A factional Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo state Tuesday in Edo state suspended Chief Raymond Dokpesi, ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Tom Ikimi and Chief Ogiadomen, a former Chief of Staff to President Goodluck Jonathan, among others.
Whereas the latter was suspended by the group which tagged itself Integrity Group for allegedly flying in same helicopter with Governor Godwin Obaseki, the others for holding clandestine meetings with Governor Obaseki.
The group also claimed the high profile personnel that held meetings with incumbent governor were demanding N6bn from Obaseki as precondition for his joining the PDP.
The group alleged that the ex-COS displayed the sign 4+4, thus endorsing Obaseki for a second term “when we have our own PDP aspirants”.
The suspension and allegations were contained in a communiqué endorsed by Mr Jarret Tenebe and ex-local government chairman of Owan West, Dan Asekhema.
The communiqué explained that the punitive measure was taken at a stakeholders meeting held weekend in Benin City, the state capital.
According to the communiqué, “Chief Ikimi and others have been holding clandestine meetings with Governor Obaseki where we learnt reliably that the governor was asked to bring N6bilion so he can join PDP and take the ticket.
“We believe as a party we must instil discipline because it is because of the cash and carry politics some people played in the past they led to the problem of PDP in Edo state.
“As we move towards 2019 governorship election, we urge our aspirants to disregard the activities of greedy politicians and continue their campaigns. We will fight indiscipline in the PDP no matter whose ox is gored”.
The group also alleged that the state chairman of the party, Chief Dan Orbih, has given himself a six-month extension to enable him conduct the governorship primaries even as it adopted former Governor Lucky Igbinedion as the leader of the party in Edo state.
The state publicity secretary of PDP, Mr Chris Nehikhare, however, berated the group’s “audacity to suspend respected leaders of our party because they lack such powers.”
Chris urged the public to disregard statements that have been issued by the group, adding that “We will not hesitate to discipline any party member that submits himself to be used as a political tool in the hands of our political opponents”.
“Their behaviour is mischievous and condemnable. They are not members of any organ of our party and as such cannot issue statements or releases on behalf of PDP”, he said.
Others the group also suspend are former Minister of Works, Arch Mike Onolememen, , Senator Yisa Braimoh, ex- leader of House of Representatives Tunde Akogun and Senator Victor Oyofo.