Edo PDP will come back stronger in 2019 say chieftains

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The Peoples Democratic Party in Edo State is not taking any chances in its bid to emerge victorious in the 2019 general elections. Its members have started making plans towards repositioning the chapter, despite their failed attempt to oust Governor Godwin Obaseki through the judiciary.

To display the party’s strength and support, members of the party organised what they termed heroic welcome for Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu following his return from Abuja after the Supreme Court ruling on his appeal against the decisions the lower courts. The Supreme Court ruling, which upheld the victory of Obaseki did not deter members of the PDP, especially those loyal to Pastor Ize-Iyamu from celebrating him for not pursuing the case to the Supreme Court.

From the Benin Airport, the PDP supporters moved in a street dance to the residence of Pastor Ize-Iyamu, where they were urged upon to remain in the party because four years is not forever.

Pastor Ize-Iyamu told the PDP members not to loose hope or despair over the Supreme Court judgment, but that the outcome of the Osun State by-election has shown that the electorate should not be taken for granted.

His words, “We belong to one family. The PDP must not scatter. Don’t lose up. Don’t give up. Let us be united. Let the other side be scared of our unity.

“We have done an election and the law says if you are not happy with the outcome, there are processes to be followed and we have followed it. We have gone to the tribunal, we have gone to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. After the supreme court, there is no other place to go. And rather than continue to quarrel, we just put it behind us. We have sent him a letter of congratulation.

“The challenge for those who are in government now, is to do well and to ensure that by the time we come back again for election, they will be able to justify their position in government but to our people, this is just the time for us to thank God. But what has impressed me the most is that our people never went violent.

“Our party people, well I want to tell you that you have not been defeated. Edo people knew how the election went and I believed that they can hold their heads high. Four years is not the end of the world. In the next three, four years, we will do an election again in the state”, he said.

At an enlarged meeting of the PDP held at the party secretariat in Benin City, the members resolved to carry out some restructuring if the party went to be victorious in the state in 2019.

Sources at the meeting said Pastor Ize-Iyamu called for the resignation of some current party leaders that failed to win in their units and wards. The source said Pastor Ize-Iyamu told the gathering that younger members of the party, when given the opportunity, would do better than those who called themselves leaders.

Pastor Ize-Iyamu said the loss of his bid was because some party agents and leaders collected money to work for the APC.

The Publicity Secretary of the party, Chris Nehikhare, said that the meeting resolved not to probe any party official but to prepare the members ahead of 2019 general elections.

Nehikhare said that there would be some form of restructuring within the party hierarchy.

The chairman of the party, Chief Dan Orbih, said the outcome of the Osun State bye-election was a clear indication that Nigerians were tired of the ruling APC.

He said, “This is the time for us to flow with the mood of the nation. That mood is what you saw in Osun. It is clear Nigerians are tired of APC. Edo people are more tired and I know that the mood is that PDP should remain strong and united so that they can save Edo State and save Nigeria from the failed policies of APC.

“This is the time for stock taking. There may have been mistake, as a party we must learn from those mistakes and move forward than we were in 1999. God will not come down from heaven to do it for us. Our destiny is in our hands. Throughout the crisis of Modu Sheriff, the leaders of this party did everything possible not to allow Modu Sheriff divide us in Edo. It there are one or two people who decided to go with Modu Sheriff, they should come back to the party.

The chairman added: “The coming elections will see a repeat of what happened in Osun State. Nigerians are tired and they are prepared to do everything to protect the results of subsequent elections. We must start to put in place structures that will expand the frontiers of our followership. We are not going to waste time. The time to begin the process of election winning is now. We will welcome positive suggestions from party leaders and members.

“Everything we need to do to make the party stronger we must do. We did well in the last general elections. We can build upon what we have achieved so far. Let us at this moment retire to the inner recess of our minds and do stock taking. The time is now to do all that is needed to be done to put our party in good stead ahead of the next general election. If moving this party forward necessitate my stepping aside, so be it.”

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