By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN—A former chieftain of All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Tom Ikimi, has said that he has confidence in the national leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Tony Anenih, adding: “We shall have a common agenda of working for the party in Edo State and Nigeria in general.”
He insisted that he was not leaving the APC for the PDP to vie for any elective political office. “I left the APC for the PDP where my personal dignity shall be respected. I am not interested in being in a party of enemies, where a party man will plot against the party. I am at peace with all the leaders of the PDP whether big or small. I have implicit confidence in Chief Anenih and we have had several meetings and I believe we have bridged the gaps. We shall have common agenda in working for the party in the state and Nigeria,” he said.
Chief Ikimi, who spoke yesterday in Benin at a reception organised in his honour by the state leadership of the PDP at the party’s secretariat on Sapele Road, also thanked the National Executive Committee, NEC, of the party and Chief Anenih, who visited him in Abuja to urge him to come back to the party.
He added that during the visit by Chief Anenih and the NEC, he promised that he would consult with his political associates. He said: “I have consulted with them and my family members and they have given me the go ahead to return to the PDP.
“I came here today (yesterday) not as a new member, but to fully identify with my group of 1999 and 2003. In politics, the party is supreme. We came here as cooks to cook the food and share it to others. But those who came in took the food, plates, pots and everything away and left the cooks with nothing. The PDP will take over the state once again. Once beaten, twice shy.”
On his dumping of the APC, Chief Ikimi said, “It is good night,” adding that the then Action Congress of Nigeria was formed in his house in Abuja by himself and one Opadokun with the aims and objectives of the party written by them.
“Everyone knows that it was my baby and those who believe in it are singing a new song.” He added that what is seen in Igueben Local Government today was achieved through the Federal Government.
Earlier, while receiving Chief Ikimi, Chief Orbih said that the reception was just a rehearsal of what will happen this weekend when President Goodluck Jonathan will be in Benin for the party’s rally.