By Elempe Dele, Benin.
One of the most prolific, experienced, and sophisticated politicians in Edo State PDP in my own opinion, Prince Francis Omo-Osunde Iyasere, had a very deeply satisfying conversation with me today concerning the unnecessary crisis in Edo State PDP and ways to get it resolved through dialogue.
Although I call him Uncle, Prince Francis Omo-Osunde Iyasere was a PDP Publicity Secretary in Edo State during the Chief Lucky Igbinedion’s administration who also doubled then as a member of the Presidential Committee on Peace and Conflict Resolution in the Niger-Delta, and Chairman, Edo State Committee on Peace and Conflict Resolution. I have recently dubbed him an old PDP War Horse because of his experience, astuteness, and forthrightness.
This bold, sincere and honest Interventionists and Strategist has severally called for amicable ways to resolve the crisis in Edo PDP without taking it aside. And without making much media noise, he has been making monumental efforts to see that both created factions in PDP come to points of dialogue.
He reiterated his position to me candidly that PDP is a leading party hence the seeming issues affecting the Party can be resolved through a few party leaders, which he has been engineering behind the scene.
“There is nothing that is capable of weakening a political party and makes it vulnerable to defeat in elections as much as an internal crisis,” he said. “And from what I have observed so far, there are those who are unnecessarily oiling the wheels of the crisis by doing the bidding of the opposition party to weaken PDP in favor of APC in Edo State. This much I can tell you Dele. They are not ready for settlements, they have so much to profit from if we continue to fight in PDP. Some of us can’t leave the party to APC, they can. They continue to drum impossible positions for some of our leaders when they know such positions can’t work. Take, for example, the issue of excess harmonization. I have said it times without number that it can only work through dialogue, not by force. And the kind of dialogue that will work must not be misconstrued as ‘trade by a batter.’ Dele, you were at the National Convention where all the congresses held in the country were rectified by the body, which is the highest decision-making body in the Party. So it would be a futile attempt for anyone to advise that we should continue on that path which will pitch our Party at the State against the National Executive Committee after the ratification. I am aware that if we find a truce, an amicable one, the party excos at all levels are ready to work with the Governor. Were they not the excos we used to win the election? If they were not ready to work for Governor, they would have collected the billions from APC to betray him and the party.
“I know you are very concerned Party member because I know your antecedent, but be rest assured that whatever are your fears about our Party will be alleyed as leaders of the Party are talking to get the issues resolved. You people are young and have a long way to go in the party, we would not want a situation where we would pass a crisis-riddled party to you people. You are the young ones that will take over the party.
“Provocative narratives are flying around but I want us to stop them, sue for peace, and have confidence in our leaders in conflict resolutions. I can’t pride myself as a seasoned negotiator, but when you come into an issue with justice in mind, equity, and fair play, there will be the restoration of the old order. The supremacy of the party cannot be overemphasized. It is what differentiates a well-managed party from one that is self-destructive.”
I went away with a sense of near fulfillment that perhaps Resolution and Restoration are on their ways back to the Party.