House of Representative
By Adibe Emenyonu
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State at the weekend, nominated a former local government chairman and former member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Johnson Abolagba, as the running mate to its governorship flag bearer for the July 14 gubernatorial election in the state, Maj. Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (rtd).
Speaking at the occasion, the party state chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, who announced the choice of Abolagba described Chief Samuel Ogbemudia as the inspiration of the party, adding that it was through his consultation that the PDP will be victorious in the gubernatorial election which will further clear the doubting Thomas that PDP is united.
Also, Ogbemudia said Edo South Senatorial district deserved to produce the next governor of the state.
Ogbemudia who spoke during the enlarged meeting of the PDP while reacting to the comment credited to the Otaru of Auchi’s claims that the Edo North Senatorial district was the best area to produce the next governor, speaking at his residence in Benin City, insisted that Edo South will not play second fiddle to Oshiomhole and his people.
“It’s governor we want and not deputy. No one should decide for us what we want. We have all it takes to decide what we want at any time,” he said.
While revealing how the party’s gubernatorial candidate, Maj. Gen. Charles Airhiavbere, would emerge the next governor of Edo State, he said “a research has been carried out in the past two weeks which revealed that the PDP will garner 25 per cent of votes from the Edo North, where Oshiomhole come from, 70 per cent from the Edo Central, Chief Tony Anenih’s area and will win Edo South by 60 per cent.”
Ogbemudia said: “The PDP governorship candidate (Maj. Gen. Charles Airhiavbere) is competent and has accomplished, besides, a son of well known Bini and therefore must be supported across board to ensure his success at the July gubernatorial poll.
“The PDP is standing on the threshold of history as it looks forward to produce a governor who needs to see things the way the people see it and a deputy governor who can catch votes in his areas as well as leaders of the party capable of battling the incumbent governor.”
Meanwhile, Usuomon, while justifying his exit from the party, said the PDP in the state was in disarray because of leadership problem, adding that the decay in the party has gone to the extent that even if the whole budget of Nigeria was brought to Edo PDP to manage, there would be no progress unless the leadership question is resolved.
He further hinged his departure from the PDP the sustainable development driven by Governor Adams Oshiomhole which he noted was only witnessed during the regime of Brig-General Samuel Ogbemudia and Prof. Ambrose Alli, as governor of defunct Mid-western state and Bendel State respectively.
Usuomon who disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Benin City, said the before Oshiomhole took over as governor, virtually all the institutions in the state was broken down, but that today, “I am perplexed as to how he turn the state around”.
According to him, “I have seen the renovation and building of primary and secondary schools, construction of roads in all parts of the state, provision of electricity and water to areas we are made to believe can’t get pipe-borne water, the urban renewal scheme, the bold move to resuscitate agriculture among others.”
The former PDP south-south youth leader the last straw that break the camel’s back was that during the last congress that ushered in the present state executive of the party, they were told that it was generational change in that younger elements in the party were given chance to administer the party.
“Everybody accepted that because in the first few months, things were moving on fine. However, after that, the old war horses hijacked the party again when they called meetings and refused to invite the new breed. That when some of us raised alarm.”
Saying that his defection from the PDP opened the floodgate of decamping by others, he said it was a shame that the party has degenerated to the extent that the state party woman leader had to call it quit.
On why Oshiomhole would win the forthcoming election, he pointed out that because of leadership problem, the state PDP messed up the 10 years opportunity when it was in power which one man utilised for only three and half years to correct the infrastructural decay in the state.
“Only three years and half on stage, Oshiomhole has transformed the state to a mini-London,” adding that PDP should never nurse the idea of rigging the election as rumoured because it would be suicidal to do so more so as the party is not popular among the people,” he said.