EDO PDP AD HOC DELEGATE ELECTION, ‘NOLLYWOOD MOVIE’ – NATIONAL VICE CHAIRMAN
National Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, South-South, Chief Dan Orbih has flayed Governor Peter Mbah for playing a role in the Nollywood movie that he said was presented as an ad-hoc delegate election in Edo State.
Speaking to nine of the ten aspirants who visited him in his Benin City residence to protest the conduct of the delegate election, Orbih told them that they will not walk alone as their protests will not go in vain.
Orbih, a former chairman of the party in the state who served as Governor Godwin Obaseki’s campaign manager in the 2020 governorship election vowed that the cry that a stranger will not fly the ticket of the party will not end up in vain.
The protests of the nine aspirants follows reports of the adulteration of the election officers for the ward ad-hoc election, a development that led to the withdrawal of Governor Seyi Makinde from his role as chairman of the PDP Committee to supervise the ad-hoc election.
Nine of the ten aspirants with the notable exception of Asue Ighodalo had earlier petitioned Makinde and the National Working Committee, NWC alleging that the list of election officers had been muddled with Edo and Delta State government officials.
Addressing the aspirants and other party officials in his Benin City residence, Orbih while commending the courage of the aspirants in standing against the might of Governor Obaseki said:
“I salute your courage, I salute your commitment. We appreciate you all. Your struggle and effort is not personal but for our collective interest and dream of a better Edo state.
“What took place yesterday, was Obaseki’s ad-hoc delegate election and not PDP. I have listened to the position of the aspirants who disassociated themselves from yesterday’s show of shame purportedly supervised by the Governor of Enugu who flew into Benin and after meeting Governor Obaseki in Government House went with him to George Idah collation centre to record a television scene to justify the illegalities carried out across the state.
“Let me join all of you to condemn and reject the shameless show of yesterday. I am happy the aspirants are taking steps to set aside the sad Nollywood event of yesterday.
“Be assured that like Liverpool fans, you will never walk alone. I appeal to all party faithful to remain calm. I will once again declare that Edo PDP will not support a stranger for the 2024 Guber election.
“They are writing all sorts in the social media, but like they say a ripe fruit attracts stones and arrows. We shall overcome.”
In the same vein, the state chairman of the party, Dr Tony Aziegbemi, told the aggrieved nine governorship aspirants to take their grievances to the party’s Appeal Panel.
The protesting governorship aspirants were Philip Shaibu, the deputy governor of the state, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, Anselm Ojezua, Felix Akhabue, Martin Uhomoibhi, Hajia Hadizat Umoru, Omosede Igbinedion, Earl Osaro Onaiwu and Arthur Esene.
According to him, the governorship aspirants have a right to protest but are urged to take their protest to the Appeal panel set up by the National Working Committee of the party.
“The processes put in place for the exercise were transparent, credible and robust. But if there is anybody that is aggrieved either individually or collectively, the Appeal panel set up by the party is there to protest to”, he said.
He also urged the aggrieved governorship aspirants to be mindful of what they say in public, especially to the press, noting that their utterances and actions can undermine the integrity of the party.
Aziegbemi, however, assured that the party will do everything possible to carry its members along.
Meanwhile, Aziegbemi disclosed that the Peter Mbah-led five-man Ward delegates congress committee, has cancelled the result of the election in Etsako Central local government area over alleged kidnap of eight electoral officers.
He said the cancellation of the ward delegates congress results for the local government will not substantially affect the outcome of the entire exercise in the 192 wards across the 18 local government areas.
“We had one ugly incident during the Sunday ward delegates congress in the state. Eight electoral officials deployed to Etsako Central local government area were abducted by gunmen at Jattu in Etsako West Local Government Area.
“In spite of the incident, the exercise went on smoothly in the other 17 local government areas.
“In their own wisdom, they decided to cancel the outcome because the result in the locality will not affect the result of the other 17 local governments”, he said.
Aziegbemi opined that the total number of elected delegates to nominate a governorship candidate for the party on February 22, 2024, are 594 and that the number of delegates in the Etsako central local government is 31.
He added that the kidnapped electoral officers have not been released, just as he said that the state Governor, Godwin Obaseki had reported the incident to the Edo State Commissioner of Police, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), zone 5 and the Inspector-General of Police.