The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State witnessed turmoil as it conducted an election to select delegates for the February 22 governorship primary. However, the process faced controversy as nine out of the 11 PDP governorship aspirants boycotted the exercise.
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, the chairman of the three-man committee overseeing the Edo delegates’ election, withdrew from the exercise. Despite this, Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State, the deputy chairman of the committee, praised the significant turnout of party members.
Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki expressed regret over Makinde’s withdrawal but assured that it wouldn’t undermine the credibility of the exercise, emphasizing the substantial participation of party members.
The nine aspirants, including Edo State Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu, lodged a protest with the PDP acting National Chairman, Umar Damagum, citing concerns about the committee’s composition. They highlighted their grievances in a letter addressed to Damagum and copied to the National Vice Chairman South-South, Chief Dan Orbih.
Despite the boycott, the delegates’ election proceeded in various wards, with different individuals overseeing the process. Governor Obaseki dismissed the crisis as exaggerated, asserting that the party would remain united for the upcoming governorship election.
Addressing journalists, Obaseki emphasized the success of the exercise, citing a substantial turnout of over 600 people in one ward. He downplayed the crisis within the party, attributing it to external factors, and expressed confidence in the PDP’s role in the country’s politics.
While the PDP National Publicity Secretary acknowledged Makinde’s resignation from the committee, there is no confirmation of other boycotts. Governor Makinde’s Chief Press Secretary claimed unawareness of his principal’s resignation.