Edo guber: Shaibu threatens PDP, says ‘if you don’t give me Certificate of Return, I will go to court’

he crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took a dramatic twist on Wednesday as Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, stormed the party secretariat in Abuja, demanding a Certificate of Return for winning Edo PDP gubernatorial primary election.

Shaibu emerged the standard bearer for the upcoming September 21 Edo governorship elections at a parallel primary held on February 22 in Benin.
Some party elders described the parallel primary as a sham.

Mr Asue Ighodalo emerged as the candidate of the party in another primary held same day in the same city attended by PDP and INEC officials.

Ighodalo was issued the Certificate of Return on Monday by the PDP National Working Committee (NWC).

The PDP acting National Chairman, Malam Umar Damagum, presented the certificate to Ighodalo at a ceremony at the party’s National Secretariat at Wadata Plaza, Zone 5 Wuse, Abuja.

Damagum, while presenting the certificate, said that the party was united in its drive to retain the Edo governor’s seat.

According to him, “PDP is one and the party organised and recognised only the primary election which took place at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin and produced Ighodalo as its candidate.’’

Surprisingly, Shaibu came to the party secretariat, insisting he was the authentic winner of the party primary for the election and should be issued the Certificate of Return.

He said it was not a surprise that he came for the certificate as the PDP guidelines for Edo 2024 governorship primary had approved February 28 for the issuance of the certificate.

“Why I am here is to obey the guidelines to come and receive the Certificate of Return and I was told that somebody else came yesterday and was given the certificate.

“I think the court will tell between us who is the real candidate, but I am here in fulfillment of the electoral guidelines of the PDP to receive my certificate.

“I have a document here where those that conducted the primary submitted same to the office of the National Organising Secretary. From this document, you will see the mess that took place in Edo.

“This primary cannot be put aside. I am ready for us to correct the abnormalities in the party’s internal democracy because that is the beginning of the sustenance of democracy in the country.”

According to him, if the party does not get it right, the foundation of democracy is already being threatened.

“We will not fold our hands and watch what we laboured for being destroyed. Some people died in the process,’’ he said.

Shaibu, who alleged that the party’s primary was compromised from the onset, demanding that all observed abnormalities must be corrected.

He also alleged that those who conducted his faction’s primary election submitted its report but were being threatened to re-write another report.

“This is a committee that was put together by the NWC. If the PDP is serious and ready to win Edo, they must do what is right.

“I am telling our members in Edo not to be worried; we will get to the promised land.

“Edo will be the place where we will reset how internal democracy can be strengthened so that the foundation of democracy is not destroyed,’’ he said.

Shaibu said he had earlier informed party leaders that he would go for his Certificate of Return, but was surprised that none of them was in the office except secretariat staff.

“I don’t know why they are not here. That is strange,’’ he said.

Shaibu said he would have no option than to go to court if the party leaders refuse to issue him the Certificate of Return as the party‘s candidate.

According to him, if the party internal mechanism is followed, there will not be need to go to court.

“But, if the party is not ready to listen, the next line of action will be the judiciary, but I pray we don’t get there and that is why I came here today,’’ he said.

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