of defection were all dumfounded on the fateful Saturday when they saw him with multitude of his supporters heading toward Urhokpota  for the ground breaking declaration ceremony for the opposition party, he so disparaged when the going was good for him as the SURE-P overlord in the state. They feverishly embarked on singing and dancing along with his supporters, awaiting the arrival of the state governor, Adams Oshiomhole to formerly receive them into the party. As the former deputy governor surged forward with his supporters to receive the governor to the venue, another big wig of the PDP from Edo North and a former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Barr Johnson Abolagba who represented Owan Federal Constituency suddenly appeared and joined Imasuen to welcome the Governor.       

Imasuen in his speech declared “We are tired of the PDP and the manipulations of the leadership and we decided to leave and they are dead in Edo South and across the state and that it was no longer news that the Peoples Democratic Party has fallen apart. Many people have asked me why do you want to join the Comrade Governor?  If you wrestle with somebody for so long and you are not able to defeat the person, won’t you join the person? I pass through Airport Road everyday, my mother is at Ogida market, I attended Agbado Primary School; Adolo College is in my neighbourhood, I pass through Akpakpava road every time and I see the work the governor has done in those places.

Have you been to Edo Central and Edo North? My message to my few brothers and sisters left in the PDP; this train will not miss us. The first one is taking off today at the Kings Square and I am joining APC party with my friends and brothers and I appeal  to you that in the next few months the remaining ones that are viable should join this train to help build a formidable APC that the Comrade Governor has built. We are going to take part in the glory of the governor. Everything he has done has been done by all of us. We are not coming to cause any confusion, we will attend our ward meetings where it is taking place and we accept the governor as our leader”, he said.

On his part, when asked to state his rationale, the former member of House of Representatives and Deputy Governorship candidate of the party in the 2012 Governorship election, Hon Johnson Abolagba contended that PDP Edo Chapter became a cult, while Chief Tony Anenih is the grand master and Chief Dan Orbih became the axe man. “There were no mechanisms being deployed to decide on issues at all when they call a meeting at Anenih’s house, Orbih will bring out points he wants to hear; thereafter, two or three people they have already arranged will respond, the meeting will close not minding that people came from as far as, Akoko Edo, Ibillo, they do not care, that is one reason.

“Then two, were we really exercising opposition here in Edo State? We were doing glamorous opposition where Orbih saw himself as PDP governor of Edo State, Chief Anenih became the governor’s father, then Orbih will address Press Conferences, he will attend rallies and give speeches, he never visited anybody, there is no proper campaign, there is nothing, all they were after was to make noise and show glamour. You do not win election by giving glamorous opposition, people were laughing at us, we became clowns. There was no honesty, no transparency in the system, primaries are not done properly, delegates were not selected properly, all they do is pick out those who were going to do election whether they will win or not it was not their business provided the election is done they have their own reward”.

“So we saw that our future was no longer certain if we remained in the PDP, and we had to leave PDP and we thank God that the Comrade Governor accepted us. I am not going to APC to achieve anything in APC, I want to add, without me APC will win their election, I want to go there and add value to their system that is why I am not going there to fight for anything. I am going to add value to their system, I have been in politics since 1992, everybody knows me in Edo State and now that I have left PDP between me and the people, before December PDP will be faded off completely in Edo North. You do not know me very well, ask about Abolagba, they will tell you that between now and December I am going to fold up PDP completely in Edo north. Before now they did not know PDP in Etsako apart from Auchi, no PDP in Akoko Edo apart from the followers of Tunde Lakoju. PDP was in Owan West about 80%, in Owan East about 45%, so we are going to close the shop, we are all going to go to APC to join them to work and move the state forward, other than engaging in glamorous opposition where their interest is how much money to gain from election, glamorous governors they become governor of the party in the state rather than governor of the state. PDP leaders are always boasting that they are going to win the governorship election at all cost whether you people leave PDP in Edo State or not they are ready to take over Edo State come November 2016. But let me tell you, PDP is not new to boasting, I am Johnson Abulagba I have been with them. I was the PDP pioneer Youth leader, in 1998, I was PDP Senatorial Chairman, I was PDP Liaison between Abuja and Edo State at a point.

“I have been to House of Representatives; I was twice the Deputy Chairman. PDP leaders are just boasting, it is that boast that they boast and they do not achieve anything, boasting on Television and Newspapers, will that convince people to vote on the day of election? They are good at boasting, that is why I said they engage in glamorous campaign, they do not go to anybody’s house all they do is give you money to come to rally and they speak grammar at the rally, they go back to their house and sit down. Orbih has never visited anybody in Edo State other than that you go to his house in Abuja, or go to his house in Benin or Ogbona. They are not politicking, the party is being governed by none politicians, apart from Chief Anenih, so they can always boast.

However, Chief Dan Orbih who though not interested in discussing individual politicians especially suspended people and their personal decisions was quick to state that the PDP was more interested in the available welfare at the disposal of the ordinary Edo State person. The strategies that can guarantee improved and better life for the people is my pre-occupation and come 2016, Edo people would have the chance of electing a true people oriented governor of the PDP.

Governor Adams Oshiomhole, who received the defectors, described the occasion as the final funeral rite for the PDP in Edo and assured the decampees that the APC will integrate them to enable them enjoy all benefits accruing to old members.  Oshiomhole thanked them for their decision to join the APC, assuring that they would be granted equal opportunities as founding members of the party.

According to him, “today, the only political elephant that is left in the PDP has decided with his brothers and sisters across the three senatorial districts to formally renounce their membership of the PDP so that they can realign, readjust and reintegrate with the progressives under the APC platform.

“I am very excited at the opportunity of working hand-in-hand with our brothers and sisters who we know in their heart and by some of the actions they have taken in the past, they rightly belong to the same family of the progressives. The movement of these people to APC means that the PDP is down and finished”.

“In APC, we will do everything we can to integrate you into our control structures and to ensure that like other members of the APC, you will get what is due to you. Let me assure you on behalf of the party that we are not welcoming you by lips but by our hearts and working together to ensure continuous good governance in Edo State and under the leadership of President Buhari, now that you have joined us, the broom has become stronger”.

“The broom has become more potent; the broom will now be deployed to sweep away any of the other remnants and bring change and the benefit of change will accrue to all our people all over the state and to all of you who are members of APC.”

The Governor thereafter formally received the decampees by presenting them with the broom, the symbol of the APC”.

The battle for the political soul of Edo State is evidently gathering momentum and shall climax in the not too distant future. The deliberate open and subterranean moves to increase in number while doing everything humanly possible to decrease the strength of your opponent in considered legitimate aspiration in politics, where the end always justifies the means.