By Peterson Ibi
Aggrieved members of the Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), are heading for a showdown with the outgoing state executive over planned January 15th congresses.
They also raised the alarm over alleged plot by the outgoing Chief Dan Orbih-led state executive to impose a candidate of his choice as state chairman of the party.
This is even as some youth of the party have threatened to hold parallel congresses and primaries if the processes were manipulated.
Senator Odion Ugbesia and Engr. Fred Okah are the top contenders to replace Orbih whose tenure ends in March.
The PDP youth said they raised the alarm because the party might lose its chance to win the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
Coordinator of the PDP youth under the auspices of PDP Youths for Justice, Alhaji Musa Kadiri, accused Orbih of positioning Senator Ugbesia to take over from him as the state party chairman.
Alhaji Kadiri called on the leader of the party in the state, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, to intervene to ensure that the earlier agreement of no zoning principle is maintained.
He stated that if Orbih is allowed to have his way to install Ugbesia, aspirants like Kenneth Imasuangbon and Gideon Ikhine, who sacrificed a lot for the party, will be schemed out of the race.
He noted that Ugbesia and Imasuangbon hail from the same local government area.
According to him, “We are saddened at the reports of happenings within the Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party as the party prepares for its congresses from January 15, 2020.
“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 manner of the outgoing Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, is putting the PDP at risk.
“The argument being put forward by some Edo PDP leaders are that aspirants in Edo Central cannot win governorship election. This 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. 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.”
But Chief Orbih, who reacted through the Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Chris Nehikhare, said the Edo PDP has no support group within its ranks.
He described the group and Kadiri 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 Senator Ugbesia.
His words, “They are a faceless organisation and are being sponsored by enemies of the party.
“I can tell you that in the past three of four days, party chairmen from Edo North and Edo South have gone to pledge support for Ugbesia.”