By SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN – AHEAD the July 14 governorship election in Edo State, the leadership of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state has failed to woo former Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Tom Ikimi, back to the party.
Vanguard gathered that prior to Ikimi’s 68th birthday anniversary last week, the state chairman of the party, Chief Dan Orbih and a national leader of the party, visited Ikimi’s Benin residence, where they persuaded him to dump Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, and return to his former party and support the PDP candidate, Gen.Charles Airhiavbere.
It was gathered that Ikimi rejected the entreaties by his visitors, informing them of his intension to remain with Oshiomhole and ACN which he jointly founded.
Hinting Vanguard of the visit during an interview, Ikimi said: “PDP leaders have been coming to me, telling me to come and work with them. But I said why should I do that at this point in time. I am a man of integrity and my integrity is something I will not mortgage for a pot of porridge.
“Oshiomhole may not be an angel, we have disagreements too, but the man is working, you cannot take that away from him. He is working in Benin City, Esan, even in Chief Anenih’s community and Edo North and that is the major thing to me. It never happened before. PDP was in power for ten years but they have nothing to show for it.
“They lost their opportunity. In terms of infrastructures in Edo State, it is even better now than Delta even with all the money that accrues to Delta State. If Oshiomhole had not done well, I would be the first person to tell the world that he has failed.”