From Tony Osauzo, Benin
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was in charge of governance in Edo State from 1999 to November 12, 2008 when Comrade Adams Oshiomhole took over as governor on the platform of the defunct Action Congress (AC). The party later metamorphosed to Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), one of the legacy parties that merged to form the present All Progressives Congress (APC).
And since the PDP lost power in the state, it has not found its bearing back to the seat of power it once occupied at Osadebey Avenue.
Nevertheless, it did put up a strong showing in the 2015 National Assembly election, winning two senatorial and six House of Representatives seats out of the nine in Edo State.
Several factors have accounted for the inability of the PDP to regain power. Two major of those factors are the performance of Governor Oshiomhole which in the view of many surpassed the PDP- led government in the state and the defection of many of the party’s strong members to the APC.
It should however be noted that some strong members of the APC also left the party to join the PDP. It is perhaps on account of the defections of PDP members to APC that General Charles Airhiavbere, PDP governorship candidate in 2012 and now one of the APC’s governorship aspirants, declared that the PDP has gone into oblivion because those who believed in the party have left.
At the moment, the leadership crisis rocking the PDP at the National level is one of the burdens on the shoulders of the Edo State chapter of the party, as the September 10 governorship election in the state draws near.
While many aspirants of the APC have collected their nomination and expression of interest forms and are lobbying delegates ahead of the party’s governorship primary, aspirants of the PDP are not certain when the party would organise congress to elect delegates and when they would collect their nomination forms.
The four aspirants of the party started well by promising themselves that they would support whoever is nominated and by organising joint rallies to strengthen the unity and cohesion of the party.
But it appears that that initial unity of purpose has turned to a case of “every man for himself, God for us all” when some some aspirants engaged in recrimination, accusations and counter accusations.
Many believe that the development does not augur well for a party that is attempting to unseat the ruling one. The calculation is that internal wranglings within the party can only add to its woes and weaken its capacity to fight the electoral battle ahead.
Political observers insist that the aspirants should bear in mind that they would have nothing to benefit unless they win the coveted prize- the governorship seat. Only then, each can benefit according to his effort.
It is stating the obvious that any group or party that goes to war or election with a divided house has planned to lose the battle. So, let the PDP put its house in order.
Ex–Rep tasks PDP leaders
By Remi Adefulu
A former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Onimole has urged warring members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)to sheath their swords in the interest of the party.
He said this had become expedient to bolster the fortunes of the erstwhile ruling party.
Onimole who lamented that the PDP lost the last election due to self-destruction, however said the party has what it takes to win Edo State.
Specifically, he said with a united front by the Anenihs, Igbinedions, Onolememens, Ikims and other leaders, the state remains winnable for the PDP.
He therefore tasked those fighting for the soul of the party at the national level to forget their differences and jointly work for the party’s success in the election.
According to the former lawmaker, the elements should as a matter of the party’s interest jettison their struggle for party control until it wins in Edo and Ondo states’ governorship elections.
This, he said, would be a psychological boost for the PDP, which remains the party for all Nigerians, despite mistakes of the recent past.
Aside this, he stressed that Edo and Ondo states are oil-producing whose status would help the PDP to rebound.
Said he: ‘’To me, I believe we should forget our differences, let us all put all the resources we have into the Edo ad Ondo elections in the overall interest of the party.
“Edo and Ondo are oil producing states which can assist us in the recovery of the states we lost in the last general election.
“We can even set aside the issue of party offices for about four months to prepare and win the two states.
“it is in the overall interest of the party that we bury our differences now”, he said.
Continuing, Onimole called on the party’s governors especially those from the South – South to adopt proactive strategies that will make the party win.
With victory in the two states, he said, the PDP would have succeeded in sending jitters into the spines of the ruling APC ahead of 2019.
APC women set agenda for aspirants
From Tony Osauzo and Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
No longer satisfied with their condition in politics, the women wing of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have decided to put forward demands for the party’s governorship aspirants to consider before they can support any of them who emerges candidate of the party.
Simply, the women want adequate representation in key government positions in the state’s politics, especially in the forthcoming governorship election.
To drive home their point and extract commitment from the aspirants, the women’s wing of the APC invited all the Governorship aspirants of the party for the first time in the history of the state’s politics, to an interactive forum at Imaguro College where they made their demands.
In her speech, the women leader of APC, Dr. Aisosa Madasun said the women will only throw their weight behind a candidate who will allocate more political positions to them.
Dr. Amadasun stated that it was a well known fact that women constitute the highest number of voters during elections and that they also form the backbone and strength during campaigns but regretted that they are relegated to the back ground.
She said the ugly trend which has become a norm and adversely affecting the women in governance, must be reflected on with a view to charting a new course for the women in politics.
She explained that the women were not out to confront the men but to agitate for a fair treatment, enter into a social contract with the aspirants. With these clear cut demands, the aspirants were made to lay bare their manifestoes before the women for critical screening and scrutiny.
Taking the bull by the horns, General Charles Airiabhere, one of the governorship aspirants, said the 35 percent Affirmative Action is a deed which he cannot renege on.
Taking his turn, Chris Ogiemwonyi said he has served the federal government for 34 years without blemish and that his wealth of experience will be deployed to serve and develop Edo State while more considerations will be given to the women.
Comrade Peter Esele, former president, Trade Union Congress, left no stone unturned, as he took his time to assure the women of soft loans to help boost their businesses.
For Ken. Imansuangbon who was represented by Alex Osifo, he said that
he is aware of the plights of the women who have been relegated to the background over the years and that his plan is to ameliorate them and make them relevant in the state’s politics through appointing them to head sensitive parts of his government.
Don Pedro Obaseki on his part, talked about boosting the economy, women empowerment, political equality and the need to develop the state.
Obaseki Godwin also promised political equality for the women, job creation for the youth and speedy economic growth for the state.
In all, what the women have succeeded in doing is that, they have realized that if they can take advantage of their numerical strength, they can achieve their own set target of occupying juicy positions in the Edo State politics henceforth.
For the governorship aspirants, they have become more aware that the rhythm of the music has changed and for them to win in any of the elective positions, they need the women’s support and would do everything to get that support.