By Dapo Akinrefon
The crisis rocking the Edo State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, has taken a twist as ward chairmen and their executives in Etsako Central have unanimously resolved to suspend the LGA chairman of the party, Mr Kassim Abdulkareem and the secretary, Mr Sunday Kadiri.
The ward executives also passed a vote of confidence on former Deputy Governor of the state and former Chief of Staff to former President GoodLuck Jonathan, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe, for his fatherly role in uniting the party.
They blamed the crisis in Etsako Central PDP on the divide and rule tendencies of the LGA party chairman, saying that his leadership style fell short of expectations and would take the party nowhere.
“All the actions of Kassim Abdulkareem have been directed towards a struggle for power. Either to keep power, increase power or a demonstration of power as party chairman. Instead of bringing everyone together as a family, the only thing that matters to him is power”.
They maintained that the unbecoming conduct of the LGA party chairman could no longer be tolerated, accusing him of not paying attention to internal democracy and treating the ward chairmen without regards to courtesy.
The aggrieved ward chairmen, who signed a communique issued at the end of their emergency meeting at the weekend and made available to the press included Hon. Osikhena Emmanuel Ward 1, Joseph Aidelebe Ward 2, Abu Francis Ward 3, Tokbokho Duke Ward 6, Segbosimhe Akubor Ward 9 and Alhaji Dirisu Ward 10, with all their executives who also append their signatures.
The Communique reads “We are here today as ward chairmen of Etsako Central Local Government Area to suspend our party chairman for the following reasons: Anti-party activities which are inimical to the progress of the party, holding of party meetings in private homes instead of party secretariat, planning and executing disunity and factionalism among members of the party, embezzlement of the fund, as well as holding party factional meetings in his private residence.
The ward chairmen dismissed insinuations that Governor Godwin Obaseki has brought the crisis to the party, but rather described the Governor and his Deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu, as voluntary victims who came to join the party at a time it was on the verge of being torn apart.
“The Governor and his Deputy are not behind any crisis in the party. Edo PDP has never been one. The Governor merely came to inherit the deep-rooted trouble and internal crisis in the party since after the congress before the Governorship election. Those blaming the Governor for the crisis in the party are only using the names of the Governor and his Deputy as a cover-up for their evil. The real truth is open to the leadership. The Governor has no hand in our problem”.
The highlight of the meeting was the election of Mr Isa Michael as the new chairman of the party in Etsako Central.