Edo APC, PDP differ over calls for Orbih’s removal
THE post-election allegations and counter-allegations among major political parties remain unabated in Edo State as the All Progressives Congress (APC) has demanded for the resignation of the state chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over alleged misappropriation of N1.5 billion reportedly raked from sales of forms and grants to candidates after the primaries of the party.
The party’s state Publicity Secretary, Comrade Godwin Erhahon in a chat with journalists, alleged that Orbih is currently being probed by the national leadership of the party and as such, lacked moral right to remain in office.
However, phone calls to Orbih to ascertain the development were unanswered but the spokesperson of the PDP, Chris Nehikhare, described the allegations as frivolous, asserting that “the APC is just cooking up lies because we called on the EFCC to probe the finances of the local governments which the APC- led government in the state misappropriated leading to local government workers not being paid”.
But it was gathered that some leaders of the PDP are not happy with the development as they prepare for next year’s governorship election in the state.
Recall that last week, some leaders from Edo North senatorial district called for the resignation of the Orbih-led leadership of the party those of the 18 local government councils in the state.
Erhahon said “from the facts available to us, Orbih and a few cabal in the PDP misappropriated over N1.5 billion that was sent to the party to execute the elections. We would not have raised this alarm but for the fact that this money belongs to Nigerians as evidence in the recent revelations on how our funds were squandered by the PDP during the elections.
“In the case of Edo State, N10 million was given to each of the 24 House of Assembly candidates of the PDP by the national leadership of the party but that money never got to any of the candidates. Because Edo is not controlled by the PDP, the national leadership of the party allowed Orbih and his executive to spend the funds accrued through the sales of forms to aspirants and that money amounted to N950 million.
“But it is obvious today that the money was pocketed and that is why some PDP members are today calling for Orbih’s removal because they lost the elections despite the funds given to the state. So we are calling for his immediate resignation because he has no morals to be criticising the Oshiomhole administration which has been very prudent in the management of the state resources,” he declared.
But in a swift reaction, Nehikhare asserted that “ Orbih was not the chairman of the presidential campaign committee in the state. It was Pastor Ize-Iyamu. So if there is any fund given to PDP, they should ask Ize-Iyamu and not Orbih. And there is nothing like any N10 million given to our House of Assembly candidates.
“These lies by the APC are coming on the heels of our call by the EFCC to probe the local government funds accrued to the state which were tampered with by the Oshiomhole administration.”