The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has recognized candidates produced by the Dan Orbih faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as qualified standard bearers of the party in the forthcoming 2023 elections.
Recall that the party has been engulfed in supremacy battle between Governor Godwin Obaseki’s faction and the faction led by the party National Vice Chairman South South, Dan Orbih, leading to the conduct of parallel primaries in May this year.
The parallel primaries resulted in litigations and a high court ruling recognized those that emerged from Orbih’s faction primaries. However, Obaseki-led camp had appealed the judgement and the matter is now before the Court of Appeal.
The state party chairman, Tony Aziegbemi, had in August presented certificate of return to those that emerged winner from the governor’s faction primaries.
Our reporter who visited the INEC office in Benin, observed that the INEC had pasted a comprehensive list on its notice board and all the PDP candidates on the list were the winners who emerged from the primaries conducted by the Orbih’s faction.
We also observed that the pasted list reads court order.
Responding, the state party chairman, Aziegbemi, said there is no issue about the list as the candidates are still in court.
“They are still in court up to the Supreme Court. So INEC is obeying the first court order which they (Orbih’s faction) got, which is fine. So we are awaiting the case to progress to logical conclusion before we know exactly where we stand.”
But as we speak, we are one PDP, we are good and there is nothing to be agitated about. The electoral process allowed for litigation and until the conclusion of that option that is available to every body, there is nothing to be agitated about
“We should not forget we are one PDP and one big family, so we should all wait until the highest court in the land gives the final verdict”
On his part, the state party’s secretary, Hillary Otsu, said the list released by INEC is the state’s authentic list.
“Yes, that is the authentic list and that is the candidates of the party’s primaries monitored by INEC and we don’t have any objection to it,” he said.