‘How PDP will reclaim Edo State’
Chief Dan Osi Orbih is the Edo State People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman. In this interview with MICHAEL EGBEJULE on the forthcoming rescheduled governorship election, he speaks on the party’s preparedness and other issues that have characterised the polls.
How prepared is the PDP for this election rescheduled for Wednesday September 28?
I must tell you that what you have been seeing now is a result of long-term planning. When Adams Oshiomhole was declared winner of the election that brought him to power for the second time, I issued a statement, which stated clearly that the party would not contest the outcome of the 2012 election.
I urge all men and women of goodwill to join hands with me to prepare the party as an alternative choice in 2016 for Edo people’s quest for good governance. So from that very first day, we started making adequate preparations to give Edo people good governance. From what you can see, I have been able to achieve just that and it has reflected in the goodwill and support the party currently enjoys within the populace in Edo State.
The alleged arrest and intimidation of some members of the PDP by the ruling party (APC) in the state
Well, like a sinking boat, and like a drowning man, Oshiomhole will stick to anything that he thinks can keep him in power. A drowning man will stick to a drowning piece of paper, of course you know, it will facilitate the process of sending him down to the bottom of the river; so it is with Oshiomhole’s current effort. What he is doing to frighten Edo people from supporting the PDP has turned out to be a blessing in disguise. It has fired up the hunger and anger in people to ensure that nothing will make them succumb to intimidation and nothing will make .
The allegations of PDP bringing in militants and thugs from neighbouring states.
I have said very clearly that there is no way 8,000 militants can enter into Edo State undetected by the security agencies and if Oshiomhole’s claim is true, then, nobody is safe to live in Edo State. I have challenged the security agencies; the Police and DSS to tell Edo people if it is true that such a thing happened under their watch. I’m very happy to say here that the police commissioner came out publicly to deny such allegation and apparently that did not go down well with Oshiomhole and the Edo State Commission of Police’s transfer was brought to an abrupt end through Oshiomhole’s misrepresentation to the police authority in Abuja, asking them that the Police Commisisoner should be redeployed. But the Commissioner of Police claims to be a true Christian and a member of the Winners Chapel. Adams Oshiomhole compelled the police authority to post the commissioner of police; Mr. Femihan Adeoye to a church and not to Edo State. It is sad to know that due to Oshiomhole’s pressure, the commissioner of police has been transferred out unceremoniously from Edo State with less than three weeks he assumed duty in the state. This, to me, is about the third change Oshiomhole has effected within the past one month. When there was general redeployment of police commissioners, he was redeployed to Edo State.
What Oshiomhole has failed to realise is that, among the rank and file who are more in number, they buy things from the same market, those who are not the soldiers or police buy from. They experience the astronomical rise in the price of food items from the same market we all buy from. So, changing their commanders will not change fact that we are going through very hard time and the people are finding it extremely difficult to meet their financial obligations to members of their family.
What we have experienced is that, prices of commodities have gone up but the salaries remain static. Edo State in particular, the workers have not enjoyed governance. Those who are due for promotions were never promoted. In fact, Oshiomhole’s APC government in Edo State has turned out from available record to be the most “Workers Unfriendly Government” in the history of the state.
The PDP governorship candidate; Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, is not seen around with former governor, Lucky Igbinedion, who is supposed to be in his campaign team like Oshiomhole is always seen with the APC flag-bearer – Godwin Obaseki.
I don’t know when it has become the business of Adams Oshiomhole to suggest to the PDP candidate, who should go out to campaign with the PDP governorship candidate and who should not be with him. We have put together a campaign team for this election and I am at the apex position in the campaign structure for this governorship election and next in the hierarchy in command, is the senator representing Edo South; Senator Matthew Urhoghide. It will interest you to know that I have gone everywhere with the PDP governorship candidate. I have campaigned with him everywhere he has been to, to solicit for votes in the course of his electioneering campaign and we don’t need to bring in people who are not members to lead in his campaign team,which was painstakingly put together after several consideration.
So, it is not the business of Adams Oshiomhole neither is it the business of political hangers to dictate who should anchor the campaign of our candidate. What we are about to witness in Edo State is a political revolution engineered by very a sound political minds. This entire exercise is a political marathon race, it is not a 100 meter race. So, the initial glorification of Adams Oshiomole that had no serious foundation but mere rhetoric was bound to fail. So, I designed a political programme that they will effective take charge of the state and am very glad to tell you that I have seen the manifestation of that programme and a successful implementation of that programme. I want to once again, use this opportunity to appreciate Edo people for their patience, understanding and overwhelming support in the task of winning back the state.
Some political bigwigs in the PDP including, Chief Tom Ikimi have been described as political lightweight by the ruling APC in the Edo State…
There is no doubt that when Tom Ikimi left APC to PDP, it was indeed a very sad day for the APC leadership in Edo State. Don’t forget that Ikimi’s residence used to be the meeting ground of APC leaders in Edo State. Don’t forget that Ikimi was highly favoured to emerge as the National Chairman of APC, but because some leaders of APC saw him as a man, who has an independent mind, a man who has a very strong conviction of his own qualities as a politician, and will want to take decisions that will play to the best of his knowledge, what is good for his party and his country. The APC didn’t want such a leader to emerge. They went all out to ensure that he was played out in the struggle to be the National Chairman of APC.
Leaders of APC who had knowledge of the role he played both in the formation of Adams Oshiomhole’s government and the formation of APC, the coming together of other political parties that gave birth to the formation of APC. For anyone to regard Chief Ikimi as a political lightweight is laughable. It is worth recalling here that, what they lost by Ikimi leaving their party is our gain in the PDP in having a man like Ikhimi with such a rich political knowledge of the politics of Edo State, Nigeria and International, to be part of the process that we are going to use in reflecting a change in Edo State. We appreciate him, we admire his courage to leave the APC and join forces with other patriots in Edo State to bring about victory we are about to witness in Edo State.
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