February 2, 2023

Edo PDP primaries: S’Court recognises Obaseki’s faction list

…No victor, no vanquished—Obaseki

….Edo PDP must close ranks— Party chairman

Alimikhena calls for unity

By Ozioruva Aliu & Dickson Omobola

The Supreme Court has recognised the candidates that emerged from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, primaries in Edo State for the general elections loyal to Governor Godwin Obaseki of the state.

It will be recalled that the party in the state held pararell primaries, one by the faction loyal to Obaseki and the other led by  Dan Orbih, Deputy National Chairman of the party.

Following a Federal High Court, Abuja judgment, in favour of the Orbih group, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, recognised the primaries conducted by his faction.

But the Obaseki group appealed to the Court of Appeal, and the appellate court held that the lower court ought not to have intervened in the matter as it was a party affair, following which the national leadership of the party recognised the primaries conducted by the Obaseki’s group.

Dissatisfied, the Orbih group headed to the Supreme Court. The apex court in its judgment, yesterday, aligned with the decision of the appellate court, which by extension gave validity to the Obaseki’s group primaries.

No victor, no vanquished—Obaseki

Reacting, Governor Obaseki described the apex court decision as a case of “no victor, no vanquished.”

Obaseki said: “The ruling of the Supreme Court has finally put to rest the long-drawn legal tussle over the candidates that will fly the flag of our great party, the PDP Edo State in the general election on February 25 and March 11.

“As the leader of the party in the state, I implore all members to consider this development as the end of all strife within the Edo PDP and to note that this is a victory for all members. Our resolve now is to win the forthcoming general elections as this experience has made us stronger and better prepared to clinch victory.

“This disagreement, which has now been amicably resolved attests to the maturity of actors, who as law-abiding party members have subjected themselves to and accepted the verdict of the courts.

“As there are no victors or vanquished in this issue. I want to call on all members of our party to come together to speak with one voice against the real opponents since our party is big enough to accommodate our variegated interests.”

Edo PDP must close ranks—Party chairman

Reacting also, yesterday, Edo PDP in a statement in Benin City by its chairman, Chris Aziegbemi, said: “The journey to the Supreme Court by brothers, sisters and friends of the PDP in Edo State is not as a result of crisis but a quest by active interests to test the strength of law and our democracy.

“The judgment has now helped to grow our democracy and will subsequently become a reference as well as a guide to all political parties and politicians alike.

“We have learnt our collective lessons and more propelled to work as a team and a strong party. I want to say categorically that there was never a crisis in the party but mere interpretation of certain modalities and procedures, which has become clearer to all of us now.

“I want to appreciate all members of the PDP nationwide and most importantly in Edo State for their understanding during the period. I am calling on our members to close ranks. This call is now mandatory. The party belongs to all of us and we are all co-stakeholders in the success of the party.

Alimikhena calls for unity 

The lawmaker representing Edo North senatorial district, Senator Francis AlimIkhena, in a statement by his media aide, Ben Atu, said: “If the party is divided, nothing can be achieved but with unity, there is nothing we cannot achieve together. We must all, therefore, act swiftly in love and unity of purpose, in ensuring that every interest is accommodated in the decision-making process as we approach the general elections.

“This is a time for true healing and a time to focus on the task ahead, which is to build a united PDP in Edo State. The time of divisive politics is over. The Supreme Court verdict is a victory for a more unified and a united PDP in Edo State, particularly Edo North.”