April 13, 2024

Edo 2024: PDP Reconciliation Team Turns Down Obaseki’s Request for Zoning, Pleads for Leniency

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By Correspondent

The reconciliation meeting that was suggested at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Working Committee and Edo State Stakeholders forum on December 14, 2023, ended this evening with substantial progress. The demand by Governor Godwin Obaseki for zoning was unanimously stepped down.

The meeting took place at the Bauchi State Lodge in Asokoro, and was chaired by the Acting National Chairman, Ambassador Umar Damagun.

In attendance were the Chairman of PDP Governors Forum, Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, the embattled Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, PDP National Vice Chairman, South, Chief Dan Osi Orbih, Chief Tom Ikimi, Prince Austin Eweka, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe, Distinguished Senator Roland Steven Owie, Senator Ehigie Uzamere, Edo State State House of Assembly Deputy Speaker, Maria Edeko, Pascal Ogbome and Kenneth Asekomhe.

The very tempered meeting provided everyone the opportunity to speak frankly and the general view by virtually all the speakers, apart from Ikimi and Uzamere blamed Obaseki for the terrible situation PDP has landed in Edo State.

Senator Ehigie Uzamere minced no word to support Obaseki’s quest to shift power from Edo South to Edo Central. Before the meeting, there were ‘cat-calls’ by some leaders that were invited for the meeting, that Uzamere had allegedly negotiated a deal with Obaseki to have his son run with Mr Asue Ighodalo as running-mate.

He traced the genesis of PDP crisis in Edo State to 2007 when the late Chief Tony Anenih group refused to allow then Governor Lucky Igbinedion to have a hand in producing his successor.

Uzamere pointed to Oghiadomhe who was present at the meeting, as the person who convinced Jonathan to support Oshiomhole to have a second term as governor. He concluded his presentation by insisting that Obaseki must have a say on who succeeds him, and threatened that, he will “do anti party” if PDP does otherwise. 

Uzamere also insisted that NWC must sit down to zone the position, because Edo South has done 8 years “so it must be zoned.”

The star presentation was made by Distinguished Senator Stephen Owie who traced the chronology of Obaseki’s misadventure in Edo State, explaining to Senator Damagun, Mohammed and Makinde, how Obaseki mismanaged the PDP opportunity in Edo State.

The transcript below are the contributions made by individuals who were present at the meeting:

Acting National Chairman, Ambassador Umar Damagun – “There is need for peace in Edo.”

Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed – “There must be concessions.”

Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde – “The factions are not represented. Most of them are the Governor’s people. Except you come together in Edo State there is big problem.”

Edo State Governor Obaseki – “I can never forget what PDP did for me. I am prepared to do everything to mend the cracks in Edo PDP.”

Distinguished Senator Rowland Stephen Owie – “Obaseki came and took everything. The old PDP is totally left out of everything including Elections. Even Local Government Election he took everything.

“Let old PDP bring the next Governor. If you like use gold to tar road, if your party members are unhappy you have failed.

“How can you again take Governorship. He has done his own. Let him go. He has worked but not in touch with the people.

“How can there be peace with all these? No Justice no peace.”

Kenneth Asekomhe – “We took everything. That’s when the problem started. Let Legacy old PDP produce the next governor in conjunction with Obaseki.”

Senator Ehigie Uzamere – “2007 started the problem when the Anenih group did not allow Lucky have a hand in producing his successor.

“It was Oghiadomhe who convinced Jonathan to support Oshiomhole to have a second term. Obaseki must have a say in who succeeds him otherwise I will do anti-party.

“Obaseki and Orbih must come together and NWC must sit down to zone the position. Edo South has done eight years, so it must be zoned.”

Bishop Okosun – “The Governor must have a say in who succeeds him. If two of them agree then PDP will win.”

Chief Mike Oghiadomhe – “It is regretful that Obaseki did not manage the victory well. We have gotten to junction of bringing Obaseki and Dan together.

“Dan and Obaseki should come together to give us an agreeable candidate. There shouldn’t be any hardline position by anyone.

“Obaseki and Dan must put this into consideration. We cannot afford to be divided.

Chief Tom Ikimi – “We have to make whatever sacrifices to retain PDP in government in Edo. We should be open minded to settlement. Dan please after reconciling with Obaseki come and reconcile with me.”

Deputy Speaker Maria Edeko – “Let us put our differences behind us and come together.”

Chief Dan Osi Orbih – “We cannot sweep the issues that brought us here under the carpet. It is normal for a governor to produce a successor but it is not compulsory.

“The governor must have an open mind. I have an open mind. Both of us must agree on the solution. Otherwise I am not part of it. Nobody can say that the Governor must produce his successor.”

Bauchi State Governor, Chairman PDP Governors Forum, while closing the meeting – “Thanks to all who are here.

“The issues are multidimensional. It was Obaseki who asked for this meeting. I made a mistake, what I wanted to say is that, every Governor desires to have his successor. I didn’t say he must produce his successor.

“What we have said is that there must be a marriage between both of you to choose the next governor for the party.

“We need a meeting between Dan and Obaseki and the National Chairman and myself.

“Two of you must agree on the template for picking the next governor. We will set the date for the meeting.”

Meeting Ends.

The brother governors to Obaseki, has advised him to give a “human face” to his demands, especially as it affects the old PDP members in Edo State.

See Also: Edo 2024: PDP Stakeholders Rules Out Zoning

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