The seeming crisis rocking the Edo State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), over the authentic candidates to fly the party’s flag in states, and National Assembly seats has unsettled the camps of loyalists to Godwin Obaseki and zonal vice chairman of the party, Chief Dan Orbih.
The division of the party happened when the governor moved to infuse members who had defected with him from the All Progressives Congress (APC) into the PDP. But the legacy members of the party led by Dan Orhib resisted the attempt to take over the structure of the party, a development that drew the battle line between the governor and the legacy members of the PDP.
With several court judgments and counter judgements trailing the soul of the party, both factions conducted parallel primaries in the state which produced two candidates for the State Assembly, House of Representatives and Senatorial Seats.
While the candidates on both divide are laying claims to the tickets after the primaries, the state chapter of the party led by its chairman, Tony Aziegbemi, had on the 6th September, 2022, handed certificates of returns to candidates loyal to the governor.
He declared during the representation, that the certificates were sent to the state party by the national headquarters of the party, for presentation while the other candidates kicked against it.
A leader of the party in Edo South, Etose Dickson in a reaction, had described the action of the state chairman of party as “illegal and outrageous.”
According to him, “After the illegal recognition of the list by Ayu , we, the legacy party, filed a motion to challenge Ayu for not submitting our list to INEC. Ayu ran away and pretended that he was going on vacation and asked the national deputy chairman to send the list of legacy team candidates to INEC. That list was sent on 30th of June.
“It was after 30th that people loyal to Aziegbemi appealed the judgment of the Federal High Court. As we speak, the Appeal Court is yet to entertain the case. So, it is that ruling of the High Court, which authenticated our list that is still subsisting as we speak,” he stated.
Both factions await Supreme Court ruling to determine the right candidates that will be on the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) ballot box in the 2023 general election.
Meanwhile, the Edo South PDP Senatorial candidate who was presented with the certificate of return in the forthcoming general election and loyalist to the Obaseki’s faction, Hon Matthew Iduoriyekemwen, had expressed optimism that the crisis rocking the party in the state will be resolved before the official flag off of the campaign and eventually become a thing of the past.