Politics

Edo 2024: PDP splits into two factions as legacy group, Shaibu rejects Ighodalo

Crisis is brewing in the Edo state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as another faction has emerged within the party ahead of the governorship election in the state. 

Led by the National Vice Chairman (South-South) Dan Orbih, the faction declared it won’t support the governorship ambition of the PDP candidate, Asue Ighodalo.

Orbih also gave the party a snub ahead of the September 21 governorship election with his rejection of an appointment as a member of the governorship campaign council.

Orbih, leader of the anti-Obaseki’s Legacy Coalition in the party, had been named a member of the campaign council last week, apparently in a bid by the party to carry along all interest groups in the run-up to the polls.

He said yesterday that no one had consulted him before his name was announced as a member of the council.

“Nobody told me of any governorship campaign council membership in Edo PDP. I am not aware of it.

“Some persons who saw my name on the list called me. I have not seen the listand I am not aware of it. I am not party to the composition of the campaign council,” he said.

Orbih, an ally of Federal Capital Territory Minister Nyesom Wike, is not on good terms with Governor Godwin Obaseki.

Their disagreement stemmed from Obaseki’s takeover of the PDP structure in the state following his defection from the All Progressives Congress in 2020.

Some other members of the PDP in the state are not impressed with what they term as Obaseki’s imposition of Dr. Asue Ighodalo as the party’s flag bearer in the governorship election.

Yesterday, Orbih hosted a meeting of Legacy Coalition stakeholders at his Ogbona country home in the Etsako Central Local Government Area.

He told the gathering that Obaseki and Ighodalo lack what it takes to lead the state successfully.

He said the coalition would, therefore, throw its weight behind a candidate who would represent the good people of the state during the September election.

He said: “I am not part and parcel of the PDP campaign council. In 2020, we came out in Edo North Senatorial District and supported the re-election of Governor Godwin Obaseki. I, Chief Dan Orbih, worked with Governor Obaseki to deliver him.

“People asked me questions on where we are today and what is the way forward? I can boldly tell you the issue before us is what is the way forward? Let me tell you that all is not well with Edo State PDP.

“As we prepare and move forward for the upcoming governorship election, we will do all we can to let Edo people know that this election is about Edo and the future of Edo.

“Let me send a powerful message to PDP: we, the Edo PDP, can tell you that it is not well with Edo PDP. I hereby denounce my membership as a member of Edo PDP governorship campaign council. Obaseki and his anointed governorship candidate, Asue Ighodalo, are not the way forward for Edo State.”

Orbih also described the recent impeachment of Edo Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu as political.

“The predicament of Shaibu is that some persons said he had no right to contest the governorship election in 2024,” he said.

Shaibu, who was at the meeting, said Edo people would not vote for Ighodalo because “Edo State needs a home-grown person.”

He said: “I want to assure you that we are in support of Chief Dan Orbih and his legacy group. We will not support Asue Ighodalo but wait for the direction of the PDP legacy group on who to vote for.”

A former Speaker of the Edo House of Assembly, Kabiru Adjoto, while also speaking, stated that PDP, under the leadership of Obaseki, could not manage the success of the victory in 2020.

He noted that instead of the Edo governor consolidating the victory recorded in the 2020 governorship election by rewarding those who worked for his re-election, he opted for other persons within the PDP who had never worked for the party.

The former speaker pledged to work with the Orbih-led PDP coalition in the forthcoming Edo governorship election while assuring that he and his supporters in Akoko-Edo LGA in Edo North Senatorial District were on the same page with the Orbih’s legacy coalition.

Adjoto said: “Chief Dan Orbih, we have seen what you sawand we are here to queue behind you. Anywhere you go, we will go. We are waiting for your instructions.”

The meeting also had in attendance the leaders of PDP’s legacy coalition in Edo North senatorial district, including Jude Imagwe, Damian Lawani and Fred Attah, among other top politicians.

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