By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN â€” OVER 7,000 members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP,Â in Igueben, Akoko-Edo and Owan West local governmentÂ areas ofÂ Edo State, including business mogul, Chief Domingo Obende and the state Assistant Organising Secretary of PDP, Mr. Gallant Paul, have dumped the party for the Action Congress, AC.
Obende suspended â€”PDPI resigned â€” Domingo
However, the leadership of PDP in Akoko-Edo, in a statement by Messrs Ileya Afekhai, John Omoja and eight others, claimed that Obende was suspended by the party.
But Obende, in a swift reaction said he resigned from PDP and pitched his tent with AC a week ago.
In a statement, Obende said he would formally decamp to AC with thousands of his supporters, adding that his purported suspension was laughable because â€œI have left them long ago and they are just trying to mess themselves up the more.
â€œLook at those that signed the letter. No exco member is among them. It means some body is trying to play politics and that is rubbish.â€
In a letter made available to Vanguard, Obende said, â€œI wish to resign based on personal reasons and the resignation takes effect from today (Tuesday) being 9 January 2010. This is not an easy decision as the past years has been rewarding as it affected my growth politically.
â€œI wish to sincerely thank the leadership of the party for the opportunity given me to serve. I wish the party the very best in all their endevours. I thank you all for your cooperation in this regard.â€
‘Obende wants Senatorial ticket’
However, PDP in Akoko- Edo said, â€œObende is leaving the party because PDP refused to give him the senatorial ticket that Governor Oshiomhole promised him. Members of our party are disappointed by the decision of Obende to decamp.
â€œHe was suspended for anti-party activities; for trying to move some PDP members to the AC.â€
The state Organising Secretary of AC, Chief Frank Erewele, Elder Esangbedo, and Fidelis Ogbejele, who received the decampees at Igueben, assured them that â€œAC will accommodate you and we hope that we all will work together for the interest of Edo State.â€
The decampees said they were leaving PDP due to the developmental strides of Gov. Oshiomhole.