The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Special Committee in Edo Central senatorial district has adjourned the screening of governorship aspirants from the zone, initially scheduled for Saturday, January 6, 2024.
The decision was reached during the committee’s meeting, which took place on Saturday at the Igueben residence of a national leader of the PDP, High Chief Tom Ikimi.
Among the aspirants present at the meeting were Barrister Anselm Ojiezua, Senator Clifford Ordia, Hon. John Yakubu, Ambassador Martins Uhomoibhi, and Barrister Asue Ighodalo.
In a press statement signed by the Publicity Secretary of the party, Amb. Tony Okonigene, he said High Chief Tom Ikimi, the chairman of the Special Committee, expressed his appreciation to the aspirants for their dedication to the party and the Esan people.
He also read a letter from one of the aspirants, Right Hon. Marcus Onobun, who informed the committee that he had decided to suspend his aspiration and support Barrister Asue Ighodalo instead. It was noted that another aspirant, Hon. Felix Akhabue, also known as Joefel, was absent from the meeting without providing any communication to the committee.
The chairman then requested the aspirants present at the meeting to address the committee regarding the outcomes of their further consultations. Barrister Anselm Ojiezua stated that he was still in the process of consulting and was awaiting the committee’s decision while Hon. John Yakubu expressed his willingness to submit himself to the committee’s conclusion.
Senator Ordia emphasised the need for personal sacrifices in the interest of the party and then surprised the assembly when he suddenly announced his decision to withdraw from the race and support Barrister Ighodalo.
The endorsement of Barr. Ighodalo by Hon. Onobun and Sen. Odia brings to four the number of Edo Central PDP governorship aspirants who have chosen to step down in favour of Ighodalo, a development that significantly bolsters his chances ahead of the PDP’s primaries scheduled for February 3, 2024.
Rt. Hon. Friday Itulah and Hon. Kenneth Ahbulimen had a couple of days earlier announced their withdrawals from the race and had also pledged to support Barr. Ighodalo.
Barrister Asue Ighodalo thanked Hon. Marcus and Sen. Odia for their endorsements, commended the Committee for their personal sacrifices and pledged his continued alignment with them and whatever decision they arrive at.
Barr. Asue Ighodalo, a banker, lawyer, and former chairman of Sterling Bank and Nigerian Breweries, is fast becoming the leading PDP guber aspirant as his campaign gathers popular support within his party despite joining active politics fairly recently.
Ighodalo is set to officially flag off his campaign on January 12, 2024.