Edo PDP leader, Sunny Uyigue, in this piece, speaks on the crisis rocking the state chapter of the party.
The article entitled “Anenih: A statesman and his bigoted critics” refers.
I make bold to say I stand by all the comments granted media practitioners who have been keeping tract of events in PDP as they occur in our state. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Chief Anenih has a tradition of imposing candidates as his only tool of trade which is why he was being misunderstood as a godfather. Now the opposition party in the state has demystified him and reduced him to leader of small enclave in Esan land.
What was the input of the Ogbemudia faction of the PDP to the list of candidates in the just concluded general elections? We were only carried along by the national PDP in the case of Mr President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, and that was the only election convincingly won by the PDP in Edo State in the just concluded general elections.
The genesis of the crisis in Edo PDP was properly captured by the elder statesman, Chief E.K.Clark, in an advertorial published on page 49 of the Vanguard of Friday, May 27, 2011. He recalled that in 2008 during the state congress of the party, officials of the PDP national secretariat supervised the one conducted by the Dr Ogbemudia/Admiral Mike Akhigbe led faction.
No official of the party attended the congress held by the Anenih group. Surprisingly, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor controlled NEC recognized the Anenih faction and gave them chairmanship and control of the party.
Sadly, it is this illegality of the PDP national secretariat under Vincent Ogbulafor that led to the seemingly unending crisis that has kept us busy in court till date. So, for some unknown people to attempt to launder the image of this man amounts to fetching water with a basket.
In Edo state, the numerical strengths of eligible voters in the three senatorial districts are open for all to access and from the records, Edo South has 56 percent, Edo North 30 per cent and Edo Central 14 per cent.
In the same token, Edo South has seven local government areas, Edo North 6, and Edo Central (Anenih’s enclave) 5. The whole of Anenih’s small enclave has a total of 242,000 registered voters, whereas in Edo South, one local government, Ikpoba Okhai, equaled them with 240,000 voters. Oredo Local Government surpasses them with 262,000 voters. Ovia North East with 103,000 registered voters equals the three local governments in Anenih’s enclave.
We know how all these enclaves were created across the country and it is because of such anomalies in our system that most Nigerians are today clamouring for restructuring of the country. Since Anenih is jubilating that he won 14 per cent of Edo, he is now a celebrated community leader!
The authors of the article further exposed the Esan community leader to greater public ridicule when they claimed that “ it was only when Governor Oshiomhole lost his dear wife that the Iyasele of EsanLand, like any other sympathizer, visited the Government House on a condolence visit”. Every body watched the condolence visits by well meaning persons and Anenih to Oshiomhole on television and there was no popping of any wine at such a moment of grief. That is not what I refered to in my comments to the media.
I repeat: “ Chief Anenih led his cohorts to Oshiomhole’s house, popping champaign while celebrating the fall of Osunbor”. Since I have been challenged to produce the said video clip, I will at the appropriate time air it on NTA Network Service, AIT and the Independent Television (ITV) for all Nigerians to see.
If we even manage to accept the late denial that he did not pop champagn to celebrate Osunbor’s fall, can Anenih also deny the fact that he nominated three commissioners into Oshiomhole’s cabinet?
Why did Anenih instruct them to resign when it became apparent that his overbearing godfatherism instincts on Oshiomhole could no longer be tolerated? Let the truth be told, Oshiomhole explained to all what led to the end of the tea party.
In all the rerun elections that took place, Oshiomhole crushed godfatherism. The last general elections, Oshiomhole practically placed Anenih on political house arrest in Uromi. If there is any election again in Edo State, we would not be able to stop the slide unless there is a presidential intervention in the current crisis rocking our party in Edo State.
In every civilized setting, when there is a crisis, mediators or those charged with responsibility of maintaining law and order would go to the root causes without which no solution can be achieved. We must embrace democratic principles of equity, fairness and sanctity of the rule of law if we must build an egalitarian society that we all desire for Nigeria. The PDP cannot be an exception.