Open letter to PDP national leadership

I hope this letter finds you well. My name is Austin Odigie, also called Austin Navy. I have served the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, diligently over the years. As an ex-officio of the PDP in Oredo local government area, Edo state, and a former senior special assistant to the governor, I have always been committed to the ideals of the party.

However, it is with great concern that I write to bring to your attention the desperate actions carried out by Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state against supporters of other aspirants during the three delegate ward congress across the state. It is disheartening to witness the length to which the governor is going to suppress opposition within our own party and intimidate those who do not support his preferred candidate, Mr. Asuen Ighodaro.

During the various local government area (LGA) ward delegate congresses, supporters of governorship aspirants, apart from Asuen Ighodaro, were systematically deprived of access to the venues. It is clear that this was a deliberate attempt to exclude other aspirants’ supporters from participating in the crucial decision-making process.

Furthermore, the governor’s supporters resorted to intimidation tactics against those who did not align with his choice. Security agents were deployed to molest and intimidate these individuals, creating an atmosphere of fear and hostility.

Unfortunately, my family and I also fell victims to this campaign of intimidation. Thugs scaled through my fence, intimidating not only my family but also the tenants residing at my residence. Our privacy was violated, and the safety and well-being of our loved ones were jeopardised.

In light of these, I implore the national leadership of the PDP to address this issue urgently. It is crucial that we uphold the principles of fairness, democracy, and adherence to the rule of law in our party. The actions of the Edo governor go against the very values that the PDP stands for.

As a possible solution, I urge you to invoke the powers vested in the national leadership of the PDP to conduct a thorough investigation into these incidents. Any individual found guilty of instigating violence, intimidating party members, or disrupting the democratic process should face appropriate disciplinary measures.

Moreover, it is essential to provide adequate security for all party members, especially during party congresses and electoral processes. The presence of impartial and professional security agents will help curb such illicit activities and create an environment where all members can freely exercise their democratic rights.

Lastly, I would like to emphasise the need for a level playing field within the party. All aspirants should be given equal opportunities and their supporters should not be subjected to harassment or intimidation. It is only through a fair and transparent internal party process that we can present a united front to the electorate and increase our chances of success in the upcoming governorship election.

I trust in the leadership of the PDP to address this matter promptly and in accordance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended. Let us restore confidence in our party and ensure that our democratic values prevail.

Austin Odigie (Austin Navy),
Ex-officio, PDP, Oredo LGA, Edo state,
former SSA to the governor,
former Ward 08 party chairman for the PDP, Oredo LGA