By Mohammed Yabagi.
A former member of Kogi State House of Assembly who is a also a former SSA on tourism to the immediate past administration of Captain Idris Wada, Hon Philip Olusesan Orebiyi has said he left the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) because of the way the national headquarters has continued to intervene in matters concerning the party at the state level, with the last primary election that produced Senator Dino Melaye as the last straw that propelled his decision.
The foundation member of the party in the state said such persons are demarketing the opposition and making light sacrifices they have made for the party in the state over the years.
Hon Orebiyi who made the revelation in an interview with our reporter in Lokoja, particularly mentioned his decision to get close to the government in power to attract dividends of democracy to Yagba Federal Constituency, the constituency he hails from.
The former lawmaker revealed that his political agitation has always been about attracting the development to his people.
He went down memory lane to emphasize how Senator Tunde Ogbeha was magnanimous in allowing the Okun area of the district to take over after his eight years of two terms and expected Senator Smart Adeyemi to also relinquish the position when he completed his own two tenure for it to get to Yagba, which propped up Senator Dino Melaye through a manipulated process.
In particular, he mentioned how Senator Melaye had skimmed his way to deny his wife kinsman from Yagba, Hon Samuel Aro from contesting the primaries in 2015 on the excuse of a phantom EFCC case, noting that it has been the stock in trade of the current PDP gubernatorial candidate.
In his words, “The PDP agreed on consessus convention where party leaders at Local Government levels would sit down and decide who emerges from each ward and we all sat down to work out the quality of persons to select because there is an error being made by those who go to conventions as delegates. They go there because of the money they would be paid to sell their mandate rather than concentrating on who is better fit for the position being contested.
“So, it was an aberration for the original information not to be entered into the forms that were brought for the convention and for the chairman sent from the National Secretariat, Senator Abdul Ningi to have abruptly left for Abuja.
“It was later we got to understand that the delegates’ list was changed because it was alleged that the presidential candidate of the party instructed that 60% advantage should be given to Senator Dino, which is not fair.”
He also mentioned the continued efforts to attract development to Yagba, and particularly mentioned the sorry state of their roads and other infrastructure as the reason he and other well meaning politicians need to get close to the ruling party and government to attract development to their people.
While expressing optimism about the chances of the APC to retain power in the November governorship election in the state, he emphasised the need for the party’s stakeholders to close ranks and work together, even though he admitted that a thirs force would emerge by the victue of the number in Kogi East.