The commencement of the Edo State PDP governorship primary process has been marked by significant tensions within the party. A crucial meeting in Benin City was boycotted by a substantial faction loyal to the National Vice Chairman (Southsouth), Chief Dan Orbih, known as the Legacy Coalition. Expressing dissatisfaction with the party’s management in the state, this boycott highlights internal strife.
Complicating matters further are reported tensions between Governor Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shaibu. Obaseki, during a visit to Bauchi State, stated that the party would determine Shaibu’s and other candidates’ political futures, hinting at discord within the party leadership.
Adding to the complexity, PDP State Secretary, Hilary Otsu, denounced a supposed State Executive Committee meeting, cautioning party members to avoid involvement. Otsu emphasized that only the secretary has the authority to call meetings and accused mischief makers of circulating a notice to cause confusion and division within the party.
Meanwhile, another faction within the party, believed to be loyal to the governor, announced the launch of a membership drive. State Assistant Secretary, Luckson Ogedegbe, stated that the party had initiated the registration of new members, directing the State Working Committee to drive the timetable for the 2024 governorship primary.
Decisions taken during the meeting included mandating ward chairmen to open party registers for new member registration, starting November 30, 2023. The SEC directed the SWC to ensure that all ward registers are submitted to the Edo State secretariat of PDP by December 6, 2023. Additionally, committees are to be set up in local government areas and wards to monitor the party’s registration activities.
This development underscores a deepening crisis within the Edo State chapter of the PDP, raising questions about the party’s unity and cohesion in the lead-up to the governorship primary.