The Edo chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has reported to the national leadership of the party, the proposed plans by the State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, to dissolve the party executives at all levels in the state.
Obaseki had, last weekend, hosted a meeting of state party leaders at the government house, with the party executives noting that only three old PDP members were in attendance.
The meeting, which had the proposal of dissolving the party executives as its agenda, has thus been strongly criticized as the party’s leadership condemned the move to dissolve “a legitimately elected executive”.
The state party chairman, Dr Tony Aziegbemi and state party Secretary, Mr Hillary Otsu, in a letter to the National leadership of the party, argued that the meeting was against the constitution.
The letter reads in part: “The expanded State Working Committee and Local Government chairmen of the Edo State PDP reject in its entirety, the proposal by the above mentioned meeting to dissolve the legitimately elected executive committee members of the PDP at the Ward, Local Government and State levels.
“We also condemn totally, the convening of such a meeting aimed at ambushing our State Chairman, who is constitutionally empowered to call such a meeting.’
“We hereby reiterate to the National Executive Committee of our party that the issue of dissolution of executive committees in Edo State is subjudice and it will be an act of contempt of court to revisit it by the party.
“The genesis of this looming crisis results from the acquiescence of the National Working Committee members who negotiated Obaseki’s movement to the PDP.
“(The committee did not) reach a verbal or written agreement on the integration of the new members, vis a vis, the sharing of appointments, after the elections had been won.
“We, therefore, condemn Gov. Obaseki for re-appointing his former Secretary to the State Government (SSG) without any consideration for the `legacy PDP’ he joined.
“To this end, they have consistently sang a tune of “harmonisation” ever since Obaseki was sworn in, now that he has the ‘yam and the knife.’
“We have resolved strongly, that if any harmonisation must take place, it must start from the Governor’s office, where his Deputy Governor should resign and a deputy nominated from the old PDP is sworn in.
“This can be a spring board for broad harmonisation across the state party organs.
“The proposed dissolution and, or, harmonisation are designed to hold Edo people and the PDP to ransom by the Obaseki-led administration. We will not accept this.
“Edo people voted for PDP and Godwin Obaseki to deliver the dividends of democracy to them.
“But if Gov. Obaseki wills to conduct governance by a triumvirate of the Governor, the deputy governor and the SSG, so be it.
“If he wishes to appoint only his friends and former APC colleagues in his cabinet and sundry positions and leave out the legacy PDP members, so be it.
“We, the state PDP leadership will not accede to any form of harmonisation that has no backing or interpretation in our party constitution.”
The state party leadership further noted that the governor was being misguided and misled by three groups: those with aspiration for future elections, those who lost during the last state Congress, and the godfathers who joined the party from the opposition.
“We recognise that the Governor is being misguided and misled by three groups of individuals who are bent on bringing our party to disrepute,” the letter continued
“Group A includes aspirants for 2023 and 2024 elections, who are both rumoured to have governorship and Senatorial aspirations.
“This (aspiration) is legitimate. However, such ambitions will not be used to rubbish the integrity of the party.
“The other group is the congress losers. These members have never hidden their disdain for the new executives across the state, simply because they backed the wrong “horses” and lost woefully at various congresses.
“The last group is the godfathers from the opposition. These individuals have brought the extinct opposition culture of godfatherism, where they usually sat and wrote names for Gov. Obaseki to install as chairmen, councilors etc.
“They have refused to register in their wards as PDP members while continuously attending PDP meetings under the governor’s auspices, with impunity.
“PDP in Edo will not be cowed into any illegalities by the state government.
“We have consistently bent over backwards, to a breaking point, in our efforts to integrate Gov. Obaseki’s former APC supporters.
“How did we do this?
“At the Zonal congress held in Port Harcourt recently, the two positions zoned to state (Financial Secretary and Ex-Officio member), were conceded to the Governor without any deliberation by the party hierarchy.
“The National Ex-officio position was also conceded to the governor without any deliberations.
“Mr Chairman, how far do we have to go to show good faith? Let it be known that we will not concede any more positions, and those already nominated will be recalled and re-allocated.
“The Binis say that the woman whose child is an albino, but gladly answers the call of ‘Mama oyinbo’, is only living in self-deceit.
“Mr Chairman, we cannot live in self-deceit,’’ the letter concluded.