The leadership tussle within the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seems to be showing no signs of abating, as a faction of the party led by estranged former Chairman Ali Modu Sheriff is finalizing plans to conduct its own primaries contrary to the one that threw up Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu as party flag bearer for the forthcoming Edo Governorship elections.
A statement co-signed by Sheriff and Wale Oladipo, former National Secretary, PDP, disclosed that a letter had been written to the chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), urging him not to “give legitimacy to what happened in Edo”.
This followed the emergence of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu as the governorship candidate for the September 10th 2016 governorship election. The Sheriff group, which is claiming leadership of the party, is said to have made it clear that Ize-Iyamu may end up as a liability for the party if retained as candidate because of his involvement in the $155 million Mrs. Deziani Alison-Madueke campaign money scandal as the candidate is undergoing investigation.
The group is claiming that the party may have unwittingly played into the hands of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) which may use the EFCC to investigate the alleged role of the PDP candidate in the deal or even detain him as the election approaches, forcing the party to have two battles to contend with – the governorship election and the EFCC.
Meanwhile, in a surprise turn of events, the APC has made overtures to one of the losers of the just concluded PDP primaries, Dr. Solomon Edebiri. APC Flag bearer Godwin Obaseki was said to have gone to Edebiri’s home on Tuesday evening in company of Major Gen. Charles Arhiavbere, Senator Domingo Obende and other top members of APC, Edo State, for the meeting.
Although details of the meeting were not known, the APC’s move may be one of the strategies of the party to bring in people with substantial followings in the PDP to the APC. Edebiri is believed to have substantial following and a force to be reckoned with in the political equation of the state.