Exclusive: Five reasons why Senator Uzamere left the PDP

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– By Tony Osas Okungbowa

The political firmament of Edo state, particularly Edo South, was embroiled in the whirlwind of the dramatic resignation of two term senator of Edo south and gubernatorial hopeful under the People’s Democratic Party, Senator Ehigie Edobor Uzamere who announced his resignation two weeks after the very peaceful and successful PDP state congress that retained the Dan Orbih-led leadership of the PDP.

Many people were thrown into surprise, some saddened, by the unexpected resignation of one of the leaders of thought in Edo south who also has a dog in the fight for 2016 governorship where he hoped to contest the primaries under the PDP. Mr. Ogbeide Ifaluyi-Isibor, a vibrant social media activist and leader of Dynamic Youth of PDP made a post of Facebook expressing his sadness over the resignation of Uzamere whom he described as jovial and personal family friend. Another commentator popularly called 5 Star General, Jessica Amafe, expressed sadness but argued that Senator Uzamere is a honourable man. But the question on the lips of the eulogizers and most Edo people are why Uzamere decided to resign when there was no crisis in the party and at a time when it appears that the PDP was set to defeat the APC in Edo state and thus finally close the south south region of Nigeria as a PDP enclave.

In finding answer to that question on the lips of everyone, Urhokpota Reporters went to town to carry out our usual investigative journalism. Our investigation revealed that there are at least five speculative explanations why Uzamere once again defected from one political party to the other making this the fourth time the politician would be changing parties in his political history .

The first theory why Uzamere left the PDP may be connected with the fact that he has analysed the political temperature in the PDP and noted that he does not stand a chance in the PDP because of the towering influence of the two leading aspirants in the party, one of which he is not. The fact that the plot to remove Dan Orbih failed, it was expected that it was only a matter of time before one or two of the gubernatorial aspirants to quit. Another of the aspirants is expected to announce his resignation or endorsement in April. Uzamere, who is a smart – some say crooked – politician reasons that if he is not going to get the ticket then he is not prepared to spend his money to support another candidate who wins the ticket.

The second theory why Uzamere left the PDP at this time, according to reports available to Urhokpota Reporters, is that he is reported to be disappointed with his fellow Benin politicians who did not show solidarity with his campaign after all that he believed that he did with his time in office.

The third theory why Uzamere left the PDP has to do with his perceived political espionage activities which he had been carrying out for the APC from the very first day he defected back to the PDP. It is believed that Sen Uzamere defected from APC out of personal issues with Oshiomhole and that his heart and family members actually remained in the APC. For two months, Urhokpota Reporters have received reports of secret meetings held in the United States of America where a certain former female senator was approached by Uzamere to help him mediate with Oshiomhole. It was reported that Oshiomhole is still bitter at Uzamere for the perceived betrayal and still regrets trading Ughoghide for Uzamere. The mediating former female senator was said to have appealed to Oshiomhole claiming that in politics numbers is important and that Uzamere coming back to the APC would be a plus because he would damage the PDP cohesion. At the prospect of this, Oshiomhole was said to have given tacit approval provided that Uzamere publicly leaves the PDP and he creates sufficient crisis in the party before he left. Some have suggested that Uzamere may know something about the dramatic petition that sought to create a constitutional crisis for the PDP that is why he would leave when the party came out instead stronger after a remarkably peaceful state congress .

The fourth theory why Uzamere left the PDP, some have suggested, has to do with his lobby for a slot in the federal boards membership allocation bazaar that Buhari is preparing to reward the APC. It is a fact that Buhari is yet to appoint Board Members and also most ambassadors. Only members of the ruling party are eligible to be appointed. Rumour has it that Uzamere has been lobbying the new power house in Edo politics for federal allocation, the Danjuma family for consideration in any federal appointment slot for Edo. As a consideration, he was asked to first come to APC and Oshiomhole who understands the political chess game has been blocking Uzamere in every way. To buttress this point, one only needs to look at the third paragraph in Uzamere personally signed letter of resignation from PDP. He thanked the ACN (that is now defunct, impliedly thanking the APC that stands in the ACN now) which gave him the Senatorial slot. It remains to be seen whether Oshiomhole would accept Uzamere back to the APC after he had failed to achieve a crisis in the PDP and he has actually debatable capital to bring to the APC stable. According to Ogbeide Ifaluyi-Isibor, Uzamere has effectively resigned from politics .

Uzamere's second letter of resignation from a political party in 24 months
Uzamere’s second letter of resignation from a political party in 24 months

The final, but not exhaustive, theory why Uzamere left the PDP has been described as “stomach infrastructure politics” according to an APC former Chief Press Secretary in a local government who spoke on condition of anonymity. It was suggested that the man being shrewd reasoned that he does not actually have the financial war chest to prosecute a gubernatorial election besides being aware that he does not stand a chance to win even if given the ticket on platter of gold because he has limited funds and he is not generally popular as much as the others contenders in both sides of the divide are. In order not to be asked to donate within the PDP he has opted out and hoping to return if eventually the PDP wins and, if Oshiomhole finally okays his APC incoming, he intends to benefit from the sharing largesse of federal appointments that is imminent in the APC.

Ehigie Edobor Uzamere, is an architect from Oredo LGA who became Senator with no prior political experience. He was elected to the National Senate in 2007 representing the Edo South constituency of Edo State for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and later dumped the PDP for the ACN to contest for a second term at the Senate when it appeared to him that the PDP were reviewing their decision to let him fly their ticket. Oshiomhole dumped Matthew Urhoghide to accommodate Uzamere in the ACN. Ughoghide was believed to have been promised the slot for his role in Oshiomhole first term. This led Ughoghide to leave the APC for the PDP and became the party Punlicity Secretary a position he left to contest and win the Senator position in April 2015.

The question on the lips of every Nigerian now is why can the politicians not be models of commitment and loyalty to a cause, even when it did not serve their selfish interest?

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