Strengthening The Unity of PDP-Edo State
~ High Chief Tom Ikimi
September 28, 2021
My attention has been drawn to a recent Channels TV interview conducted by Seun Okinbaloye in which two individuals participated – one Ademokue Lukman and also one Osilama Okuofu. The subject of their discussion was said to be an alleged crisis brewing in the PDP Edo State.
Although I am not in the country at the moment, a copy of this interview has been sent to me and I must say I was indeed very shocked to hear my name being mentioned as member or leader of a faction of the PDP in Edo State hence I make this brief response.
It is absolutely impossible to get me associated with factional politics at National level talk less at the State level. Having operated for so long in Party Leadership, I have always made positive contributions towards the peaceful resolution of disputes within the party It is on record that when I really disagreed with happenings within a National Political Party and which we find impossible to mutually resolve I move on with like minds to found another party which I have done successfully at least twice now.
That is how I was one of the two persons that created the Action Congress – AC in my Abuja home, the party that I brought down to Edo State in 2006 which provided Adams Oshiomhole the platform that made him Edo State Governor in 2007 and we defeated the PDP. I was leader of the AC Party in Edo State which eventually transformed to ACN – (Action Congress of Nigeria) and repeated the feat in 2011 by defeating PDP again.
It is a fact that I was in the core of creating the APC in 2013/14 as I hosted and chaired the merger talks, a committee of 89 people, for 3 months in my Abuja home and again successfully created the APC. I had good reasons to depart from the APC in December 2014 I then accepted an invitation from the highest level to return to the PDP in January 2015.
Most of the leaders of the APC in Edo State today are well known political friends of mine. I certainly do not have a close working relationship with that group in Edo State that failed to win the state over 12 years but which keeps insisting on keeping the party boxed into a handful of selected individuals.
Their numbers even became seriously depleted when Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu departed the Edo State PDP party to join the APC with a huge chunk of its members. I do however cherish the respect that many of them accord me on individual basis. If the late Chief Tony Anenih was alive we could have a meaningful discussion on this matter. Many of them are aware of his opinion of my standing in the party,which he freely expressed in his last days.
Back as a full fledged member of the PDP I could not bear it that the Edo State Government was not in our custody. It is true that I met with distinguished leaders and Statesmen of our Party, of Edo State, and we put together a working strategy that has restored the party to power in the State with HE Godwin Obaseki as the Governor. Yes, by the prevailing Party Constitution and arrangement, being a sitting Governor he assumed leadership of the party even before the elections.
HE Godwin Obaseki arrived with a formidable team including virtually the entire APC State Exco, all the members of the State house of Assembly, virtually all the State elected LGA Chairmen etc. PDP had none. There is no question that the entry of the sitting Governor and his team into the PDP guaranteed our victory. I and other distinguished State leaders of the party did not participate in some negotiations we are informed took place to get some people to withdraw court litigation and to accept the candidature of Godwin Obaseki. The political atmosphere is filled with stories of what transpired in those negotiations.
I was not in the country when the so called congresses were organized in Edo State that produced the current State Excoand I had no input whatsoever. I am, all the same, aware of major discrepancies in the exercise. It is however not a secret that the whole exercise was just an effort to put together a structure that would produce some delegates to endorse a particular aspirant for the Governorship contest. Winning the governorship itself did not seem to be a priority to them.
The PDP maintains a practice that ensures that whoever comes into the party at whatever time enjoys full benefits as every other member Of the party. In this regard the harmonization and blending of members is given high priority. I served as a member of the National Committee that handled this exercise successfully nationwide prior to the 2019 elections. One of those alluding to Sokoto and Benue obviously has no idea as to what took place there.
I have therefore supported full integration of all our members into a unified PDP in Edo State with everyone blended into one party. Former APC and former PDP should now be a thing of the past in the history of the evolution of the PDP party in the state. I am pretty sure Governor Godwin Obaseki is quite capable to handle this process.
~ High Chief Tom Ikimi CON