A photo of the quartet of former governor lucky Igbinedion, Rtd. Hon. Phillip Shaibu and governor Godwin Obaseki had emerged in a national daily recently with Lucky Igbinedion being touted as the new godfather of the PDP. The rider caught our attention and therefore considered it necessary–as they say—to put the records straight. Recall that in those days, the prominent power brokers in the PDP were the late Chief Tony Anenih, Late Alhaji Inu Umoru, the late Samuel Ogbemudia and of course Sir Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion. Others included the Tom Ikimi’s, late Bruno Oshiokpekhai and naturally Senator Victor Oyofo. Chief Raymond Dokpesi is not really a strong party man—he is more of the media where he is strongest.
Then their words were law; there was no opposition and elections were settled long before appearance on the field. Leadership had meaning. If there was any crisis, party officials trooped to Uromi where it was resolved. And those aggrieved, when pacified, were certain to be compensated one way or the other. There was sanity. And you better believe this: loyalty fetched instant reward. This was how the party was run before the baton changed hands to comrade Adams Oshiomole. The essence of this report however is not to counter if Lucky Igbinedion deserve being remotely mentioned as godfather at all; the essence is not to lose touch of immutable fact that loyalty pays.
Because all through the period of resurgence of the PDP one man had remained like the rock of Gibraltar; that man remained when Pastor Ize Iyamu crossed over with all his supporters including the likes of Chief Joshua Ogene, Jarret Tenebe; others like Gani Audu, Abass Braimah had long crossed; of course it is their rights; that’s the beauty of democracy; thus what remained of the PDP after the demise of the founding fathers, and those who defected, were a party held together by senator Victor Kassim Oyofo. Chief Dan Orbih and some of his right-hand men like Hon. Pascal Ugbome had made participation in politics dull and personalised—as though a private business.
The man who stood like a rock and maintained stronghold in Edo North is Senator Victor Kassim Oyofo; Now that life is returning to PDP, it is unfair to begin to set the stage for a sinister motive by singling out someone who was lost when the rebuilding process was on. Twenty years after lucky Igbinedion first came to power, he is at best expected to remain an elder statesman in the party. The younger generations are here and the PDP must distance themselves from the primitive politics of yore that crippled their fame. This is putting the records straight and a message to Governor Obaseki and his deputy Phillip Shaibu.