By Simon Ebegbulem
Elder Sunny Uyugue is one of the founding fathers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo state and a close political associate of two-time Governor of old Bendel state, DrÂ Samuel Ogbemudia. In this interview with Saturday Vanguard, he explained why Dr Ogbemudia participatedÂ Â in the one year anniversary celebration of Governor Adams Oshiomhole, saying that as a statesman, he couldÂ not have done otherwise particularly when he was invited by the Comrade Governor.
He also blamed Chief Tony Anenih for the recent decampingÂ of members of the PDP in the state to the Action Congress (AC). HeÂ allegedÂ that Anenihâ€™s dictatorial tendencies and his earlier romance with Governor Oshiomhole led to the misfortune of the party.Â HeÂ asked the national leadership of the party to charge Chief Anenih for anti party activities after he recommended three PDP commissioners to the Comrade Governor withoutÂ consulting with the leadership of the party in the state.Â Excerpts:
YourÂ party the PeoplesÂ Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo state is still divided, people thought the election of a new chairman will solve the problem
It is sad that the crisis is as a fresh as it was when it started. The problem is that one man is still beating his chest as if he is the Alpha and Omega of PDP in Edo state and that is unacceptable to our group of PDP in the state. The person being paraded today as the Chairman of the party, Chief Dan Orbih is very qualified to hold that position but unfortunately, he was asked to preside over a dying party.
There are no clues to how to resuscitate the party because one man feels that he is the alpha and Omega. Party politics is never built around one man; until that one man realizesÂ that he only has oneÂ Â vote then nothing will move forward in Edo PDP.
Ogbulafor and others should forget about PDP in Edo state. After the Appeal Court judgment Ogbulafor told the world that PDP is not expected to win all the states. It means Edo state has been given out by the people who claims to be the head of the party, I wish them best of luck.
ButÂ Â why is it difficult for Dr Samuel Ogbemudia and Chief Tony Anenih to reconcile their differences
There ought not to be any difficulties for the two of them to reconcile, but this issue of master and servant has no space in Edo politics.Â When one man will say that he will dictate the pace, that only him will make all the appointments.Â But we are watching there is going to be elections in this state and we will see all thoseÂ he appointed as party officials, how they can deliver their booths. After elections in this state, it will dawn on Chief Anenih that he has no control over Edo South.
We learnt that there was a recent meeting to reconcile Chief Anenih and Ogbemudia, whatÂ Â happened
There was no meeting recently. The last meeting we attended was at Rock View Hotel in Abuja few months ago. And Anenih was still saying that the fake list that the national earlier gave us was still what he was going to work with and that is unacceptable to us.Â That veryÂ Â list was given to us three days to the state congress in 2007, at Ogbe Stadium.
We will never accept it and that will spell doom for PDP in Edo state if the national insist on that list. The grey areas are how offices will be shared.Â Â Â Â PDP cannot win Edo state so long as the crisis rages on.
You can even see the developmental efforts of Governor Adams Oshiomhole so far. Personally I am surprised to see what the man is doing. If the Governor continues like this and he is enjoying the kind of supportÂ he is currently enjoying, I do not see the magic that any other party can do to take over power from the AC. The truth is bitter but we must say it.
The Governor is transforming Edo state. The era of I will is no longer there, the man is tackling the problem head on. Look at the beatification exercise, the expansion of roads. Recently, he (Oshiomhole) got the President to give him approval for a Joint Task Force. That is another success again, that will at least give this state the peace it deserved.
Yes I am a PDP leader but the developmental strides of the Governor are not for AC members alone, it is for every indigene of Edo state. I give him kudos, he should do more. With time, people will applaud this governor for all he is doing today.
Some of you leaders of the party in the South senatorial district were accused by the loyalists of Chief Anenih that you are being paid by the AC to destroy the PDP
A lazy man will continue to complain about his workÂ tools. I am a founding member of PDP. All these self acclaimed gods joined PDP through me. I knew how Chief Anenih joined the PDP, so he cannot be a better PDP man than me.
I cannot leave the house I contributed in building, I am a PDP man I will continue to be a PDP member. But there must be internal democracy in PDP. I will not join AC. In order for PDP to survive that is why we are saying that the self acclaimed General of PDP should allow internal democracy to strive so that the party will survive. You see, the allegation they are making is like giving dog bad name to kill it.
I will not hide my identity if I join the AC, I love PDP and that is why I will not leave it for AC.
Ogbemudia is a better statesman, Ogbemudia is a better National leader, Ogbemudia has been in government for a very long time, the people claiming to be Alpha and Omega now are the people opening doors for Dr Ogbemudia when he was in power in Midwest . So they should not forget their past.
I have told you earlier that in order to kill a dog, you give it a bad name. They are lying that the problem is money. All those talks are just lies, they are rubbish.Â The people leaving the party are leaving because they can no longer tolerate the dictatorship of one person in Edo state PDP. Some of us are still in PDP today because we contributed to the growth of the party and we will not abandon it. Yes Ogbemudia attended the 1st anniversary of the Governor and it was in his capacity as an elder statesman.
The anniversary was not Oshiomholeâ€™s personal celebration, it is a state matter and any true citizen of the state was free to attend if invited irrespective of the political party you belong. Ogbemudia being a statesman, an elderly man, a man who has ruled the state when it was part of Midwest, he must be seen promoting peace, respecting constituted authority.
I would have attended but I was out of the state that period. So I do not see any thing wrong in Dr Ogbemudia attending the ceremony. Have you forgotten that there was a function in Auchi where Chief Anenih said Oshiomhole is his son and then Oshiomhole in his reply, said Anenih is his father. If a father and his son are quarreling, it is only a jobless person that will interfere.
Therefore, what ever differences Oshiomhole and Anenih are having, I see it as a father and son disagreement. A good father is that father that will allow his son to grow. A good father will pray that his son should be better than him. Like they resolved the Akoko Edo House of Assembly re-run between themselves and we saw the result.
Then a good father should allow the son to grow. Before Akoko Edo election, we never knew that Chief Anenih had slots in the government; we did not know that he was in coalition with Oshiomhole. Oshiomhole gave Anenih three slots into the cabinet and Anenih single handedly picked the people and gave to Oshiomhole.
He never consulted the party leaders before taking that decision. Oshiomhole gave him slots for Special Adviser, he single handedly put people there. So why would people blame Ogbemudia for attending the ceremony.
When the honey moon was sweet and good between father and son, Dr Ogbemudia was subjected to humiliations. He was threatened with arrest within 48 hours if he refused to surrender the vehicles given to him by Osunbor. And we know those who masterminded that crisis between Ogbemudia and the Governor and they are the same people today going to Abuja to tell the PDP national leaders that Ogbemudia is now hobnobbing with Oshiomhole.