PDP Ad-Hoc Election: Agbazilo youths demand suspension of Okoduwa, Okojie

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●Accuse them of submitting alleged fake list

●Those who won election remain our delegates- Okosun

A group under the auspices of Concerned Agbazilo Youth of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Edo State on Thursday, demanded the suspension of member, House of Assembly, representing Constituency II, Esan North-East, Hon Emma Okoduwa, and a party chieftain, Joe Okojie, for allegedly conniving to change the original three-man ad-hoc delegates list that emanated from the zone.

The demand was contained in a letter submitted to the Senatorial Chairman, Edo Central Peoples Democratic Party, Arc Bishop Anthony Okosun, after the youths led a protest march to his house in Uromi, Esan North-East.

The PDP had last Saturday, held a three-man ad-hoc delegates congress across the country, but the exercise had raised serious dust in Edo along the existing divide.

In the letter entitled: “Illegal Substitution of Ad-Hoc List: We Call for the Suspension of Emma Okoduwa and Joe Okojie from the Party”, dated May 5, 2022, and addressed to the Senatorial Chairman, they requested that “it is either the authentic delegates from the ad-hoc congress are reinstated, or the exercise is outright cancelled.”

The letter was signed by the Convener, Concerned Agbazilo PDP Youth, Okokhere Saturday, and, a member of the group, Joel Obhiokharlen.

Agbazilo covers the 11 Wards in Esan North-East and 10 Wards in Esan South-East local governments in Edo Central Senatorial District.

The letter reads in part: “On Saturday, April 30, 2022, we came out in our numbers across all the wards in Esan North-East and Esan South local governments to elect the three-man ad-hoc delegates.

“The exercise went peacefully, and the representatives of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) monitored the process and authenticated the list of successful delegates in every ward.

“The party officers deployed in our areas were given the results of the exercise for onward delivery to the election committee deployed by the National Headquarters of our party.

“To our dismay, and less than 48 hours after the Congress, news filtered in that the electoral committee had returned to Abuja and submitted a totally different list from the outcome of the Congress in Agbazilo and other areas of Edo State.

“Upon our investigation, we discovered the information to be accurate; and our further probe into what transpired revealed that Messrs Emma Okoduwa and Joe Okojie were the architects of a different list of delegates from Agbazilo.

“Curiously, most of the names of delegates in the fake list submitted to the Wadata House in Abuja are not in the PDP register.

“We request that it is either the authentic delegates from the ad-hoc congress are reinstated, or the exercise is outright cancelled.”

The group called on the party leadership to take disciplinary action against the alleged duo for tampering with the delegates’ list.

The “fake list,” they said had been discovered to be predominantly members of the opposition All Progress Congress.

“Our position is that the party must punish this electoral travesty and immediately take disciplinary action against the duo of Okoduwa and Okojie.

“Their action was a colossal betrayal of the PDP in Agbazilo. We urge our party leaders in Agbazilo to ensure that Abuja does not make any mistake in listing as delegates for the coming primaries the names in the fake list, as such aberration would be vehemently resisted.

“Any character not in the party register that is allowed to vote would invalidate the primaries, and this could even be the plot. It is too dangerous to allow a good process to be tainted by a concocted list.

“We shall not hesitate to declare Messrs Emma Okoduwa and Joe Okojie persona non grata in Agbazilo PDP if the party fails to do justice to the concern of party members”, they added.

It would be recalled that both Okoduwa and Okojie defected with the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, from the All Progressive Congress, APC to the PDP.

This development is part of the lingering crisis between the old and new PDP members in the State.

However, in response to the letter by the Senatorial Chairman, Edo Central Peoples Democratic Party, Arc Bishop Anthony Okosun, said, “First and foremost, that you are PDP is an honour to us.

“There are other parties that you could have decided to join. So that you all decided to join PDP is an honour.

“Secondly, since the inception of elections, PDP has never lost Esanland; Uromi in particular, we have never lost it. So I also appreciate every one of you for that.

“We all know that elections are primarily won by the youths and the women because they are more in number. So whatever you are requesting today will be considered.

“Let me say emphatically here, we all participated in the ad hoc delegate elections at our various wards. For anybody to go and change it that person is evil. The person is not a friend.

“Democracy is the way of the people. Nobody, no individual, no matter how highly placed you are; has the power to go to a corner and change the mandate of the people.

“As far as I am concerned, those who won the delegate elections we did in our wards across the senatorial district, not just Uromi; they remain our delegates. Those ones they have brought in from nowhere; we will not accept them.”

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