Crisis Hits Edo PDP as Party Youths Threaten Parallel Congress, Primaries

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Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State seemed to have found its way into the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of its congress slated for January 15, as some youths in the party have threatened to hold parallel congresses and primaries if the processes were biased.

They warned the outgoing state executives led by Chief Dan Orbih against any plot to impose chairman on the party.

It was gathered that Senator Odion Ugbesia and Engr. Fred Okah are the two major contenders planning to replace Orbih whose tenure ends in March.

The PDP youths said they raised the alarm because the party might loss its chances to win Edo State governorship election.

Coordinator of the PDP youth under the auspices of PDP Youths for Justice, Alhaji Musa Kadiri, accused Orbih of positioning Ugbesia to take over from him as the state party chairman.

Kadiri called on the party leader, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, to intervene to ensure that the earlier agreement on zoning principle is adhered to.

He added that if Orbih is allowed to have his way to install Ugbesia, “aspirants like Kenneth Imasuangbon, Gideon Ikhine who sacrificed a lot for the party will be schemed out of the race, because Ugbesia and Imasuangbon hail from the same local government.”

He called on all PDP members to support Okah as the next party chairman.

According to him, “We are saddened at the reports of happenings within Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party as the party prepares for its congresses on January 15.

“The crisis bedevilling the All Progressives Congress in Edo State coupled with the poor performances of Governor Godwin Obaseki has given the party a good chance to win the governorship election, but the leadership style of the outgoing chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, is putting the PDP at risk.

“The argument that is being put forward by some Edo PDP leaders that aspirants in Edo Central cannot win governorship election is a fallacy to rig some aspirants out of the race.

“We are by this briefing putting Edo PDP leaders on notice to avert pending crisis.

“Uche Secondus should urgently intervene to prevent parallel congresses in Edo State. All the aspirants need a level playing ground for the party’s primaries.

“Edo South deserves the chairmanship position as it has never held the position since 1999,” he explained.

Orbih, who reacted through the state Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Chris Nehikhare, said Edo PDP has no support group with such name.

He described the group and its coordinator as faceless and unknown to the party.

Nehikhare said the PDP local government chairmen in Edo North and Edo South have gone to pledge support for Ugbesia.

“The youth group is a faceless organisation and being sponsored by enemies of the party.

“I can tell you that in the past three or four days, party chairmen from Edo North and Edo South have gone to pledge support for Ugbesia,” he said.