AT last, Edo State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former governor of the state, Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor, have agreed to work together for the July 14, 2012, governorship polls.
Osunbor’s acceptance to continue to work for the success of the PDP was at the instance of yesterday’s reconciliation meeting the leadership of the party held with him in his Iruekpen country-home in Esan-Central Local Council Area at the weekend.
The former governor, who restated his displeasure with the way the PDP conducted its last governorship primaries won by Maj.-Gen. Charles Airhiavbere, said he remained a loyal member of the party.
The PDP team was led by the party’s chairman, Dan Orbih, who said the visit was to mend fences and bring Osunbor back to the mainstream of the PDP’s campaign for the July 14 governorship election.
Other leaders in the entourage were Senator Roland Owie, Airhiavbere, Dickson Imasogie, among others.
Osunbor said he remained a member of the party, adding that the peace visit would not have been necessary if a level playing field was provided for all aspirants as promised before the primaries.
He said: “I have listened to your message of peace and solidarity in recognition of the fact of my being not just a member of the PDP but one that has held various positions, including that of governor of Edo State. I told you in the course of our telephone discussion that I am in PDP and I remain a loyal PDP member.
“But I want us to be honest to ourselves, it is not that I want to be difficult but I want the truth to be on record. The party promised us a level playing field and we also said that whoever emerges would be supported by all of us. But for me, it is a matter of regret that I didn’t experience the level playing field that was promised. The Thursday before the primaries, some of us (the aspirants) raised issues that were agitating our minds and at some point, we were told that the reasons why those issues were coming up was because of lack of trust, that why can’t we trust leaders? “Some of us didn’t get the trust that we expected, we pledged to campaign with him (winner) if the right things were done, and this visit would not have been necessary. I have listened to all of you who have come and from there, we will take the next step,” Osunbor said.
In his response, Orbih appealed to Osunbor to join the PDP campaign train as he said his presence would be a boost to the party.
“The truth is that nobody can wish away the role you have played in the politics of this state. One thing is clear: the task of winning back the state is for everybody. We want all inclusive campaigns and efforts in winning back the state. We beg everybody… the party leadership is conscious of what you can do to help it win this election.
“It is like a driver who picks passengers from different points, they will say different things along the way but the final point is the destination that will be in the mind of the driver and this case, I am the driver and my destination is the Government House. I will ignore petty talks and let us remain focused. Prof, we need you more than you need us, that is the truth. You have achieved everything out there that needs to be achieved but the party needs you more than you need it. If you look back to where we are coming from and what the party has been to you, you will do everything possible for it to regain its prime position in the state”, he said.
The team later went into a closed-door meeting, which lasted for 45 minutes after which Osunbor said like every other PDP member, he would support the party.