As the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) prepares for its governorship primaries in Edo State scheduled for February 22, internal squabbles within the party have raised concerns among party members.
A party source, speaking anonymously to LEADERSHIP, highlighted several issues contributing to the growing tensions. These include concerns over how the party will zone its governorship ticket, the dissenting position of the camp loyal to the National Vice Chairman of the PDP, South-South, Chief Dan Orbih, and the insistence of Deputy Governor Hon. Philip Shaibu to succeed Governor Godwin Obaseki.
Governor Obaseki, who completes his constitutional mandated two terms this year, is reportedly advocating for Mr. Asue Ighodalo to succeed him. However, the relationship between Obaseki and Orbih’s camp has deteriorated, with Orbih still holding influence over traditional PDP members in the state.
The zoning debate is another contentious issue, with Governor Obaseki favoring Edo Central for the governorship seat on grounds of fairness, equity, and justice. However, concerns have been raised about whether Edo Central has the electoral demography to win in the face of building opposition.
Sources revealed that the registered voters in Edo South are more numerous than those in Edo North and Central combined. Party insiders are worried that the zoning debate could be “suicidal,” especially considering the reported intention of APC leaders in the state to pick their candidate from the South.
Amid these concerns, Governor Obaseki and leaders of different PDP factions in Edo have engaged in shuttle diplomacy to resolve the zoning issue. The PDP Governors’ Forum and the National Working Committee have been asked to intervene, though both bodies are reportedly divided on the matter.
The threat posed by the APC in Edo State has heightened the need for the PDP to address internal issues and present a united front ahead of the governorship election. Party leaders are being urged to prioritize unity and fairness to avoid losing another election in the state.