The Edo State deputy governor, Mr. Philip Shaibu, has asked the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to “integrate” supporters of Godwin Obaseki, governor of the state, into the party.
In 2020, Obaseki, Shaibu and their supporters left the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the PDP following the feud between the governor and his erstwhile “godfather,” Adams Oshiomhole, who was then APC national chairman.
After Obaseki defected to the PDP, he clinched the party’s governorship ticket and won the election.
In the past few months, there have been speculations that Obaseki and Shaibu may leave the PDP over the crisis in the Edo chapter of the party.
Reacting to the speculation, the Edo governor, weekend, said he will not leave the PDP, and asked members who are uncomfortable with his leadership of the party to leave.
Speaking on the issues in Edo PDP in an interview on Channels Television on Monday night, Shaibu said Obaseki’s supporters who left the APC for the PDP didn’t feel like they had been accepted into the party.
He said: “For me, Philip Shaibu, I have no plans to leave. For Philip Shaibu, my followers, and the followers of Obaseki that left APC to PDP, they plan to leave PDP but to where? For now, I don’t know.
“Why? Because we felt we are not accepted in PDP and that is the reason we are actually thinking that it is time to just draw the curtains and leave.“We left APC because of the oppression by APC national chairman meted on the governor. And for some of us that hated oppression, we decided to jettison our relationship with the godfather then to follow the governor to the PDP.
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“We have not been accepted into PDP and for us, we are not telling the governor it is either now or we leave.
“We are in PDP now and it is expected that we will be integrated. When I say ‘we’, not just Philip Shaibu, I’m talking about Anselm Ojezua (former Edo APC chairman) and the state working committee, the ward chairmen and the executives, the leaders of APC then and all the well-wishers that left APC because of Obaseki.
“We have been meeting and we have said we need to be integrated. Anselm Ojezua resigned his membership of chairman of the state, the ward chairmen resigned, other executives resigned to join PDP.
“As I speak, they have not been integrated and we are talking about harmonisation, they have refused to harmonise. For some of us, that means we are not welcome in PDP.
“We are not saying dismantle, drive everybody and accept us. We are saying create room for Anselm Ojezua and create room for X. Just like we have done in the appointment in government — we’ve created space for the old PDP that we met. They are commissioners.”
Asked to name the people who refused to integrate Obaseki’s supporters, the deputy governor said the problem is from the national leadership of the party.