Edo PDP group demands suspension of leaders over ad hoc congress

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A group, Concerned Agbazilo Youth of the Peoples Democratic Party in Edo State, on Thursday, demanded the suspension of the Member of the State House of Assembly representing Constituency II, Esan North-East, Emma Okoduwa, and a party chieftain, Joe Okojie, for allegedly conniving to change the original three-man ad hoc delegates list that emanated from the zone.

In a letter titled, ‘Illegal Substitution of Ad Hoc List: We Call for the Suspension of Emma Okoduwa and Joe Okojie from the Party ,’ dated May 5, 2022, and addressed to the Senatorial Chairman, the group stated that the authentic delegates from the ad hoc congress be reinstated or the exercise be cancelled.

The letter was signed by the convener of the group, Okokhere Saturday, and a member of the group, Joel Obhiokharlen.

Agbazilo covers the 11 Wards in the Esan North-East and 10 Wards in the Esan South-East Local Governments Areas in the Edo Central Senatorial District.

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The letter partly read, “On Saturday, April 30, 2022, we came out in our numbers across all the wards in the Esan North-East and Esan South-East Local Government Areas to elect the three-man ad hoc delegates.

“The exercise went peacefully, and the representatives of the Independent National Electoral Commission monitored the process and authenticated the list of successful delegates in every ward.

“The party officers deployed to our areas were given the results of the exercise for onward delivery to the election committee deployed by the National Headquarters of our party.

“To our dismay, and less than 48 hours after the Congress, news filtered in that the electoral committee had returned to Abuja and submitted a totally different list from the outcome of the Congress in Agbazilo and other areas of Edo State.

“Upon our investigation, we discovered the information to be accurate; and our further probe into what transpired revealed that Messrs Emma Okoduwa and Joe Okojie were the architects of a different list of delegates from Agbazilo.

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“Curiously, most of the names of delegates in the fake list submitted to the Wadata House in Abuja are not in the PDP register.

“We request that it is either the authentic delegates from the ad hoc congress are reinstated, or the exercise is cancelled.”

Speaking to The PUNCH, however, Okodua described the group as faceless and only trying to see what it could get from the political space.

He stated that people should be wary of groups like this who are only out to rock the political boat. He also stated that at times like this, groups would spring up to pursue what they could get.

He said, “The public should be careful and know that faceless groups like this one spring up at times like this for their own interest. The people must be wary of their action.

Also, Okojie, who said he was taken aback by the the group’s claim, said he had nothing to do with substitution of elected delegates.

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Okojie said, “We were all at home on Saturday, the elections were conducted and the returning officers took the results to Benin. I am not a returning officer and I don’t have power to do what they are claiming.

“I think they are a bunch of mischievous youths who are bent on unsettling the polity,” he added.

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