Governor Adams Oshiomhole
Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
Contrary to the notion created by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole had pleaded to become a member of the party, a chieftain of the party and two-time Governor of defunct Mid-western and Bendel States, Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia, yesterday debunked the allegation, saying it was the PDP that pleaded with Oshiomhole to join the party.
The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olisah Metu, had recently upbraided Oshiomhole, reminding him that prior to the 2007 governorship election in Edo State, the governor had begged to join the party but was rejected.
He said: “In 2007, Adams Oshiomhole begged to be given an opportunity to run under the umbrella but we considered his governorship aspiration an assault on the existing zoning formula in the state and quietly turned him down.
“Again in 2012, Adams, once more, came cap in hand and our great party again rejected him.”
But while fielding questions from journalists in Benin City, the Edo State capital yesterday, Ogbemudia described the statement as not only untrue, but a figment of the PDP image maker’s imagination.
He said prior to the 2007 general election, there was a lot of acrimony and bad blood within the state chapter of the party (PDP) and a lot of efforts were being made to bring lasting peace to the party.
“Following this, I led a delegation of myself, Senator Victor Oyofo, Dr. Willie Ogbeide and three others to persuade Oshiomhole to come to PDP and he told us that if he comes to PDP, his friends in the media will not only disown him, they will kill him.
“Therefore, I was embarrassed when I heard PDP say Oshiomhole came to plead to join the party but was rejected,” Ogbemudia said.
On the current fortunes of the party in Edo State, he observed that the “answer to PDP’s victory lies in their coming together to solve their problems and reorganising themselves to victory”.
On his stand on the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), he said though the forum was unconstitutional, it has come to stay, noting that as far as he was concerned, “the governors are the custodians of democratic votes since they are the ones running the state, and because they are supposed to be the chief security officers of their respective states”.
Against this backdrop, Ogbemudia warned against any attempt to polarise the NGF, as it may jeopardise the chances of PDP winning the 2015 presidential election.