The underground electioneering process is ongoing and tactics as well as strategies are being deployed within the Edo State Peoples Democratic Party that has been divided into two major factions since 2020. One faction is led by the quarrelsome Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, the self proclaimed leader of the Party, while the other formidable faction is headed by the silent but ruthless political tactician, Chief Dan Orbih, the PDP National Vice Chairman, South South.
Under the Senator Ayu led PDP, Obaseki had the full support of former National Chairman Dr Iyorcha Ayu and had upper hand in the duel with Orbih led legacy group during and after the primaries. The travesty led to series of court cases that the Party had to grapple with. Although the Obaseki faction won at the Supreme Court, members who of the faction were eventually dealt with during the general election as it was obvious the Orbih legacy group pulled out from supporting them.
Febuary 2024 has been slated for primaries to determine who will fly the PDP ticket, the same war is expected. In fact, the war has started. While the Chief Dan Orbih legacy group have been very matured and strategic in the media through its grass NVC supporters, Obaseki is fixated in peddling the ‘difficult-to-sell’ Asuen Ighodalo, the son of the self appointed Godfather of Edo State politics, Godwin Obaseki.
The Legacy PDP are not ready for any form of negotiations with Asuen Ighodalo who only joined the PDP on the 30th of September,2023 in Ewohimi. Their demand is simple; Obaseki must allow them produce the next candidate and its deputy that will fly the PDP ticket. The faction is not ready to take anything less.
The valid argument is that when Obaseki came to PDP in 2020, he got the ticket and also negotiated for that of his deputy. That it will only be fair, just and equitable if they are allowed to do same this time around. They said they are ready to negotiate with Obaseki on other positions.
However, the Obaseki we know will never stoop low to conquer. I expect the war to intensify in the coming months, especially in the new year, 2024.
Reported by Eric Oseghale