Politics

Edo PDP expels Philip Shaibu, south-south vice-chairman

The Edo State Working Committee of the People Democratic Party on Wednesday expelled a former deputy governor of the state, Philip Shaibu, for alleged anti-party activities.

The PDP SWC also expelled the South-South Vice Chairman, Dan Orbih, while it also upheld the expulsion of a former member of the House of Representatives, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, by Ward 2, Oredo Local Government.

The decisions were taken on Wednesday at the PDP SWC meeting in Benin.

Present at the meeting were the Chairman of the Edo PDP, Tony Aziegbemi, and seven other members of the SWC, including Tony Anenih Jr., who joined the meeting virtually.

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Aziegbemi said that the trio was expelled for anti-party activities, noting that they had shown that they were no longer in the party and there was no need to keep them in the PDP.

He said that the party would not be affected by their expulsion in the September 21 governorship election in the state, adding the party was well positioned to win at the poll.

The Edo PDP chairman said, “Dan Orbih was expelled because he has been asking members of the PDP to join the opposition party. He also took an appointment as the governing council member of a third-tier institution without recourse to the party before accepting the appointment.

“Shaibu donated about 15 vehicles to the All Progressives Congress and has also been abusing and disrespectful to the leaders of the party in the state. Someone who does these things cannot be termed a true party man.

“Also, Ogbeide-Ihama donated his building on Sakponba Road to the APC for campaign purposes. The building currently bears the billboard of the APC candidate and his running mate.

“The party is working with other stakeholders to ensure that the party wins the election in September.”

The SWC’s decision came days after Shaibu openly declared he would be working for the APC to win the September 21 governorship election while labelling the PDP governorship candidate, Asue Ighodalo, an outsider and a product of godfatherism.

Orbih, on his own, leads the Edo PDP Legacy Group, which had vowed to stop Governor Godwin Obaseki from influencing or installing a successor.

The expulsion of Ogbeide-Ihama by the SWC, however, generated an uproar as the PDP leadership in the Oredo Local Government Area of the state faulted the ex-federal lawmaker’s expulsion.

They declared the suspension null and void and urged the group behind the act not to cause confusion in the local government.

The chairman of the PDP in the local government, Oduwa Igbinosun, after an emergency meeting in Benin on Wednesday, stated that the local government exco attention was drawn to a purported expulsion of Ogbeide-Ihama by a faceless group led by one Lawrence Aguebor, which according to him prompted the exco to set the record straight.

He explained that the said Lawrence was an ex-official of the ward, and lacked the authority to suspend or expel anyone.

Igbinosun added that the National Working Committee of the party had extended the tenure of all elected excos and made ratification for them to act as a caretaker committee.

Similarly, the executives of the PDD ward 2, in Oredo local government disowned the purported suspension and expulsion of the two-term federal lawmaker.

Secretary of the ward, Mr. Jesuobo Obadigie, who stated this on behalf of the executives, said no such action was carried out.

Flanked by the 12 members of the ward exco, Osayande said: “Honourable Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama remains not just a member, but a prominent and formidable leader of the party, and continues to enjoy the total support of the members in Ward 2.

“It is expected that anyone who loves the party should at this point be focused on actions that will unite the party ahead of the September governorship election.

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