Re: Strengthening the Unity of PDP-Edo State.

A Veiled Self-Inflicted Injury.

By Kayode Iyamu

I got to know about Chief Tom Ikimi during my teenage years when he was the Foreign Affairs Minister under the murderous reign of the dark googled dare-devil minstrel of death era of the diminutive ruler, Sani Abacha, the killer, to whom I must confess a held a wholesale loathing then. And the picture of Tom Ikimi working for the blood sucking evil reincarnate never left my mind up till this day, even as from when he denied that the killing of the environmental activists, Kenule Saro-Wiwa, was not political, that Saro-Wiwa was guilty of ‘the brutal murder of four people’ on the very day he was giving a speech at the 1995 commonwealth meeting. He was the only minister that was ever practically pushed out of such meetings and Nigeria was banned from the organization until 1999 when President Obasanjo restored us to the committee of nations. Ideally, Chief Tom Ikimi should not be seen or heard talking on issues of morals.

That said, I wish to respond without mincing words to the veiled
Article of Division ascribed to him with the title: Strengthening the Unity of PDP-Edo State.

Chief Tom Ikimi’s first attempt was to make PDP look like a failed party in the past 12 years under his review because the party could not win gubernatorial election over 12 years deliberately avoiding the fact that the party had 2 senators, including his senatorial district, house of reps members and other elected officials during the period. He didn’t mention his own contribution, which is unknown, to the party in this period but judged it just on the basis of gubernatorial election. How easy it is to judge from afar! If Late Chief Tony Anenih, one of the then leaders of the party was still alive, would he have made this kind of unfortunate statement about the fortunes of the party he helped groom in the state? We can all recall that the late Chief was a die-hard PDP member until his death even when the party was in the opposition in the state.

The narrow-minded narrative about the governor being the ‘leader’ of the party has no basis in the PDP constitution. If it does, I would wish Chief Ikimi to openly show us the provisions. The party has a lot of leaders in the party and the governor, by virtue of his position, happen to be one of them, nothing more. Even as at that, no single leader in the party has powers over the constitutional provisions of the party. The constitution did not envisage a situation where the governor, being one of the leaders, or any other leader, to be dictatorial, that any leader can just wake up to ask for the dissolution of the party Exco without due process and it will be carried out.

It is unfortunate that Chief Tom Ikimi, in his bid to praise the entry of the governor into the party, had to demean the party. Again, would Late Chief Tony Anenih have done the same? The answer is obvious. Let Chief Tom Ikimi recall that with all the talks of the governor coming with his retinue, personnels, escorts, bodyguards, aides, associates, entourage, train…what numerical different did it make during the election? PDP won in its strongholds and lost where it used to and lost in the areas we used to including the Local Government Area of the Deputy Governor, Phillip Shaibu. So what is the talk about the coming of the governor? How easy, for personal interests, did Chief Tom Ikimi forget that if PDP had nothing, like he said, Obaseki would not have opted to the party that had its structure stretching from the state to all units across 192 wards.

On the issue of the litigations that was withdrawn in Port Harcourt, there were no negotiations, there was an appeal to Hon. Ogbeide Ihama to withdraw the matter. And as erroneously posited by Chief Tom Ikimi, the matter had nothing to do with the candidature or qualifications of Godwin Obaseki, it was specifically a challenge that as at when Obaseki came, the time for inclusion into the race under PDP had already elapsed considering the timing.

It is laughable that Chief Tom Ikimi said in his badly concorted narration that he was not in the country when the ‘so called’ congresses were organized in Edo State and had no input in it. It is laughable because there is nowhere in the constitution where congresses are held under the supervision of an absentee egocentric individual. The congresses were held under the Electoral Laws by the party as the tenure of the former Exco had elapsed, it was supervised by Governor Makinde and declared free and fair. Whether Chief Tom Ikimi was in Jamaica or not is immaterial, whether the structure was put in place for delegates to endorse a particular aspirant for the governorship contest is immaterial. Is it not also laughable that the same ‘so called congresses’ that produced the Excos were used to deliver the governor during the election and it is what he wish should be handed over to the governor in a platter of gold? What a contradiction!

I can recall in 2014 how Chief Tom Ikimi left APC when he lost in the chairmanship race, and how he blasted APC leaders including Tinubu for manipulating the process of the outcome that saw him lose woefully to Chief Odigie Oyegun. So it is no news that Chief Tom Ikimi has such a checkered history of being a bad looser. We are yet to know or see any election he contested and won.

It is bellyaching that a PDP leader of his supposed repute will be calling for the dissolution of the party Exco because of decampees that came to join the party. There is no constitutional provisions for his suggestion. Harmonization and integration precludes dissolution, which is illegal and have no place in the PDP constitution. Since Chief Tom Ikimi was there when those who decamped to join PDP in Sokoto and Benue States did, I wish him to show the Edo PDP the illegal template of dissolution that was used.

My takeaways from the unfortunate article credited to Chief Tom Ikimi, all I can conclude is that I wish he never really wrote this. No one should come to your house for shelter, offered food and drinks and would wish to add your wife to the table of entertainment. Chief Tom Ikimi should note that elections have been won, he should by now be championing the reparations of promises the governor made during his campaigns to wards and villages they were made.

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