There seems to be no end to the crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party in Edo State as the Chairman of the three-man committee, Governor Seyi Makinde, who conducted the party’s state delegate election resigned from the position.
Also, nine aspirants out of the 11 that would participate in the February 22 primary election were said to have boycotted the election which took place all over the state on Sunday.
The nine aspirants in their letter to the acting National Chairman, Umar Illiya, and copied to the National Vice Chairman South-South of the party, Chief Dan Orbih protested the process and compositions of those to conduct the delegates election.
The petition was signed by Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, Anselm Ojezua, Felix Akhabue, Amb. Martin Uhomoibhi, Hafia Hadizat Umoru, Hon. Omosede Igbinedion, Dr. Earl Osaro Onaiwu, and Barr. Arthur Esene
The governor of Enugu State, Peter Mbah who is said to be the deputy chairman was present in the state to conduct the primary where he commended the large turnout of members of the party.
Speaking to party faithful at the George Idah Primary School, GRA, Benin, the collation centre for Ward 2, Mbah said, “This is a democracy where our people come to exercise their franchise. We appreciate this turnout, our party is known for the principles of fairness, equity, and justice. I wish you to all conduct yourselves properly as we hold this election.”
In Ward 7 at Ugbekun Primary School in Ikpoba-Okha Local government, Dr. Major Itemowe led others to conduct the exercise while in Oluku Ward, Hon Kunle Koya from Lagos State conducted the exercise.
Speaking to journalists in his Ward 4 collation centre, Idia College, Governor Godwin Obaseki said the crisis in the party was being overhyped and that it would not affect the outcome of the governorship election.
He said, “You can see from the crowd here that it is a lot of success due to the huge turnout. We had over 600 people coming out to participate here, our people are very politically aware and we are happy with this turnout to elect delegates for our gubernatorial primary. we are also expecting this huge turnout in the main election.”
On the resignation of Makinde, Obaseki said, “It is unfortunate that Makinde withdrew, there are three governors and he is only one of three that withdrew which does not remove the credibility of the process. What makes a process credible is the quality of the participation. You can see the turnout so it is unfortunate that Governor Makinde had to take such a decision. I hope that all our efforts to continue to unify the party and pacify all stakeholders will continue. We are not deterred at all, we are going to make sure that PDP plays its role in the politics of this country.”
Speaking on the nonparticipation of members of the Legacy Coalition of the PDP, he said, “You cannot have 100 percent participation. You can see the crowd here. When we were in APC before we joined the PDP, we didn’t have these numbers so it is clear that the people we met in the party are still in the party.
“The crisis is hyped, it is not as fundamental as it is made to look. There is very little crisis, the crisis is fanned from the outside and our people are smarter than that. You will see during the main election, we are not going to allow ourselves to be sold.”