From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta Central has frowned at the endorsement of David Edevbie by the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) as the preferred governorship candidate of the Urhobo nation in next month’s party primary.
The PDP urged the apex decision making body of the Urhobo nation to withdraw the endorsement, saying that it was capable of dividing the people and polarising the ruling party in the state.
In a press release signed by the chairman of PDP in Delta central, AP Fovie, noted the socio-cultural body usurping the functions of the party with Edevbie’s endorsement.
‘It has come to our notice that the leadership of Urhobo Progress Union, UPU, on Sunday 17th April 2022, via a press statement announced the endorsement of a governorship aspirant under the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, Olorogun David Edevbie, as the union’s preferred aspirant and in the same token urged our party delegates to vote en-mass for him,’ the statement read.
‘UPU efforts in the affairs of Urhobo nation of Delta Central Senatorial District will always be appreciated if and only such efforts or interests are not in conflict with the duties and regulations of our party, PDP, and its organs.
‘And in the instant case, we found out that the purported endorsement of our party member who is a governorship aspirant usurped the functions of our party in the ongoing electioneering process leading to the party primaries.
‘This obvious external interference by UPU and her leadership occasioned by the endorsement of a PDP governorship aspirant in Delta State cannot in any way be encouraged, hence this subtle appeal to the leadership of this great socio-cultural organisation to immediately repudiate and/or nullify the endorsement via another press statement, please.
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‘We recall that a similar endorsement scenario played out in 2014/2015 wherein UPU came in with ‘Urhobo Governor Agenda’ and this singular act not only caused an acute internal crisis in our great party but also created factions in UPU with two President Generals giving orders and counter orders.
‘The grave incursion of UPU in active politics via Urhobo Governor Agenda fractured the sensibility of our amiable governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, who greatly suffered the negative of the union’s ethnic political activities in 2014/2015.
‘However, we were able to overcome the storm within a short period of time in our party but unfortunately, Urhobo union suffered a great deal which led to a series of legal actions. This kind of unpleasant situation must be avoided, hence it is very necessary for UPU to stay away from the internal affairs of PDP and partisan politics generally,’ it stated.
The party stated that it would do the Urhobo nation more good than harm if the UPU as a socio-cultural umbrella of the good people of Urhobo if Delta Central Senatorial District, strictly adhere to the union’s constitutional provisions and play mere advisory roles for Urhobo political actors and some extent political parties where the need arises.
The statement advised UPU to restrict itself to socio-cultural activities as contained in its constitution and to generally avoid direct involvement in party politics and election matters, saying that “it is no longer expedient for socio-cultural organisations and town unions to as a group indulge in political party affairs or endorsements of governorship and other categories of aspirants.
‘In the light of the above, we strongly appeal to the President General of UPU, Olorogun Moses Taiga and his entire exco worldwide to kindly withdraw the purported endorsement of Olorogun David Edevbie as the union’s preferred aspirant in line with the objective of UPU as a registered socio-cultural organisation.’
The statement added that UPU and all other ethnic or tribal unions other than political pressure groups and individuals, completely abstain from endorsing all categories of aspirants in the PDP going forward.