Edo Guber: Fresh crisis brews in PDP

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Edo Guber: Fresh crisis brews in PDP

 

 

By John Alechenu & Ozioruva Aliu

A fresh crisis is brewing in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, over the just concluded Edo State governorship primaries election following the insistence of Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, that he won the primaries and should be given a certificate of return. Shaibu, who emerged as winner of a parallel primary, stormed the National Secretariat of the PDP, yesterday, to demand the certificate of return.

His demand came barely 24 hours after the party’s Acting National Chairman, Amb. Umar Damagum and the party leadership issued a certificate of return to Dr. Asue Ighodalo, who won the primaries recognized by the party. The deputy governor who was at the secretariat with a handful of his aides, did not meet any member of the National Working Committee, NWC.

He, however, insisted that the party must abide by its own rules or be prepared to face legal action. Speaking to reporters shortly after leaving the office of the PDP acting national chairman, Shaibu said: “Today is 28th of February, 2024. By the PDP guidelines approved by the NWC on the Edo 2024 governorship primary, today is the day set aside by the electoral guidelines that the certificate of returns will be issued. “I am here to receive my certificate of return because I won the primary in Edo where the authentic delegates voted. If you look at the board of the party office here, you will see the names of all the delegates that voted for me.

“Today is the presentation of Certificate of Return according to the party, so PDP must follow its rules and guidelines. This is what we are talking about.

“The process of producing a candidate has been compromised from the onset and we ask that those things be corrected. Even the committee that recommended the political solution is fully aware that there were abnormalities in the process that led to my emergence and whoever.

“But why I am here is to obey the guidelines to come and receive the certificate of return and I was told that somebody else came here yesterday and was given the certificate. “I think the court will tell us who between us is the real candidate, but I am here in fulfillment of the electoral guidelines of the PDP to receive my certificate… I told them that I was coming, but none of them had come to work, only the staff of the secretariat are here. I don’t know why they are not here. That is strange and that is in line with why they were in a hurry to give the certificate of return yesterday (Tuesday).”

Asked whether he was ready to give peace a chance following calls by both the party leadership and its recognized candidate, Ighodalo, for a truce, Shaibu expressed doubt over the sincerity of Governor Godwin Obaseki and his team. He said: “Maybe the acting chairman may be very honourable and mean what he is saying but the others talking about reconciliation don’t really mean what they are saying.

“They are intimidating us, and harassing us. As I speak, they are even threatening to impeach me and that is their way of dealing with people. They suspend, sack people, make phone calls intimidating people telling people, they will come after you.

“During the military, these were the kind of threats that we were getting and we cannot return to the era of intimidation and harassment, and that is the issue in Edo State.” Asked if he was considering seeking legal redress, Shaibu said: “When the party’s internal mechanism is followed and it is obvious that the party is not ready to listen, the next line of action obviously will be the judiciary, but I pray we don’t get there and that is why I came here today.

“During the military, these were the kind of threats that we were getting and we cannot return to the era of intimidation and harassment, and that is the issue in Edo State.” Asked if he was considering seeking legal redress, Shaibu said: “When the party’s internal mechanism is followed and it is obvious that the party is not ready to listen, the next line of action obviously will be the judiciary, but I pray we don’t get there and that is why I came here today.

He said: “If elected, I will commence work from where Governor Obaseki would stop and even do more for the people.” He maintained that having been given the PDP return certificate, the real work has commenced and appealed to the people to help support his ambition. He said: “I want to thank you all for this show of love and support because we wouldn’t be where we are now without your support. “This is the time for the real work to commence and by the grace of God, we are going to work hard in order to achieve our target. “Where the Governor will stop in terms of development, we are going to continue from there and even do more”, he assured.

 

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