• Tony Igele

Concerning PDP’s Misguided Foot and Misfiring Gun

Like an errant child, the Edo State Chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has done it again. In a reckless press conference that displayed the opposition party’s penchant for acting unheedingly to details, PDP swaggered into town, like a mouse into a cattery, attempting fruitlessly to vilify both the All Progressives Congress and Governor Godwin Obaseki.

If PDP wants to throw a tantrum, there is no problem with that. There is however some problem with if PDP, in throwing its tantrum, abandons order and sanity, picks up a gun, and shoots itself in the foot.

PDP’s history is replete with particulars of where the party has deployed little tact and shown even lesser invention in the conduct of its affairs. Now, in this most unfortunate press conference, the Chairman of the Edo state Chapter of the People’s Democratic Party, Chief Dan Orbih has gone and dwelt on issues both himself and his political party lack every moral grounds to pontificate.

Firstly, the question that ran through the minds of rational Edo people is what is the character of the man talking? Are the words of this man – Chief Dan Orbih – and his antecedents before him, and his party to be taken seriously or with a pinch of salt?

Dan Orbih is Chairman of a PDP that governed for about 10 years in Edo state and created unquantifiable socio-political mess for which the people angrily voted the party out of power and replaced it with the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Under the administration of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the mess by Dan Orbih’s PDP was being cleared up and the people of Edo State, satisfied with APC, chose to vote in Mr Godwin Obaseki. He is continuing, like his predecessor before him, with helping the people of Edo State to recover from the unmitigated trauma of PDP governance in the state.

How then can an unblushing Dan Orbih, who has no moral justification whatsoever, seeing as his party failed the people and the state woefully, begin to paint the APC government in bad light simply because he wants socio-political relevance, which the wise people of Edo state will not avail the PDP anymore.

Ordinarily against this backdrop, Orbih’s conference and the claims he made therein should be ignored. However, it is necessary to respond to them, as his intention is to whip up public sentiments against the state government.

One is worried as to where Orbih and his party forged documents from that they could claim with such an unholy level of confidence that they are government documents in that ill-fated press conference. The veracity of the said document needs to be authenticated because PDP can go to any length to fabricate anything including and not limited to Government Vouchers.

For a public document like a voucher purportedly obtained from the government house to be authentic and taken seriously, it must be either the original or a certified true copy. In this case, the PDP, in furnishing journalists with the said vouchers did not disclose whether it was the original copy or a certified true copy let alone which authority certified it assuming it was the latter.

On the issue of cabinet formation, Governor Obaseki will not be blackmailed into making mistakes, for so we can infer from PDP’s unwise press conference. He is taking his time to put a credible and competent team together with appointees who must be recommended from the 192 wards to the state government.

Section 14, schedule 4 of the constitution states that the composition of government in Nigeria shall be carried out in such a manner as to recognize the diversity and dynamics within that government constituency, therefore, it cannot be expected that the appointments of cabinet members are to be done overnight, if this provision has to be adhered to.

Orbih must be reminded that there is a process of appointment and if he is busy plotting how to get an appointment, then why will he not simply say so. If that is the case, he should apply from his ward and the party will consider his papers if he is eligible. His character, if worthy, will advocate for him.

However, the public is quite perceptive to his dubious academic credentials, which can block his eligibility in the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led government. Governor Obaseki needs people who know their onions, not assumptive people. Neither will a party like the PDP suffer a man whose mien suggests a bereavement of ideas, work experience and credible means of livelihood to get political appointments under its famed umbrella.

On the issue of Contributory Pension Scheme, Orbih should be asked what is wrong in initiating schemes designed to protect workers’ welfare at an old age. The Pension Reform Act of 2004 gives the state government authority to implement its provisions in favour of workers.

Besides PDP and Orbih lacked the gumption, even they were extravasating outlandish ideas at ill-conceived press conferences to reveal to Edo people that Governor Godwin Obaseki budgeted N6 Billion to facilitate the scheme just as deductions are paid into designated pension funds custodians.

Therefore, Edo State Government wishes to assure the good people of the state of its readiness to initiate and execute people oriented programs that will improve the standard of living, generate jobs for our teeming youths, deepen the economy, provide security and create the enabling environment for socio-economic activities to flourish.

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