EDO PDP: DAN ORBIH AND ISSUES OF LEGITIMACY AND CREDIBILITY
he factional leader of Edo State PDP, Dan Orbih, recently exhibited some troubling psychological symptoms of the presumed captain of an irreversibly floundering ship heading into perdition –he appeared before the media in Benin-City a few days ago with incoherent and unsubstantiated allegations against the APC-led government .Curiously, Dan Orbih refused to answer probing media questions on the validity of the spurious documents that he was displaying as evidence for the financial and other allegations he made at the press conference. Some media watchers in the Edo State capital were surprised by the strange conduct of Dan Orbih regarding the concocted tales that he delivered at the media forum.
However, those who are familiar with the political antecedents of the illegitimate and self-acclaimed PDP leader engage in a more contextual perspective on the matter. Orbih’s so-called press conference is a desperate, almost maniacal reaction to the current state of the PDP in the state. His appearance was aimed at diverting attention from the real situation in the crumbling structure over which he now presides. Orbih’s miserable faction has irretrievably descended into panic just as the party is failing in its journey to sabotage the will of Edo people at the on-going Election Tribunal. The duo of Ize-Iyamu, the supposed governorship flag bearer in the 2016 election and the so-called state party chairman, Dan Orbih, are on the last lap of their hallucinatory political misadventure. The aroma of the dubious narrative of ’’ reclaiming the victory from APC’’ is rapidly dissipating .PDP members are fleeing in opposite directions from Dan Orbih and Ize-Iyamu. The party can hardly find even ‘’ rented’’ crowds to escort the PDP to the Election Petition Tribunal. The putrid smell of the second defeat for the PDP is rising and no one wants to be in the vicinity of the stench. This is the scenario of irreversible decline besieging the PDP in Edo State today and certainly the reason why Dan Orbih has recently relapsed into fits of tantrums and thereby attempting a smear campaign against the government.
Both of these characters, Dan Orbih and Ize-Iyamu are losing terribly in every arena. The rousing theatre that they had hoped to create by going to the Election Tribunal has proved to be a remarkable flop- the vaunted charges by the PDP of rigged elections are fizzling under serious scrutiny. Most of the witnesses presented by PDP have either been embarrassingly incoherent or absolutely lacking in credibility. In another front, the larger interpretation of the recent Court of Appeal Ruling in Port Harcourt effectively makes it illegal for Dan Orbih to parade himself as the chairman of Edo PDP. Apart from the fact that Dan Orbih and Ize-Iyamu were vehemently opposed to the victorious Modu Sherrif’s leadership, Dan Orbih was never at any time considered a democratic fair choice by most Edo PDP members as Chairman. Dan Orbih was seen as a fraudulent product of Ize-Iyamu’s machination for the purpose of his (Iyamu) emergence at the 2016 governorship primary ‘’ selection ‘’.
It cannot be forgotten in all of these situations that Dan Orbih was the then chairman of PDP when Ize-Iyamu allegedly took delivery of nearly one-billion naira supposedly for the party’s electioneering services in 2015. Ize-Iyamu later testified before the EFCC that he had made straight with the bullion van from the bank where he collected the money to the house of an undisclosed ‘’ party leader’’. It was from the unnamed party leaders’ house that the approximate billion naira lifted from the questionable sources was distributed. It is time for Dan Orbih to publicly respond to the unsettled question as to whether he is the ‘’ unnamed leader’’ being referred to by Ize-Iyamu in the billion naira scandal? Could or should it be assumed that some unholy alliance was struck between Ize-Iyamu and Dan Orbih in the sharing of the one-billion naira booty? Are these some of the legitimate grounds for which some members of the PDP are clamoring for the surgical probe of Dan Orbih regarding the financial affairs of the party?
Dan Orbih has always been an electoral liability as he has never delivered his unit or ward to the party he supposedly leads. Not in any of the election in recent memory has the so-called chairman actually leveraged the political weight in the equivalence of his boisterous sounding title of the” Kulukulu 1 ‘’to score victory in his Etsako constituency. Dan Orbih is widely mocked by his party members as a clownish character- he’s disdainfully disregarded as a chairman who roars like a lion before every election but sneaks out of the front lines like a domesticated feline after repeated failures. Or is Dan Orbih characteristically loud-mouthed without much substance? Is Dan Orbih’s nature inextricably mired in falsehoods, fabrications and tragic drama? Was Dan Orbih therefore acting his signature theatrical character when he recently levied a set of outlandish charges without a shred of authentic evidence against the Edo State government?
But should a character like, Dan Orbih, who is irredeemably sunk in the culture of impunity understand issues of probity in government? The disgraced factional PDP leader cannot appreciate the essence of thorough vetting of candidates for top government appointments, so Dan Orbih cries foul for the absence of a list of commissioners within 100 days of Governor Obaseki’s government. The only experience that the PDP fellow has about governance is his intimate association with the abysmally unsuccessful PDP administration, an era of unbridled corruption; a period often referred to in contemporary history as Edo’s years in the wilderness. This was the era when all the major valuable assets and the choice patrimony of Edo people were looted, from the then Bendel Brewery to Edo Transport Line and Okpilla Cement Factory, the intimate political associates of Dan Orbih brazenly ravished , robbed and raped the state of some of its core revenue generating enterprises. Is this the kind of experience from which Dan Orbih wants to give counsel to Governor Obaseki?
Edo people may forgive but will not forget-they have a clear recollection that Dan Orbih’s leadership circle was centrally linked to the despicable racket of unimaginable contract inflation, gross violation of all bureaucratic and ethical procedures for job procurement and payments for unexecuted contracts under the PDP administration. It is therefore tantamount to the zenith of hubris and impunity for Dan Orbih to mount the pulpit and seek to lecture any government on matters of probity.
If Dan Orbih were to ever gain a modicum of credibility, he should stop being evasive and boldly come forward to answer questions from the journalists who are searching for him in Benin-City for clarity to his press conference and authentication of the spurious documents he flashed as evidence for his allegations. No diversionary drama can heal the self-inflicted wounds of the PDP, the governorship victory of September 28th 2016 is the historic verdict of the people and, the train of Edo State’s progress will zoom through all obstacles to reach its destined location without delays.