Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki had harsh words for leaders of the local chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are critical of his politics to leave the party for him.
Ruling out any plan to defect from the ruling party at the weekend, the said the PDP in the state has been fully harmonised, stressed that the party’s constitution recognises as the leader in the state.
Obaseki, who spoke during an expanded caucus meeting of leaders and members of the PDP in the state, said: “I can’t leave PDP. I will not decamp from the PDP; we will always win any election. PDP won in the last election and we will continue to win all elections in the state and country; nothing will stop us as a party.”
The governor noted that the forthcoming local government election in the state will set the template for next year’s national and legislative elections. He urged party members to reflect on the elections and work in unity to ensure victory.
Obaseki said: “There is no division in Edo PDP. Let the party be open to accommodate others. PDP is democratic. The hallmark of democracy is ensuring that the majority has their way, as the minority can’t dictate to the people.
“I heard that Chief Dan Orbih went around, saying there is no harmonisation in Edo PDP. This is really irresponsible to say and an insult to members of the party, as the party has truly harmonised in the state.
“PDP in Edo State is harmonised because before we made any appointments in any ward, we made sure the party at that level was harmonised. We are gathered here now as election timetable is out; harmonisation has been done, appointments made and we are ready to win any election before us.”
Obaseki, who said the PDP National Chairman Iyorchia Ayu will visit the state on Thursday, urged leaders of the party to bring along five per cent of newly registered members to welcome the one-time senate president.
Politics is not about fighting but dialogue and discussion. I urge us to collaborate and unite to move the party and state forward,” he charged.
Noting that over 539,000 members have been registered in the ongoing e-registration, the governor said: “These numbers are not fabricated as we have the data, pictures, emails and phone numbers of members of the party we have registered so far. You have broken records as this is the bastion of PDP in Nigeria. We have changed the face of politics in Nigeria.
“I didn’t give leaders any resources to mobilise them but rather they challenged themselves and achieved the goal to register more members in the state.”
“Some people went around saying people should not join our party. No true party man will do that. Those that engaged in that are not true members of the party and don’t belong to Edo PDP. If not, they will not push people away from the party.
“Our focus now is on how to engage our members, making them participate in the policy-making process of the party. We don’t need to wait for an election before we act.”
Warning detractors sponsoring disunity in the state to desist, Obaseki said: “Edo is Edo; leave Edo State alone. They have tried us in battle and have been made to know that we are battle-ready. We have been tested and trusted. We must always win elections; we must always win as a party.
Chairman of the party in the state, Anthony Aziegbemi, said: “Edo State is the only state in the nation that has surpassed the 500,000 thresholds for e-registration of the party.”
Also at the meeting were: Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu; House of Assembly Speaker Marcus Onobun; senators Matthew Urhoghide and Clifford Odia; Chief Tom Ikimi; Joe Edionwele and National Youth Deputy Leader Timothy Osadolor, among others.