Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s aide, Mr. Agharese Idubor, on Wednesday led no fewer than 150 registered members of the APC in Benin to pitch their tents with the PDP.
Idubor is the Executive Director, Protocol Matters to the Governor.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the defecting APC members are from Ward 7 in the Egor Local Government Area of Edo South Senatorial District.
Idubor, who spoke on behalf of the defecting members, said their decision to return to the PDP was borne out of the alleged political betrayal of the leadership of APC in the state at the ward congress in the state on Tuesday.
He argued that leadership positions should be attained through election and not by imposition “as was witnessed by APC members on Tuesday.’’
Idubor took a swipe at the leaders of the party in the state “whose roles in the just-concluded ward congress negated the principle of the one-man-one vote’’ policy of the party.
He said that leadership and governance were not about the acquisition of powers to oppress others “but to be used to better the lots of citizenry through people-oriented policies.’’
He pledged the loyalty of the new members to the leadership structure of PDP in the state, saying they were impressed with the existing internal democracy of the party in the state.
Idubor said they would strive to work for the party and ensure its victory in the general elections in 2015 and state governorship election in 2016.
Receiving the members, the Chairman of the PDP in Edo, Chief Dan Orbih, said that their decision to join the PDP was apt in view of the “APC’s shameful ward congress.’’
Meanwhile, Members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo South senatorial district on Wednesday traded blames over the conduct of Tuesday’s disputed ward congress in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that while some of the aggrieved members of the party have called for the cancellation of ward congress, the leadership of APC has, however, described the call as blackmail.
Reading a prepared statement at a news conference in Benin on Wednesday their leader, Chief Amos Osunbor, said the call for the cancellation became necessary “because the conduct did not follow due process’’.
The aggrieved members, who faulted the process of the conduct of the congress, noted that the exercise was characterized by violence and thuggery.
They alleged that members of the committee mandated to conduct the congress were not on ground to perform their duties while materials for the exercise were not available for the congress.
“As if the whole exercise was designed to fail, sponsored violence was observed across the venues in the senatorial district.
“Armed thugs in government vehicles were seen unleashing mayhem on defenceless party faithful.
“Furthermore, some local government chairmen were seen sponsoring violence in their respective council areas,” Osunbor alleged.
The aggrieved members, therefore, demanded that the national leadership of the party should immediately cancel what they termed “the purported ward congresses in Edo’’.
They also demanded for the immediate dissolution of the state congress committee and the constitution of credible members to form a new committee.
But the APC publicity secretary, Mr. Godwin Erhahon, who described the allegations as “blackmail”, however, noted that the party would review any genuine case brought before it.
“It would be wrong for anyone to start threatening of pull out at this moment.
“Anyone threatening such now therefore means such persons have planned doing that even before the congress.
“The ward congress was only conducted on Tuesday and anyone who has genuine case should forward such complaints to the secretariat and it will be entertained.
Erhahon added “to the best of my knowledge, the ward congresses were conducted according to the laid down procedures”