MAY 14, 2021
By Bisi Olaniyi, Benin
Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki may have made a U-turn on his plan to dissolve the executives of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the ward, local government and state levels.
He met with the State Working Committee (SWC) members to beg them to sheathe their swords and give peace a chance.
The planned dissolution was to accommodate the All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders who defected with Obaseki to the PDP on June 19 last year.
The last year terms of the proposed harmonisation were rejected by the Dr Tony Aziegbemi-led SWC.
Obaseki met at the newly-renovated Governor’s Office at the Government House in Benin on Wednesday .
One of the leaders, who was at the meeting but pleaded not to be named, said the governor was uncomfortable with the “tough and unfriendly” resolutions of the SWC members.
The source said Obaseki was displeased with the protest letter they sent to the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus.
The governor, according to the source, claimed he was not taking the SWC members and other stakeholders for granted.
Obaseki told the SWC members that he was grateful to them for allowing him to seek reelection on the party’s platform during the last September 19 election, after he was denied the privilege by the Adams Oshiomhole-led APC National Working Committee (NWC).
According to the source, Obaseki informed the party leaders that he received many calls from other PDP governors and eminent Nigerians, who told him that the crisis in Edo PDP was too early and that he should not be seen as an ingrate.
The governor urged the SWC members to bring their suggestions on the way forward to put an end to the brewing crisis.
Another chieftain of the PDP, who was also at the meeting, but spoke in confidence, said Obaseki can not be trusted.
The source believes the governor was bent on dissolving the PDP executives at all levels in the state.
The PDP chieftain is concerned that Obaseki may have been embarrassed by the protest letter and might want to extract a pound of flesh.
The SWC, in the May 10 protest letter, called for the resignation of Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu as part of the power-sharing arrangements.
It accused Obaseki of plotting to dissolve the validly-elected ward, local government and state executives.
The letter was part of resolutions reached by the SWC at an emergency and expanded meeting held at the party’s secretariat in Benin City, the state capital, on Monday.
It was gathered that Obaseki met at the Government House on May 8 with PDP chieftains, including Chief Tom Ikimi, Dr Raymond Dokpesi and Chief Mike Oghiadomhe, during which they discussed the dissolution plan.
“We condemn totally the convening of the meeting aimed at ambushing Edo State Chairman of PDP (who is constitutionally empowered to call such a meeting) where only three old PDP members (Dokpesi, Ikimi and Oghiadomhe attended), as against ten members from the Obaseki faction that decamped from the APC to PDP,” the SWC said.
SOURCE: THE NATION