As his Councillor, others dump PDP for APC
By SIMON EBEGBULEM, BENIN CITY
Political tension heightened in Edo state last week after prominent leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo state including three times House of Representatives member from the state, Barr. West Ehiogie-Idahosa and Mr Peter Akhugbe, the only Councillor in the PDP from the ward of the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo state, Chief Dan Orbih, and hundreds of their supporters dumped the PDP for the APC.
Those who have been following the politics of Edo state since the inception of the Adams Oshiomhole led administration, will understand why the defection of Orbih’s councillor, Peter and his supporters, in his Ogbona ward 4, Etsako Central Local Government Council of the state will be interpreted as a major blow for the PDP leader Orbih.
Orbih and the Oshiomholes have been close family friends even when Oshiomhole was in the NLC and enjoyed good relationship. Orbih’s children always visited Oshiomhole’s family in Kaduna each time they were on holidays. Likewise, Oshiomhole’s children visited Port Harcourt where Orbih was based each time they were on holidays.
Saturday Vanguard learnt that Orbih and Oshiomhole even slept on the same bed when the going was good. But the relationship went sour after Oshiomhole became governor of the state while Orbih was chairman of Edo PDP. In criticising Oshiomhole’s government, sometimes personal, Orbih as a core politician that he is does not spare Oshiomhole. Whenever he did that, Oshiomhole kept his cool and avoided the temptation of replying Orbih or the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the party, Chief Tony Anenih.
But there was a political tsunami in Orbih domain, Ogbona last Tuesday, when the Councillor in his ward and PDP stalwart, Peter Akhugbe and hundreds of others decided to pitch tenth with Oshiomhole, describing Orbih’s PDP as deceit. Akhugbe in the Local Government Council election which held last year, was the only PDP candidate that won in Edo North senatorial district.
Akhugbe won because he is popular amongst his people and as a result, held the area for Orbih in any election. And that was why Oshiomhole last Tuesday danced what is popularly known as makosa in Ogbona when he invaded Orbih’s domain with other APC leaders to receive Akhugbe into the APC. Oshiomhole could not hide his joy , as if it was the sledge hammer he has been waiting for, to politically cripple Orbih in his own domain.
While addressing the crowd, Oshiomhole recalled his developmental strides in Etsako and assured that the people of Ogbona will benefit more from his administration now that they have decided to part ways with Orbih’s PDP. He reminded the crowd how the PDP had suffered defeat since the coming of APC in the state due to what he described as the wickedness on the people of the state, asserting that even when he leaves office, his successors in the APC would continue the developmental efforts which according to him was the best weapon to end the PDP era in Edo state.
He said: “Peter’s coming to APC signifies that the death of PDP has been pronounced by the elders of Ogbona. So I decided to be here to witness the formal burial of PDP in Ogbona where Dan Orbih was born. And to make the statement that while Orbih was in Benin talking, his people are busy leaving his house that is on fire and I have come here to uproot him from his ancestral home.
So I wish Dan Orbih politically rest in peace as we bury PDP today. There is a saying in English that it is the empty drum that makes noise, so while he is vibrating over all sorts of things, turning the truth upside down, his people are busy meeting and re-uniting with the only party that is alive and moving in Edo state. For me, the key things that we have achieved, is not just about the schools, is not just about the roads but the fact that we have helped our people to recognize how they have been cheated over the years, how their political life has been monetized and misappropriated by people who have no character and how their resources have been privatized by people who could not manage even the old one star hotel that their father left for them.
They went to NNPC and stole so much and they are still busy chewing what they stole. But we are happy that while they cannot sleep with their people, we are here this afternoon. The message of hope, of change that we have brought, the light that is on cannot never be extinguished. Like I said in 2007 when we started, where there is light, darkness must disappear. No more political darkness in Ogbona land, but PDP chooses to be feeding those who are dead with falsehood. The vulture must eat but it cannot come to the market when good people are around but late in evening. This Local Government is now 10/10 exactly the way the state is 18/18”.
Oshiomhole further posited that “ to recognize that our strength is not in empty rhetorics, making promises that we will not keep. It is in inviting the people to see what we have done under five years and that is what the PDP failed to do in ten years. I have come to assure the people of Ogbona that we have done one borehole before, we will do another one.
The weapon we have against the PDP is our developmental efforts and they have no answers to it. Each time, they plan at night but in the day time, God will destroy their plots. The contract that PDP revoked that was meant to connect the good people of this Local Government with their brothers and sisters in Anegbete and other areas, which they claim was not possible on account of the nature of the terrain is now 95 percent completed. So everything PDP said was not possible, APC has done.
You people will not forget that the PDP came to flag off the Akpanam road, but did they do the road? No. They said Edo doesn’t have money, but today we have built that road. You can transverse all the areas in Edo North. There was no street light anywhere in Edo state before but today we have street lights. What can they do about that? That is why when they go to plan at night against me and APC in the day time, God will destroy it.
So I want to assure Edo people that APC is on a liberation movement and there is no going back. What is dead is dead. In history, only Jesus rose from the dead because he was the son of God. No man that dies in sin can be born again. Once you die in sin, hell is your portion. We will re-emphasis development, emphasis the right of the child to go to school, the right of our women to clean water, the right of our people to good roads and we will re-equip and build hospitals.
We will renew our common commitment to the services of the people of our state. By this time next year, they will be coming for votes but I know our people can never vote for the dead party again. By the time I am out of government, my pride and joy will be that I am able to go to all these places and I can show what I did. And my successors on APC platform will build on where we stopped.