By Victor Uzoho
The Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, has lauded Chief Dan Orbih, the former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Edo State, on his emergence as National Vice Chairman for the South-South zone, saying that with him it would be difficult to ignore the South-South region ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Ripples Nigeria had reported how Chief Orbih, on Tuesday March 9, emerged PDP’s National Vice Chairman for the South-South region, after the party’s congress to elect a new leadership for the zone held in Port-Harcourt.
Shaibu, who arrived with his entourage at Orbih’s residence on Monday, described his election as historic, noting that it was the first time since the second republic that all states in the zone were governed by the PDP.
He noted that it was a thing of a pride, adding that Orbih’s choice as party leader was ordained and that God had a purpose and was rearranging the destiny of Niger Deltans.
He said: “We are here to congratulate our illustrious son and former Chairman of PDP Edo State for the election that took place in Port-Harcourt just last week. For us, it shows that we are actually playing the politics of our zone and we are all accommodated in the politics of our zone.
“We thank our brothers from Delta State and also brothers from other states that make up South-South for deeming it fit that our own son would be returned as the National Vice Chairman and Chairman in charge of the zone.
“It is not by mistake that the event that led to our emergence as governor and deputy governor happened, because it is only in Edo that the governor and deputy moved to a famous party hitch free, and everything went smoothly without any issues.”
Shaibu urged Orbih to not only unite the zone but to also use the opportunity to achieve God’s plan for the region.
“Everybody is now talking about the presidency and the coming elections but you’ll observe that South-South is a bloc, and we in the South-South can determine what happens in the next presidential election.
“Because when you check the political structure that is in place in the South-South now, it’s a bloc and anybody that wants to ignore that bloc is not a politician and is not ready to gain in the next government come 2023,” he added.
He pledged his support for Orbih, and stressed the need to solidify the existing unity in the region, maintaining that with the existing cohesion South-south stood its brightest chance ever to influence the country’s leadership at the centre.
Orbih as “one who understands the mathematics of politics”, Shaibu said:
“Our country is in dire need of role models because we are too rich to be poor and that is why the power to change things politically and economically, God has given to us now. We need to use it to the benefit of all. God did not make mistake.”
In his remarks, Orbih reassured Edo people of his commitment to the unity of the region and his unwavering support for the Godwin Obaseki-led administration.
He accused some unpatriotic elements of striving unsuccessfully to put him at loggerheads with the deputy governor, advising such people to stop wasting their time.
Orbih was returned unopposed at the party’s zonal congress held at the Obi Wali International Conference Centre, Port Harcourt, having polled about 960 votes out of the 964 votes cast.
In his acceptance speech after the inauguration of the new leadership, he pledged to reposition the party and make it stronger come 2023, assuring that the new executive would not betray the trust and faith reposed in them by the delegates.
Orbih accused the Nigerian government of neglecting the zone, and not allowing its proper representation in key appointments at the federal level, adding that the way forward was to sustain the growth of the party in the zone.