Crisis Hits Edo PDP: Group Suspends Ikimi, Oghiadohme, Dokpesi, Others

A pressure group within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Edo State chapter, Integrity Group, has announced the suspension of notable chieftains of the party from across the three senatorial districts of the state.

Those suspended were a former Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Tom Ikimi, former Chief of Staff to ex President Goodluck Jonathan, Chief Mike Oghiadohme, former Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, Senator Yisa Braimoh, Senator Victor Oyofo and a former leader of the House of Representatives, Tunde Akogun.

Their suspension is a fallout of the disquiet among members of party in the state for some time now.

The suspension was announced in a communique signed by former Chairman, Nigeria Football Association, Emperor Jarret Tenebe and former two-time chairman, Owan West Government Area, Dan Asekhema after a stakeholders meeting held last weekend in Benin City.

A vote of confidence was however passed on the State Chairman of the party, Chief Dan Orbih, whom they offered six months extension to enable them conduct the governorship primaries.

The communique read in part: “We the Edo PDP integrity Group also announced the adoption of former Governor of the state, Chief Lucky Igbinedion as the leader of our party in Edo State.

Explaining why some of the leaders were suspended, the communique explained that “Chief Oghiadohme was seen when he flew in a helicopter with Governor Godwin Obaseki to attend convocation ceremony of the Edo university Iyamho last weekend.

“He even displayed the sign 4+4, endorsing Obaseki when we have our own PDP aspirants. Chief Ikimi and others have been holding clandestine meetings with Governor Obaseki where we learnt reliably that the Governor was asked to bring N6bn so he can join PDP and take the ticket.

“We are also aware that they have been meeting with the state chairman of the APC, Anselm Ojezua with view to perfecting this plan. We believe as a party we must instil discipline because it is because of the cash and carry politics some people played in the past they led to the problem of PDP in Edo State.

“As we move towards 2019 governorship election, we urge our aspirants to disregard the activities of greedy politicians and continue their campaigns. We will fight indiscipline in the PDP no matter whose ox is gored” it stated.

But Chief Orbih who rejected the six months extension offer said he was not aware of any group that goes by the name PDP Integrity Group.

He urged the public to disregard whatever statement that has been released or issued by the group.

A statement signed by State Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chris Nehikhare frowned at the audacity of the group to suspend ‘or even say they are suspending respected leaders of our party especially as they lack such powers.

“Their attempt to offer an extension to the tenure of Chief Dan Orbih is not only laughable but infantile. Chief Orbih has not requested for any extension. He has said he is going on the expiration of his tenure in March 2020. That is the position of the party!

“Their behaviour is mischievous and condemnable.

“They are not members of any organ of our party and as such cannot issue statements or releases on behalf of PDP.

“We will not hesitate to discipline any party member that submits himself to be used as a political tool in the hands of our political opponents.”

Neanwhile, mixed feelings have continued to trail an alleged plan by a two-time PDP, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, to dump the party for the APC.

Ize-Iyamu contested the governorship election of the state with the National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole in 2012.

He again contested the Edo top job with incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki in 2016.

It was gathered that the Redeemed Church of God pastor may dump the PDP for APC before this week runs out, having reached an agreement with Oshiomhole.

Sources in the state chapter of the PDP who did not want to be name in print, disclosed that Ize-Iyamu had remained a passive member of the party, ever since he fell out with the Chairman of the PDP in the state, Chief Dan Orbih.

Ize-Iyamu who served as Secretary to the Edo State Government during the administration of former Governor Lucky Igbinedion, joined others to form the Grace Group, which metamorphosed into the defunct Action Congress.

He later left the ACN in 2015 after it dawned on him that Oshiomhole was not ready to support his governorship ambition.

Already, supporters of Pastor Ize-Iyamu have taken to the social media to celebrate his planned exit from the PDP and entrance into the APC with the hashtag #POIiscoming.

Sources close to Pastor Ize-Iyamu said he could join the APC to secure the party’s governorship ticket with the support of the Edo Peoples Movement, a pressure group whose aim is to unseat Governor Godwin Obaseki.

Other persons seeking EPM support for APC ticket are General Charles Airhiavbere, Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi and Solomon Edebiri.

Some Edo PDP members, who celebrated planned move of Pastor Ize-Iyamu to the APC, said the party’s plan for next year’s governorship poll does not favour him.

They said the failed plot to remove Chief Dan Orbih as the party state Chairman before the primaries may have been part of the reason Ize-Iyamu opted to pitch tent with the APC.

In an earlier interview, Pastor Ize-Iyamu said: “If you ask me my political direction I leave it in the hands of God because I’m not in any way desperate for power.

“Everything I do I try to let God directs me. In my political life also I have made it a point of duty to put the people first.”

When contacted on Monday, Ize-Iyamu said he would keep our reporter informed if he makes the decision to defect.

Meanwhile, it was gathered that some EPM members are not happy with the plan to support Ize-Iyamu for the APC ticket.

But the conveners of EPM, Barr. Henry Idahagbon, dismissed talks that Pastor Ize-Iyamu has caused a crack within the ranks of the group.

Idahagbon said they would welcome the Ize-Iyamu with fanfare because he is an encyclopedia of Edo politics.

Idahagbon urged Governor Obaseki to start packing out of the Edo Government House.

He said: “We are celebrating his coming. He is a founding father of the defunct Action Congress. All the other aspirants are happy with his coming.”

Author: NewsAdmin

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