Red Alert! As PDP Takes Defunct SDP’s Constructed Road To Osadebay House
There is no denying the fact that Francis Bacon’s quote that says, “The lame man who keeps the right road outstrips the runner who takes a wrong one…The more active and swift the later is, the further he will go astray”, has found expression in the political statement that is rocking the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Edo state chapter.
Without being speculative in my view, the Edo state’s PDP in its bid to reclaim the state from the firm grip of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has in the results obtained from two primaries conducted by the two factions in the party, forwarded the names of two candidates, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and Hon. Matthew Iduoriyekemwen to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The obvious political taboo committed by Edo state PDP by forwarding the names of two different candidates under the same political platform has been considered by political pundits and observers as the kind of political suicide that was committed in Lagos State in the then Social Democratic Party, SDP, when now late Professor Femi Agbalajobi and Chief.
Dapo Sarumi were engaged in a war of attrition on who will become the party’s standard bearer at the gubernatorial election in the state in 1991. The issue was so considered to be a political logjam and appeared irreconcilable that supporters of the party had no choice than to carry out a protest vote in favour of the National Republican Convention, NRC, which won in a landslide victory through its candidate, Sir.
Michael Otedola who was consequently declared the winner and governor of Lagos state. As the scenario played out then, Chief Dapo Sarumi who is noted to be a typical Lagos politician, was disqualified with Professor Femi Agbalajobi from contesting in the election.
Not daunted with the disqualification that emanated from the fierce struggle, he backed Yomi Edu who later clinched the guber ticket as the party strived to present one candidate. Unexpectedly, Yomi Edu and his party lost the major election to NRC. Without any iota of exaggeration, the road the PDP in Edo state is presently treading is clear enough for the least discerning political observer to understand that the struggle for the gubernatorial ticket in Edo has already reached the level of “No-Retreat, No-Surrender”. It is very clear that the party has taken the road the then SPD took in Lagos state for more than two decades now.
As it is today, there are two factions of PDP in Edo state. The crisis which has already produced two standard bearers for the September 10 gubernatorial election has no doubt remained as a threat to the participation and chance of the party in the much-awaited election.
Recall that the party had its gubernatorial primary on 20th June, 2016 which had 3 participants. The process chaired by Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state was declared in some quarters to be successful, free, fair and credible. Pastor Osaze Ize-Iyamu was declared the winner at the primary with 584 votes while Hon. Matthew Iduoriyekemwen scored 91 and Chief Solomon Edebiri scored 38 votes.
Despite the conflict resolution that was put in place to reach out to the aggrieved losers at the primary, Hon. Iduoriyekemwen stood his ground by rejecting the outcome of the result of the party primary organized by Ahmed Markafi ‘s led caretaker committee of the party.
Consequently, the disagreement that arose from the primary saw Iduoriyekemwen pledging his loyalty to the Ali Modu Sheriff’s factional leadership of the party. As ostensibly planned by the faction, another primary that produced Iduoriyekemwen as the party’s flag bearer was conducted. No doubt, the PDP in Edo state has literarily followed the infamous political road of failure constructed by the SDP in 1991. As it is, both factions, as it happened to Professor Agbalajobi’s camp and Chief Sarumi’s have committed a political taboo that would neither lead PDP to Osadebey House nor to be reckoned with in future political dispensations.
Still in the same nexus, speculations are rife that the party has through the crises figuratively shot itself in the foot. Many are of the opinion that PDP has taken the road most political party had dread to tread since the last 25 years that SDP literarily constructed the road on Nigeria’s political landscape.
According to Bacon, taking the wrong road is not only wrong in itself, but it would also see the traveler further going astray as he becomes more active and swift in the journey. It is a pity that this is the road that PDP has decided to tread in its bid to reclaim the state.
Against the backdrop of the lingering war of attrition in Edo state chapter of the PDP, it is very clear that ahead of the main governorship election that is coming up in the state that if the party fails to resolve the various grievances and agitations in its fold that it risked losing the election come September 10, 2016 and also earning a red card from the electoral commission.
To this end, the party should find a way of resolving its internal crises as the election is fast approaching. The leaders of PDP should understand the fact that voters that are loyal to PDP are confused as to who to vote for on the day of the election. If the fear of PDP voters is not assuaged in the next few weeks they may end up voting for the opposing party, APC, as done by SDP supporters 25 years ago in Lagos when they voted for NRC.
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