CHIEF DAN ORBIH AND THE REBIRTH OF EDO PDP
CHIEF DAN ORBIH AND THE REBIRTH OF EDO PDP
Chief Dan Osi Orbih took over as the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Edo State when the party was in dire straits and its army of members were distraught, listless and forlorn in the face of the political misfortune that befell the state PDP at the period under focus.
Under Orbih’s watch, a committed phalanx of party men and women have done a lot of rapprochement and damage control across the political fault lines within the party structure to paper over the yawning cracks and tinker a brand new PDP nurtured on the indices of the best practices of equity, fair play and internal democratic values.
At a time when being a member of the PDP in Edo State elicited and conferred ridicule, scorn, derision and a pariah status on such persons who staunchly refused to jump ship for ‘greener” political pastures, those committed men and women rebuilt the party from scratch to its present station of a united and whole PDP, ready to roar and excel!
The new bond of fellowship and camaderie that has been put in place over the past four years have replaced the serial insinuations, innuendoes and misrepresentations that used to be the albatross around the neck of the PDP in Edo State.
Beginning from May 29, 1999, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won almost 99% of the elective positions in Edo State with very feeble competition from the then opposition – the All Peoples Party (later All Nigerian Peoples Party) and the Alliance for Democracy (AD).
As its popularity soared as the party of choice, contending interests within the Edo PDP struggled for primacy over who should hold party, executive, legislative and appointive positions. Like all human aggregations, the struggles became an admixture of nepotism, guile, mutual distrust and uncontrollable bile between the contending camps. While it is true that politics blossoms on competing interests, ideas and persons jostling for power, it is practically impossible to satisfy the aspirations of all party people in contention. It is even more difficult to do so in a popular and well-organised party like the PDP with a full complement of educated, skilled, qualified and intelligent members who are competing for the limited elective and appointive positions at party, executive and legislative levels. It is also true that the success of a party and its superiority profile over its rivals is, among other indices, strongly predicated on its numerical strength and trust as well as appeal to majority of the electorate. The other critical index is unity of purpose which, in addition to the numerical strength, drives a party to greater heights of achievement. When Orbih came on board as the Chairman of the PDP in Edo State, the party was in a state of flux and it needed the dexterity and the rallying power of an Orbih to re-engineer, rebuild and refocus the party from the doldrums of mutual distrust, factionalism, innuendoes and anti-party activities at all levels of the party set-up.
Conscious of the fact that the PDP in Edo State needed to unite as a people with common political destiny and excel thereof, Chief Dan Osi Orbih, in conjunction with like minds in the party, have been battling to remove the daunting hurdles and cleavages that has bedeviled the state chapter of the PDP for almost a decade before he assumed office. In doing this, Chief Orbih has re-enacted his demonstrable preparedness to foster, nurture and sustain a united front in the party for the greater good of all Edolites.
The successes recorded by the PDP in Edo State, under the watch of Chief Orbih, speaks volume of one man’s focused determination to confront the desperate ogre of relentless extra-legal actions and activities of the ruling APC government to obliterate the PDP in Edo State. We are all witnesses to the illegality called Local Government elections conducted by the APC led government of Edo state. We saw the brutish and Undemocratic manner it was conducted, Chief Dan Orbih stood for PDP and the people! We are witnesses to the attempted illegal sale of the Lagos based Edo House, Chief Dan Orbih stood for Edo people. We saw how the comrade governor molested a widow… Chief Dan Orbih stood for her…the sleaze in SUBEB, “fleecing” the security vote and Edo State resources etcetera etcetera, Chief Dan Orbih blew the whistle.
If the party can record the degree of successes it garnered during the last elections without a sitting or aspiring governor in place, the ingenuity and doggedness of the leadership and rank and file of the PDP can best be analysed and assessed by the discerning minds in Edo State who are daily assailed by the coercive and intimidating actions, activities and utterances of the civilian dictatorship in power in Edo State.
It is a conventional fact that many national and state leaders including governors of the major political parties lost their wards, local governments and states in the elections held recently. In fact, many governors lost their coveted senatorial bids to the opposing party. It is significant to point out that in the midst of this scenario, Chief Dan Osi Orbih won his Etsako Central Local Government Area of the state; the PDP (against all man-made odds), won 2 seats out of the 3 available Senate positions (Edo South and Edo Central); 5 out of the 9 House of Representatives seats and 3 seats in the 24 contested for, in the House of Assembly election that was largely contentious in nature. The APC unleashed a pall of violence, intimidation and misuse of state funds to “swing” votes their way to stop the advance of the PDP.
Political watchers believe that the PDP in Edo State will, in the nearest future, garner more successes and re-enact its winning ways in the state and the nation at large. It is their belief that the great vision enunciated for the party by the Orbih leadership can only be actualised, concretised and consolidated through the conscious efforts of a committed, honest, loyal and selfless leadership that will lead the crusade to re-position and re-engineer the PDP in Edo State. Chief Dan Orbih presents and has proven this option.
As the party in Edo State engages a crucial stage in its determined bid to regain political primacy from the opposition, all committed party men and women will need to sacrifice personal and group egoist interests and tendencies in order to re-enact that seamless unity of purpose and determination that was the hallmark of the Peoples Democratic Party in Edo State.
Through constructive engagement, Chief Dan Osi Orbih, as the Edo PDP Chairman, has largely stood as the impregnable bulwark and fortress against the dictatorial tendencies of the state’s APC to foist a concocted one-party system in Edo State. Inspite of the roadblocks, barriers and other means set up to frustrate or actually truncate his plans to re-enact PDP’s success runs, the great inroads and overwhelming successes are a testimony that the Orbih leadership has not laboured in vain. With the new spirit of camaraderie and entente in the PDP in Edo State, a platform has been erected for the party to further grow and excel.
Chris O. Nehikhare ….for PDP