… says party gradually dying in the state
Ben Peters, Abuja
The Secretary of the Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, Hilary Otsu, on Thursday, said the crisis in the state chapter of the party came to being with the emergence of Governor Godwin Obaseki.
According to him, the PDP in Edo State was “unshakeable” for years but with the way things are, it seems the party is falling apart in Edo State.
Asked to narrate the genesis of the problem confronting the state chapter of the party, Otsu said, “Yes PDP had been unshakable in Edo State since 1999. What you see today is not just a falling apart but a failing attempt to emasculate the political class in Edo State through a scripted conspiracy by political masqueraders. Their intent was to systematically eliminate the legacy members and structure of the Party, and hand it to gangs of insensitive apolitical jobbers.
“It all began when Governor Obaseki was disqualified and pushed out of the party that brought him to prominence, the APC. To quickly arrest the embarrassing fallout of his disqualification, he sought refuge in the PDP. Immediately, these apolitical jobbers, both in the PDP and APC, swung into action. They encouraged him to join the PDP and, in his own words, “sold the PDP structure” to him.
“With this, the Governor developed the entitlement and ownership mentality with which he has been operating. What he didn’t realise is that these people sold him a dummy as they neither had the party structure nor followership structure to sell.”
However, the state party secretary said the Governor went ahead to set up his government, without any regards for the real stakeholders he met in the Party.
” This is sacrilege, a total disregard for the structure that gave him succor. So as his second tenure kicked off, he began to agitate for dissolution of the existing party structure from the State to the Ward levels, so that he can have a firm grip on the structure, and exercise his pronouncement as the leader of the Party.
“Please note that leadership doesn’t work by pronouncement. Naturally the legacy structures quickly engaged defensive mechanisms and took political steps. Some members did not even wait to see if he could make any progress in that regards, so they immediately went to a Federal High Court to obtain an order restraining any authority from dissolving any Edo PDP exco at any level.
“This order is in perpetuity and if the NWC even tries to do it, it wont stand. At several interactions with the Governor, he never ceased to express his desire for dissolution, to which we always responded with emphatic negative reactions. There is a memo where I stated a few options for a mutually beneficial working relationship between the State Government and the Party structure.
“I also emphasized the fact that a number of State Working Committee members were personally willing to take up Cabinet positions and relinquish their Party offices, so that he could fill their positions with his choices. He kept insisting that the Party structure, as it were, could not work and must be dissolved and reconstituted.
“For many of us, including the State Chairman, we were surprised at his position, considering the legal implications and the fact that tempers were now rising. As his first year came to an end, rapprochement which we tried to bring about continued to evade us.
“By the start of 2022, I am sure you realized that the center certainly couldn’t hold and the Congresses/Primaries exposed the extent of the disconnect between the State Government and the Party. The State Government went ahead to organize parallel congresses and primaries, attempting to muscle Edo INEC.
“Eventually, we ended up in court, Ayu and his cohorts sacrificed the Party guidelines and constitution on the alter of corruption, and the rest is history.