Edo 2024: More trouble as former associates gang up against Obaseki, Ighodalo

Edo 2024: More trouble as former associates gang up against Obaseki, Ighodalo

Monday, April 29, 2024 8:15 am

Dan Obir, left, Obaseki, top and Ighodalo2

Dan Obir, left, Obaseki, top and Ighodalo


By Jethro Ibileke

Following the lifting of the ban on campaigns for the 21 September governorship election in Edo state, the various political parties participating in the election have intensified their campaigns.

While some of the 16 political parties are busy receiving more endorsements and reassurances from their teaming followers and party members, things are not looking that good for the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Asue Ighodalo and his principal backer, Governor Godwin Obaseki, as more of his supposed party members and former associates are ganging up against the success of the party at the poll.

Foremost amongst the gangs are the party’s national vice chairman (south-south), Chief Dan Orbih, and his faction of the party, the Legacy Group. Members of the group across the three senatorial districts of the state have sworn to repeat what they did during last year’s national election, during which they openly supported candidates of an opposition party in the Edo central, which eventually resulted in PDP incurring huge losses to the opposition in the election.

Earlier this month, members of Legacy Group in Edo South complained bitterly about how Governor Godwin Obaseki abandoned them after helping him to secure his re-election. The group did not only call the governor an ungrateful person, it went ahead to give him an ultimatum to meet with them and tell them what he has for them ahead of the crucial gubernatorial election, or…!

On Saturday, 27 April, the Edo north chapter of the party also gave a ‘yellow card’ to Obaseki and his preferred candidate for the election, Asue Ighodalo. The leader of Legacy Group, Chief Orbih not only announced the rejection of his membership of the PDP campaign council for the 21 September governorship election in the state but insisted that the party’s candidate, Asue Ighodalo is not the way forward for the party and the state.

According to Orbih, the current PDP led by Governor Godwin Obaseki and his ‘chosen’ candidate, Asue Ighodalo cannot lead Edo. He therefore announced that the Legacy Group faction of the party would vote for “any” candidate who would represent the good people of the state.

Not done yet, Chief Orbih made more enemies for Obaseki when he publicly berated him over the removal of his former deputy, Philip Shaibu, describing it as a political vendetta.

Orbih who said that the Legacy Group of the PDP is solidly behind the ex-deputy governor, said: “The quest to remove Philip Shaibu as deputy governor is political. The present predicament of Philip Shaibu is that some people are saying you have no right to contest the election. Shaibu’s political travail is political.

“We are here today to let the good people of Edo North know that we support you, appreciate you and in the matter between you and the Edo state government we stand by you. I am aware and convinced Philip Shaibu has taken his case to determine whether the governor was right or wrong. As for the PDP legacy group we are proud of Philip Shaibu,” Orbih said.

Of course, there is no gain in saying that the impeached deputy governor will seize every available opportunity to work against his former boss. No wonder he quickly queued behind Dan Orbih’s Legacy Group. He said Edo people cannot vote for a candidate who does not know the problems and challenges faced by the Edo people.

He said: “We will not vote for an outsider in Edo State. Edo State needs a home-grown person, I want to assure you that we are in support of Chief Dan Orbih’s Legacy Group. We will not support Asue Ighodalo, but wait for the direction of the PDP Legacy Group on who to vote for.”

Also, present at the meeting to add more arsenal to the gang up against Obaseki and Ighodalo is Kabiru Adjoto. Adjoto who is a former speaker of the State House of Assembly and a right-hand man of Obaseki, defected with him from APC. Unfortunately, the center can no longer hold him and his former master.

Perhaps also feeling slighted and betrayed for not being rewarded for his loyalty and support with the deputy governorship appointment, following the impeachment of Philip Sahibu, Kabiru Adjoto has turned against Obaseki and his interest. He suddenly recalled that PDP under the leadership of Godwin Obaseki could not manage the success of the victory in 2020.

According to him, instead of Obaseki consolidating the victory recorded in the 2020 governorship election by rewarding those who worked for his re-election, he opted for other persons within the party who never worked for the party. He therefore pledged to work with the Dan Orbih-led group in the forthcoming election.

“We have seen what Chief Dan Orbih saw and we are here to queue behind you. Anywhere you go, we will go. We are waiting for your instruction,” Adjoto said.

With all these put together, no one needs a soothsayer to foretell that Obaseki and Ighodalo might need the same miracle that could pull the fat out of fire, to weather the storm of the Legacy Group and also confront the huddles being set against them in the forthcoming gubernatorial election.


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