• Deputy national officers accuse NWC of oppression, marginalisation
Outgoing leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, to provide explanation to Nigerians, particularly party members, on the processes that led to his nomination as governorship candidate of the party and tell the truth about the allegation of bribery made against the NWC members.
At a valedictory session, the Uche Secondus-led NWC denied collecting any form of gratification or bribe before clearing and giving the party’s ticket to Obaseki to contest the September 2020 Edo State governorship election.
The allegation of bribery against the outgoing NWC members was made in June 2020, by Governor Nyesom Wike, when his Commissioner of Information, Paulinus Nsirim, accused them of being tax collectors.
National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, who spoke for NWC members on the allegation, said: “Let me state without mincing words that the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, owe the members of this NWC the responsibility of clearing our names before the public.
“I will like to place on record that this NWC did not demand for any form of gratification from Obaseki before he got the ticket of our party.
“It is also important to restate that this NWC did not demand for any form of ‘tax’ from Governor Obaseki neither did we collect same. He therefore owes it a duty to clear our names. “
Ologbondiyan, whose speech was interrupted many times by rounds of applause by his colleagues, insisted that the outgoing NWC had done its best to reposition and rebuild the party, resulting in regaining more states.
Also yesterday, all deputy national officers of the party expressed disappointment about what they called the disrespectful and disgraceful treatment meted out to them throughout their tenure.
In a speech delivered by their spokesman, Diran Odeyemi, who is also the Deputy National Publicity Secretary, it was pointed out that deputies were subjected to severe oppression.
Odeyemi said: “We remained an unused extra tyre, redundant and useless. Where necessary and where requested, we complement their efforts.
“I want to place on record that as deputies, we met officially with the former chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, only three times. He was never ready to meet with us. Our complaints for engagement were rebuffed. Hope to serve were dashed and we were rendered inconsequential.”
In his remarks, the Chairman-elect, Iyorchia Ayu, charged the outgoing party leaders to increase their participation in party affairs, pointing out that the experience they had gained would be hard to replace.