Ben peters, Abuja
Leaders of Edo State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have scolded the Deputy Governor of the State, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, for approaching the Court over allegations that the Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, is about to impeach him without exhausting dispute resolution mechanisms of the party.
The leaders, who met on Sunday, in Igueben Local Government Area, were drawn from Edo Central Senatorial District of the State.
Chieftains of the PDP in attendance at the meeting include Chairman, Edo State PDP, Hon. Tony Aziegbemi; former Chairman, PDP Board of Trustee (BOT), Chief Tom Ikimi, former Senator representing Edo Central Senatorial District, Sen. Clifford Odia; former House of Representative member representing Esan South East/Esan North East Federal Constituency, Sergius Ogun and former House of Representative member representing Esan Central, Esan West and Igueben Federal Constituency, Hon. Joe Edionwele, among others.
In a communique after the meeting, they said: “An Extraordinary Meeting of leaders of the People Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo Central Senatorial District held today, the 13th of August 2023, at Igueben and topical issues affecting the Party in the State were reviewed.
“During the meeting, a vote of implicit confidence in the Governor of Edo State, His Excellency, Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, was moved by Chief Francis Ulinfun and seconded by Elder Johnny Abhulimen. The motion was unanimously passed by all the leaders in attendance on behalf of the Party in Esanland.
“The meeting noted with satisfaction the speedy and effective progress being made on the peace and reconciliation efforts to unite the contending forces within the Party, particularly in Esanland.
“However, the deteriorating relationship between our Governor, His Excellency Godwin Obaseki and his Deputy Rt Hon Philip Shaibu, was noted with utmost dismay.”
They added: “It is the collective view of the entire leadership of PDP in Edo Central that the controversy was unnecessary and avoidable, considering that the central issue of contention has to do with the issue of Governorship succession at the end of the current tenure.
“The reason for this is our strong belief that the strongest consideration for making the choice is Equity in addition to other factors related to competence and individual acceptability. From our interactions with our brothers from Edo South and Edo North, there is already a consensus that the next Governor will emanate from Edo Central Senatorial District principally because it is on record that Edo Central has not legally produced a Governor for our dear State since the inception of this democratic dispensation in 1999.
“Besides, we believe that the process of making such a choice can be achieved by the leadership of the Party in a cordial and reasonable atmosphere rather than resorting to intimidation and blackmail. Moreover, we condemn in very strong terms, the act of resorting to Court without exhausting the options provided in our Party Constitution for dispute settlement. In any case, the Governor has confirmed that he has made no move to impeach his Deputy and we believe him.
“We therefore urge the Deputy Governor to withdraw his suit forthwith and seek a political solution to the problem with his Principal. We are confident that the leadership of the Party in the State has the capacity to resolve whatever may be the issues between our leaders in Government.
“Finally, his Excellency Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has expressed his firm resolve and determination to finish well and strong; we hereby identify with him in that resolution because we believe that nothing short of that will augur well for us, the Party and our dear State. We therefore urge all men and women of goodwill to join hands with his Excellency to ensure success to make Edo great again.”