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Uproar as PDP governorship aspirants boycott delegates election in Edo State

Tension Mounts as Key Figures Withdraw Amid Dispute Over Electoral Committee Composition

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The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State faced turmoil on Sunday as it conducted a crucial delegates election for the upcoming governorship primary, marred by the boycott of nine out of the 11 gubernatorial aspirants.

The election, intended to select delegates for the party’s February 22 primary, witnessed a significant setback as Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, chairing the electoral committee, withdrew from the process. However, Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State, the committee’s deputy chair, commended the substantial turnout of party members.

The boycott stemmed from concerns raised by the nine aspirants regarding the composition of the electoral committee. Their dissent was underscored in a protest letter addressed to the PDP’s acting National Chairman, Umar Damagum, and the National Vice Chairman South-South, Chief Dan Orbih.

Despite the controversy, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State emphasized the democratic principles of fairness and equity during the exercise, urging party members to uphold integrity and participate responsibly.

The delegates election, held across various wards, encountered mixed leadership, with Dr. Major Itemowe overseeing proceedings in Ward 7 and Kunle Koya presiding in Oluku Ward.

Governor Obaseki, addressing journalists, downplayed the crisis’s impact on the party’s electoral prospects, highlighting the substantial turnout of over 600 participants in his ward. He reaffirmed the PDP’s commitment to unifying stakeholders and ensuring effective participation in the political process.

Regarding Makinde’s withdrawal, Obaseki lamented the decision but underscored that the credibility of the process remained intact, emphasizing the significance of active participation over individual resignations.

Responding to inquiries, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, acknowledged Makinde’s resignation but denied knowledge of further boycotts. Similarly, Makinde’s Chief Press Secretary, Sulaimon Olanrenwaju, stated that he was unaware of any resignation by the Oyo State governor.

As the party navigates internal challenges, stakeholders are cautiously optimistic about maintaining unity and resilience in the face of external pressures as preparations for the gubernatorial primary intensify.

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