Recently,two-time governor of old Bendel State, Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia, withdrew his membership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Ogbemudia was a founding member of the party in Edo State and rose to the position of member of the party’s Board of Trustees, BoT before his voluntary resignation.
Ogbemudia, in a letter addressed to the National Secretary of the party, said recent developments within and the non-cohesiveness in matters affecting the party led him to withdraw his membership of the PDP. He added that his resignation was despite his recent efforts to entrench himself in the party for the purpose of shaping an alternative to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC. He actually spoke as an elder statesman that he is. He said it was his conviction that “the PDP should regroup and convert to a viable alternative as a means of fostering our nascent democracy.” But instead of the PDP regrouping to form a credible opposition, they are busy fighting and tearing the party to shreds.
Since Dr. Ogbemudia left the PDP, tongues have been wagging. The PDP clan felt devastated and one can imagine what the respected general would have gone through in the shark-infested political water of the PDP. A group of PDP leaders in the state met recently to review Ogbemudia’s exit from their party.
Expectedly, you see frustration, anguish and disillusionment running down their spines. The exit of the man who developed the old Mid West and Bendel states to enviable level hit the disenchanted PDP leaders like a thunder bold from the blues even though they pretended that all was well.
The PDP leaders were casting aspersions at him and weeping like babies abandoned by their mother in the hands of a newly employed care-giver on a private television station recently. Hon Chris Agbonwanegbe, Senator Roland Owie, Barrister Nosa Adams, Owere Dickson Imasogie and Mr. Oni Edigin were of the opinion that Ogbemudia had not been in PDP over the years, yet, he was a member of Board of Trustees of the Party until the day he tendered his resignation in a most honourable manner. They spoke angrily of the man every Edo/ Delta indigene love with all of their hearts just because he decided to quit the dead party.
So many Edo people have been wondering what Dr Ogbemudia was doing with the PDP, but as a socialite he identified with the good works of the Comrade Governor in Edo State. He did not fail to acknowledge the many developmental works Oshiomhole has been doing in Edo State and he saw Oshiomhole as a man who aptly stepped into his shoes of development in the state and well fitted at that. This makes him a clear leader who believes in the good of his people irrespective of the party in power. This disposition of Dr. Ogbemudia drove Agbonwanegbe crazy as he was so bitter in his commentary against the general’s exit from the degraded party. But fortunately or unfortunately, Agbonwanegbe and his cohorts have nothing they can do to Ogbemudia because Ogbemudia is greater than their kekereble gathering. However, Professor Robert Idemudia and Senator Mathew Urhoghide were quite urbane in their comments, perhaps because of their academic exposures and disposition which stood them out. They saw Ogbemudia’s exit as his personal entitlement which he has freely exercised and there is no qualms if he withdraws from the PDP.
In my considered view, Ogbemudia took the best decision to quit the PDP. It was Fela Anikulakpo Kuti who several years ago posited in one of his music that Egbekegbe na bad society and Fela in the message contained in the album did not see a need for any right thinking peeson to belong to Egbekegbe society. The PDP is an Egbekegbe society. It is a bad society and anyone who listens to the thousands of disgruntled members that have left the party have all been confessing that the PDP is an Egbekegbe society. They all have tales of woe from the PDP. So, Ogbemudia from all indications had no option but to quit an Egbekegbe society.
The PDP is said to be warming up for governorship election in Edo State and they are desperate about it and I laugh. It is ridiculous for the PDP to contemplate putting up a showing in the upcoming governorship election in Edo State because from Edo north through Edo Central to Edo South, hordes of PDP faithful made up of bigwigs, financiers and foot soldiers are daily decamping to the APC. It amounts to mere wishful thinking for such a party to be planning to contest the next governorship election in the state. I wonder how such an ambition could be realised given the internal crisis tearing the party down both at the national level and in Edo State. The internal conflict alone is sufficient to consume the party and consign it to the trash can of history.
This was how we pontificated the defeat of the PDP at the federal level last year and many thought we were merely politicking, but the reality is with them today and the party cannot stand again because it was established on fraud, injustice and deceit. In PDP, it is dog eat dog. Privileged members plot to scheme others out daily. They de-register those they don’t like their faces. Imagine the recent Supreme Court judgment that sacked 11 Anambra PDP national assembly members from both chambers in a landmark judgment! That is PDP for you. Parallel congresses, parallel lists, factionalisation, NEC taking sides with one faction instead of resolving the problem on ground and many other dubious characteristics. Why should an Ogbemudia remain in such a party?
I am not canvassing Dr. Ogbemudia joining the All Progressives Congress. After all, At 83, he has seen it all in public and private life. In my view, Ogbemudia should even quit politics completely and remain the elder statesman that he is. Any government that emerges both at national and state level would definitely accord him his dues as former governor and elder statesman. He has done so much for Nigeria. He really has nothing to prove again, so the PDP should let him be. Ogbemudia should now be the father of all of us. Ogbemudia is good natured and a man with a golden heart and passion for his fatherland. Edo/Delta people and Nigeria will continue to honour and celebrate him.
Mr. Dan Owegie is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Edo State.