By Simon Ebegbulem
BENINâ€”FORMER Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih, and other leaders of the party in the state, weekend, kicked off campaign for the House of Assemblyâ€™s re-run election in Akoko Edo constituency 1 scheduled for August 22, 2009 , insisting that the state belongs to the party.
Chief Anenih, who addressed thousands of party supporters at Ibillo, Akoko Edo local government area of the state, said that apart from the state governorship which the party lost by accident, the party controls hundred percent of Chairmen and National Assembly members, adding that Action Congress (AC) had no structures to win elections in the state.
Other party leaders at the campaign included Senator Yisa Braimoh, Senator Odion Ugbesia, Speaker of the Edo state House of Assembly, Zakawanu Garuba, Leader of the Federal House of Representatives, Tunde Akogun, who led other members of the House of Representatives from the state, Chairmen of the 18 Local Government Councils and Professor Julius Ihonbvere.
Others include former Deputy Governor, Lucky Imasuen, Chief Dan Orbih, Principal Secretary to the Vice-President, Mike Oghiadohme, State Vice-Chairman PDP (Edo North), Mr Paschal Ugbome, Mr Mathew Iduoriyekenwen, Chief Francis Inegbeneki, Barr.Edward Sado, among others.
The Appeal Court had ordered for a re-run election in Akoko Edo constituency 1 after it declared that no election took place in the area during the April 14, 2007 , House of Assembly election. and ordered he withdrawal of the certificate of return earlier issued to the PDP candidate, Mr Anslem Agbabi.
Chief Anenih warned party members against violence on the day of the election, adding that the election was very important to the party in order to continue to enjoy majority in the state House of Assembly.
He also admonished party members to protect their votes and ensure that those who were not qualified for the election were not allowed to vote.
According to him, â€œ Edo state is a PDP state , it is just that the present government in the state got to office by accident, but we will get there by vote.
â€œIn Edo state, we have 10/10 in the senate. House of Reps 10/10. I do not see how we cannot have 10/10 in the House of Assembly. The ball is in your court. Go from house to house, do not sleep but do not cause violence.
â€œThere is no need to fight, we have five wards out of several wards in the state. I am not going back to Abuja . We will go from house to house and do what we know best. Do not disappoint us, Ekhabafe (the deceased factional chairman of the party) is watching us, do not disappoint himâ€.
Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Zakawanu Garuba, who also spoke on the occasion, asserted that â€œwhen the PDP administration was nine months in the state, it was able to construct the Ibilo-Matete-Osoro road.
â€œBut since the past nine months that the AC government came into power, nothing has been done in Edo North. So we must not be deceived about their lies; let us be focused all the timesâ€.