Some stakeholders within the Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have become disgruntled with how the Governor of the State, Godwin Obaseki was accepted into the party without “due consultation.”
Governor Obaseki, who was elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, dumped the party and officially joined the PDP at the weekend.
Obaseki decamped to PDP to seek re-election after he was disqualified by the ruling APC from contesting in the primary on the basis of “defective qualifications.”
The Governor was received by the PDP Chairman in Edo, Dr Tony Aziegbemi, in a carnival-like atmosphere in Benin, the State capital.
But despite the warmth with which the Governor was received, DAILY POST gathered that many stakeholders in the party are displeased he joined without them being carried along.
While they considered the Governor’s defection to the party as a welcome development, they expressed strong reservation over how it happened.
Some of these aggrieved party members wondered how someone who just joined the party could make a statement such as’ “I know that upon taking up membership of this party, I automatically become the leader of the party in the state. That is the constitution.
“I want to assure all of you that I am prepared to provide leadership. I am prepared to provide a leadership that will lead this party to victory and I am prepared to provide a leadership that will not only put PDP in office in Edo State but as the ruling party in Edo State,” Obaseki said this immediately after defecting to the PDP on Friday.
A strong stakeholder, who is also the Edo State PDP Youth Leader, Musa Kadiri, confided in our correspondent that Obaseki’s pronouncement confirms he was imposed on them by the National Working Committee (NWC) members and PDP Governors.
“What he said was very revealing and disturbing. Who joins a party and automatically become the leader? Even if that is what will be, Obaseki should have been more discreet.
“It shows he is coming to the party to displace those who have worked for years to build the structure. He is going to plant his people everywhere, thereby suffocating those who have toiled for the party even in opposition,” he lamented.
Also speaking, the women leader of the Egor Local Government Area chapter of the PDP in the state, Mrs. Imuwahen Osasu, said the Governor, has shown he is not a team player.
“It is just about him and his ambition. It is not about the party structure. He simply wants to use our platform to fulfill his ambition and move on. This is a great danger that will boomerang for the party,” Mrs Osasu stressed.
There are also sentiments that those who have been working vigorously for PDP in Edo feel alienated by Obaseki’s defection.
One of such persons is the immediate past PDP Chairman in the State, Dan Orbih, and his team who battled the ruling APC and won four of the nine House of Representatives slots at the last National Assembly elections.
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“So, to give Obaseki the impression he is coming to help us is false because if not for federal power, PDP routed APC in 2016. Rather, he is the one that needs us. The notion that he is a big fish is just nothing but guesswork.
“Our party feels we will just win by fielding Obaseki as a sitting governor but it is not true. Look, APC knew why they rejected him.
“He hasn’t sorted out his qualifications issue. Supposing he even manages to win, do you think the APC won’t catch in on that to file suits against him? Where will that leave us as party members and stakeholders?,” he said.
It would be recalled that screened governorship aspirants have vowed never to step down for Obaseki.