The governorship primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State has kicked off amid heightened tensions, characterized by internal disputes, factional boycotts, and conflicting statements.
A significant faction within the PDP, aligned with the National Vice Chairman (Southsouth), Chief Dan Orbih, opted to boycott a crucial meeting held in Benin City. This faction, known as the Legacy Coalition, expressed dissatisfaction with the party’s management in the state, deepening the existing rifts.
Complicating matters further, reports indicate that Governor Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shaibu, are currently at odds. While in Bauchi State, Governor Obaseki declared that the party would determine the political futures of Shaibu and other candidates, adding a layer of uncertainty to the internal dynamics.
In response to the divisions, the PDP State Secretary, Hilary Otsu, denounced a purported State Executive Committee meeting, urging party members to steer clear of any involvement. Otsu emphasized that only the secretary has the constitutional authority to call meetings, discrediting the circulated notice and warning against potential acts of sabotage.
Otsu stated, “Dear Edo PDP leaders, it has come to my notice that a certain notice of meeting has been sent to leaders of our party. Kindly note that the constitution of PDP empowers only the secretary to call meetings.“
Another group within the party, perceived to be loyal to Governor Obaseki, announced a membership drive. Luckson Ogedegbe, the State Assistant Secretary, revealed in a statement that the party had initiated the registration of new members. The State Working Committee (SWC) was directed to oversee the timetable for the 2024 governorship primary.
Ogedegbe outlined key decisions taken during a meeting of party leaders across the state, emphasizing the mandate for ward chairmen to commence the registration of new members. He detailed, “The SEC mandated the SWC to drive the timetable of the coming governorship primary, as released by PDP’s National Working Committee (NWC).”
As the PDP navigates these internal challenges in Edo State, the upcoming days are poised to be crucial in determining the party’s unity and coherence ahead of the governorship primary in 2024.