By Elempe Dele, Edo.
A former PDP Publicity Secretary in Edo State, Presidential Committee Member on Peace, Conflict Resolution in the Niger-Delta, Chairman of Edo State Committee on Peace and Conflict Resolution, and immediate past member South-South PDP Exco, Prince Francis Omo-Osunde Iyasere, has again called for the peaceful coexistence of the PDP family in Edo State, and the nation towards winning the 2023 general elections.
Iyasere said this during an interactive section with journalists in Benin. His main point of call was that Edo State PDP must put its house together. He urged the Party to find ways to sit down at the round table to talk about this crisis. He said the PDP social media platforms have become avenues to incite hatred, cause divisions, and peddle lies within the party. He added that some go as far as using those platforms to campaign for other presidential candidates, which he said is wrong and unacceptable.
“My take is that in Edo State particularly, we need to come to a round table talk to negotiate as party members. This can be achieved through dialogue, not this one-way monologue where everyone is talking and no one is saying anything in particular. Tempers must come down first. ‘Oh, you have done 2 terms in this office, move upwards, you have done these terms in this office, take a conspicuous position in the PDP campaigns so that when we win, which should be our collective goal, you can get a position at the national level…’ All these need sacrifices instead of depending on the courts that can compromise rulings. You can see we most of the time misinterpret rulings, judgments, and pronouncements to fit into our narratives, even when the case is not so. Let me tell you one very indispensable truth: yes, primaries are party affairs, however, that does not mean they can be conducted anyhow. There are rules, regulations, processes, and procedures that INEC must monitor. Part of the reasons for the Electoral Act, 2022, as amended is to see that democracy gets down to the root of even our party affairs. We can’t say because congresses and primaries are party affairs, we can conduct them the way we so desire without factoring these processes, procedures, and guidelines… into them.
“So on this basis, it is high time we stopped thinking that it is only the court we can find justice. We can use our internal conflict resolution mechanisms to find lasting solutions, which I have been advocating. Let’s stop thinking the issues are insurmountable. I have been in this mix and we can all recall that it is this type of uncompromising stance that led to Oshiomhole taking over powers from PDP back then. If you look at it very keenly, is it possible for any of the camps to win elections in PDP without the other? I don’t think so: any of the camps that win at the court will eventually be ambushed during the elections if no genuine diplomatic means is used to negotiate for reconciliation before the election.
“And very importantly, I want to impress on administrators of PDP WhatsApp platforms to look at the issue of members using these platforms to continue to either incite hatred, fuel the embers of discord and or use the platforms to campaign for other presidential candidates from other parties. Yes, we might not have liked the choice of our candidate as we can’t all be thinking the same ways, however, since it has been done, all we can do is to think about the Party first, think about our Party, think about it winning, think about its supremacy. We can see other parties fielding either presidential candidates who cannot win elections or who have shown some visible problems from the start, but their members are sticking to them with all vehemence. This is how to play party politics. Your party first! For some of us, we don’t have anywhere else to go. So we will always continue to call for calm, peaceful coexistence and the promotion of harmonious relationships. So I appeal to members of PDP to do away with emotive rhetorics that are capable of division, rather, employ words that can bind us together as an indivisible coalition,” he said.