1st February, 2023
By Jethro Ibileke
The chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Edo state, Dr Tony Aziegbemi, has reacted to the Supreme Court judgment which has put to rest the protracted litigations between factions in the party.
Two factions loyal to Governor Godwin Obaseki and the Deputy National Chairman (south-south), Dan Orbih, had produced candidates from parallel delegate elections.
Thereafter, they instituted several cases in several courts over which of the factions’ candidates will flag the party’s flag in the forth-coming generl elections.
The development had compelled the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to substitute candidates’ names several times, due to conclicting court judgments.
In his reaction on Wednesday, Aziegbemi who commended the Apex Court judgement, described it as a collective win for all members of the party.
He noted that “the journey to the Supreme Court by brothers, sisters and friends of the Peoples Democratic Party 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”.
Aziegbemi added that the result of the judgement has now helped to grow Nigeria’s democracy and will subsequently become a reference as well as a guide to all political parties and politicians alike.
The statement read further:
“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.
“I call on all of us to queue behind our Leader, Governor Godwin Obaseki, who has in just 2 years in the PDP has demonstrated capacity to deliver the dividends of democracy to our people.
“Let us all now re-dedicate ourselves to the growth and victory of the party in the forth-coming elections. We have to work extra hard to deliver all our candidates. That is what we do in PDP.
“Am aware that some of my brothers and sisters in the party who may have had divergent views to the issues may have also been critical to certain positions I may have taken in the past few months.
“To these set of people, I tender my unreserved apologies, as I may have slightly injured them in the course of discharging my duties as the state chairman.
“In all, let us forge ahead together with confidence and deliver all our candidates on February 25th and 11th March 2023. That has now become a sacred duty. Our members and indeed Edolites expect nothing less from us.”
Effort to get the reaction of Chief Dan Orbih to the judgement failed, as he did not pick calls made to his mobile phone.