By NBF News

Edo PDP crisis: Isaiah Osifo points way forward
Thursday, March 11, 2010

•Isaiah Osifo

A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain in Edo State, Hon Isaiah Osifo has said that the way out of the crisis rocking the party in the state is for the national leadership of the party to reconcile the various interest groups in the state chapter of the party.

He spoke in an interview with Daily Sun in Benin City.

Osifo, a former local government chairman and former chief of staff to former Governor Osareheimen Osunbor said there was need for the PDP top hierarchy to bring together former governor of Old Bendel State, Dr Samuel Ogbemudia; former Minister of Works, Chief Anthony Anenih and former military Vice -President, Admiral Mike Akhigbe. He said once the three leaders of the party in the state are united, the followers will naturally follow suit.

PDP Crisis in Edo State
It is our desire actually that we would come together as members of the same party. The same family. But it is not quite easy because we have members of the party with different tendencies. And efforts to reconcile these competing interests can be very frustrating. But as a party, with consistency and accommodation of the views of members, maybe we should be able to get a platform whereby these competing interests will be reconciled. And we can now come together as members of the same party. But what you must know is that a political party has a leadership.

In Edo State, we have leaders of the party that can rightly be referred to as founding fathers of the party. And it is our expectation that the national leadership of the party in Abuja should call together these founding fathers of the party in Edo State, so that they can talk and bring them together. And these founding fathers, if you like call them national leaders of the party in the state, can then call their followers and pass down the information. So, we will see how the followers can come together.

In essence, the followers or the members of the party can only come together if the leaders of the party are together. So, the first thing that should be done realistically for us to come together is that the national leadership should call these founding fathers and bring them together, so that they should give instruction to their followers. But right now, I don't see the leaders really working together. I can say that authoritatively, that the leaders of the PDP in Edo State are not together, because each person is taking a different line, even though they are all members of the same party, but operating from different perspectives.

The last Unity Rally of the party.
Yes. That is what I was just saying before that unity rally, one would have been expected that the elders would have being united before the unity rally. If you are going to ask members of the party across the state to come together in a designated venue, so that you can give a clear signal to the world that we are now together, you ought to have done an in-house unification or unity rally of the leaders or the founding fathers of the party. That was not done.

If you follow the programme that very day, you will observe that Dr S.O Ogbemudia was not in that rally. Interestingly, that rally was organized in Benin. You can't take it from us, those of us who are in Edo South, those of us who are in Benin that Ogbemudia as far as we know is the father of PDP, as far as Benin is concerned; which is Edo South senatorial district. If you are coming to organize a rally in his backyard, courtesy demands that he should be properly informed. He should be properly integrated. On that basis, he can co-ordinate his followers so that that there can be a total and holistic unity rally.

If you equally observe, Admiral Mike Okhai Akhigbe was also not in the rally. Whether you like it or not, Akhigbe has served as vice president of this country. He has contributed his quota to the development of this country and very visibly the development of Edo State. For such a gentleman, a leader, national leader and a member of the party from Edo North Senatorial district, we expected that he ought to have equally being consulted and carried along in the unity rally.