Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday declared its intention not to pursue its petition against the July 14 victory of Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
The party said it would not file any petition before the Governorship Election Tribunal.
Chairman of the party in Edo State, Chief Dan Orbih, who announced the decision at a press conference yesterday in Benin, said the party embraced the ‘painful decision,” in the interest of the state, after wide ranging consultations both within and outside the state.
The party's decision may have effectively left the candidate of the party, Major-General Charles Airhiavbere (rtd), who had already pre-empted the party by filing a petition at the tribunal, in the cold.
In the press conference text entitled: “Let God be the Judge,” Orbih said: “About three weeks ago, Edo people went to the polls to elect a governor to administer the affairs of the state.
“The results that were declared by INEC were in favour of the ACN candidate, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
“There is no doubt that every genuine member of our party in the state worked hard enough to secure victory and ensure that our candidate, Major-General Charles Airhiavbere (rtd) was elected.
“Unfortunately, while our party worked and abided by the principle of one man, one vote, our main opponent engaged the instrumentalities of intimidation.
“They obstructed the continuous voters re-registration exercise, thereby preventing eligible voters from being registered and vote during the election, and also manipulated existing voters registers as well as the results of the election to their fullest advantage.
“The results of the election are not only ridiculous but also completely at variance with rational reasoning and human expectations.
“Curiously, on Election Day, Governor Oshiomhole had earlier rejected the way and manner the election was being conducted by INEC when he thought his rigging plan had failed, yet the result of the same election is now being hailed by all because it is PDP that has lost. It has now become a tradition that when PDP loses an election, the election is free and fair.
“With the above assessment of the results, PDP is aware of the divergent views and expressions by the public. PDP is also aware of the legal options.
“However, PDP has fully consulted the leadership of the party, both within and outside the state. During these consultations, legal opinions were sought and it is the conclusion of the party that while we appreciate the effects the results declared by INEC will have on our teeming members, we are also mindful of the consequences which the state may run into with protracted litigation.
“Consequently, though painful, for now PDP has decided not to file any petition before the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in the interest of the state.
“We, in PDP in Edo State, should continue to remain steadfast and not be discouraged by setbacks as this election defeat may just be a stepping stone to a future victory.
“In every election, we have always prepared ourselves for either of two outcomes. And now that ACN has taken the King’s trumpet, the task should be left with Governor Adams Oshiomhole to find a place to blow it.”
Orbih used the forum to allude to two important issues that, according to him, “found relevance during the campaign for the governorship election,” stressing that “they are germane and affect the leadership of our party and clearly show how hard the leaders of the PDP in Edo State have tried to maintain peace in the state under severe provocation.”
“Few months ago, the Private Secretary of the Governor of Edo State, Mr. Olaitan Oyerinde, was murdered. The Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, went to town and led demonstrations, accusing the PDP and its leaders of being responsible.
“He even went further to say that our leader, Chief Tony Anenih, hired the killers as he hired a tipper driver to kill him.
“All of you, pressmen know all that the governor and the former Secretary to the Edo State Government, Pastor Ize-Iyamu, who was the Director of his Campaign Organisation, said about our leader.
“As a matter of fact, the governor even went as far as renaming Delta Crescent, the street where Chief Tony Anenih lives, as Olaitan Oyerinde Street. Since then, Chief Tony Anenih has not made any statement on both cases.
“The truth in both cases has come out. What has the governor got to say now? Has he any conscience? Edo people can now judge the character of their governor.”
He prayed that God would grant the leadership of the PDP the wisdom and courage to continuously stand for the good of the party and Edo people.
He urged party leaders to rest assured that their commitment and sacrifices and the pains which they have endured would not be in vain.
He appealed to them to be ready to “reposition the party with committed people, make peace and allow God to be the Judge.”
In his reaction, Oshiomhole said it was a step in the right direction as the result of the election showed an overwhelming support for him across the 18 councils.
The governor said: “I wish to extend my hand of fellowship to all men of goodwill to join hands with government to move the state to the next level, because, despite all the successes recorded in the last three and a half years, Edo State is still work-in-progress.
“I look forward to more collaboration between my government, other political parties and interests in the state. I want to restate my full respect for the PDP leader, Chief Tony Anenih, whom I hold and will continue to hold in high respects.
“ I also wish to assure the PDP candidate, Maj.-Gen Charles Airhiavbere (rtd) whom I regard as a friend, that now that we have put the elections behind us, my doors are open so that together, we may lift our state to the high level where it should be.
“I, however, wish to state that other issues raised by the PDP will be commented on on another occasion.”