By Osahon Osahon
Indication that a faction of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo state, emerged on Friday, when some members of the party suspected to be loyal to Governor Godwin Obaseki, threatening to remove the South Senatorial Chairman of the party, Mr. Nosa Ogieva.
The development has worsened the crisis rocking the party in the state.
The development is similar to the scenario in the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the last days of Governor Obaseki’s first term in office, when two factions emerged in the party, with one loyal to Obaseki and the other loyal to the then national chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
While Barr. Anslem Ojezua was Chairman of the Obaseki faction, Col. David Imusi (rtd), was Chairman of the faction loyal to Oshiomhole.
Rising from what it termed “Edo South Senatorial District Stakeholders Meeting,” the faction accused Ogieva of not recognising Wilson Evbuomwan as the Edo South PDP Secretary.
The meeting was held at the former campaign office of Governor Obaseki, located at Aiguobasmwin Crescent, G.R.A., Benin City, a clear departure from the usual venue for party’s meetings which usually hold at party’s Secretariat, First-East Circular, and was attended by mostly by new members who joined the party alongside Governor Obaseki,
In his welcome address, Evbuomwan said the meeting stood on a tripod, namely, commendation for Obaseki for his developmental efforts; identification of “the true friends” of the party and identification of “the real enemies of PDP in Edo South Senatorial District.”
He advised them to “withdraw from activities that are frustrating the integration of all PDP members.”
Evbuomwan added that majority of the members of the party in the district supported the “total integration and membership of all segments of the party members in the Executive Committee of the Wards, LGAs and the State.
“To give this effect, a harmonization committee under the chairmanship of Senator Mathew Uroghide was appointed by the stakeholders of Edo South PDP in a meeting held on the 18th April, 2021.
“Sadly, more than one month after the composition of the committee aimed at ensuring the unity of all PDP members, no effort was made by the committee to pursue its agenda,” he lamented.
Evbuomwan added that the committee “was frustrated by Mr. Nosa Ogieva, the Edo South Senatorial Chairman.
“We detest the action and the decision of Mr. Nosa Ogieva not to recognise me as the Secretary of Edo South.
“The high level impunity and misconduct by the same enemies of PDP will be investigated and appropriate disciplinary actions will be taken against any person or persons that have deprived me of my office,” he threatened.
The faction maintained that it stood “for the harmonization of Wards, LGAs and State Executive Committee members of PDP in Edo State and we denounce all the real enemies of PDP that are against harmonization”.
In a six-point communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, endorsed by Evbuomwan, the meeting resolved, among other things:
“That the Edo south stakeholders were briefed by the senatorial secretary, Hon. Wilson Evbuoman, of the unconstitutional acts of Mr. Nosa Ogieva, which include:l
“His refusal to recognize Hon. Wilson Evbuoman as the duly elected senatorial secretary of Edo South senatorial district of PDP.
“That a disciplinary committee will be appointed to investigate and recommend appropriate disciplinary measures against any person or persons that frustrated the assignment of Edo South harmonization committee.
“That it was observed that the ugly incident of a letter that was sent to the national chairman of the party by some members of the state working committee, asking for the exclusion of a large segment of party members from the ward, local government areas and the state working committee of our party members would have been avoided, if the harmonization committee had commenced its assignment towards the integration and peaceful co-existence of all PDP members.
“That it was unanimously agreed by the stakeholders, that to achieve peaceful co-existence of all PDP members and pave way for the development of Edo State, the immediate harmonization or integration of new entrants into the executive committees of the party at all levels in Edo state is imperative and should commence without delay.
“That the elected secretary of Edo South, Hon. Wilson Evbuomwan should function in line with his constitutional duties.”
Meanwhile, the erstwhile members of the APC, who defected with Governor Obaseki, had been at the forefront of the agitation for the dissolution of PDP executive committees from the Ward to the state level, in order to accommodate them.
When contacted, the State Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Chris Nehikhare, who also hails from Edo South, said that the party was not aware of the meeting.