A dangerous crisis has hit the Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party  (PDP) over alleged non-disbursement of funds made available to the chapter for last Wednesday’s presidential campaign rally in the state. Youths, numbering over 200, stormed the party’s secretariat along Sapele road in Benin City and sealed it up to protest the failure of the party leadership to pay them for their presence at the Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, venue of the campaign rally.
The youths, under the auspices of Grassroots Youth Initiative (GYI), caused heavy traffic on the highway, as they blocked the party’s gate, demanding for their share of the N1.2bn provided for the rally by the presidency.
The protesters took to the streets after they allegedly refused the N20,000 offered to them by PDP leaders. They specifically mentioned the Edo State Director General of President Jonathan Campaign Organization, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, as being responsible for keeping the money meant for them. The youths carried placards bearing inscriptions, such as “PDP pay us our money” and “Our youth must grow”. The National President of GYI, Osarobo Idahosa, said he was part of the campaign planning committee in the state, but was surprised that only N20,000 was given to him to pay thousands of youths mobilized for the rally. Idahosa said he personally mobilised youths to the stadium, but was not paid any money.
Another protester, who gave his name as Cromwell Aigbona, said, “It is a new time and a new dawn. It is time our leaders recognized that there are youths in the state. We will not be used and dumped. The time has come for the youth to say no to use and dump. We want transparency. “Our money has not been given to us. That is why we are here. We want to tell the leaders of PDP that we want to move on.”
A PDP leader, who pleaded anonymity, alleged that the protest was sponsored by a former governorship candidate of the party and founder of Goodluck to Goodluck, Gen Charles Airhiavbere. He said, “The money was shared to all the leaders. Ize-Iyamu is not concerned about this money. This protest is because of one person within the party. Airhiavbere paid and sponsored this protest,” he alleged.
However, while reacting to the allegation, Airhiavbere said, “It is not true. They should address their problems.” Pastor Ize-Iyamu, however, accused the All Progressive Congress (APC) for sponsoring the protest because of the crowd that attended the presidential rally.
Edo PDP is seeking to disparage and distract Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State. The PDP is hypocritical, “PDP is behaving like the Roman emperor, Nero, who fiddled while Rome burned. A ruling party bogged down by a monumental internal crisis that has now torn its tattered umbrella to shreds. “There is failure of governance at the centre in Abuja, killing of innocent Nigerians and widespread insecurity in the land and the PDP is wasting the time it doesn’t have to peddle lies against an acknowledged state builder like Adams Oshiomhole”.
The PDP’s allegation against Oshiomhole of sponsoring last Friday protest over the sharing formular of N1.2 billion naira Edo Jonathan Rally as illogical, if the PDP could not organize a simple rally in the state and instead hired people both from Edo and other neigbouring states like Delta, Ondo, Anambra and others despite being in control of the paraphernalia of state power, including the police, it should not have expected any miracle from its rented crowd. PDP should stop blaming Oshiomhole over their rally crisis.
Edo  Peoples Democratic party (PDP) should not blame Oshiomhole over the crisis from  presidential campaign rally in Benin city, the Edo state capital. Do not blame Oshiomhole over the aggrieved PDP youths under the aegis of Grassroot Youths Initiative (GYI) that staged a peaceful protest against the state leadership of the party over alleged diversion of the presidential largesse meant for the youths by a party leader and campaign coordinator of the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ) campaign organisation in the state.
Do not blame Oshiomhole for over one hundred youths which  brandished various placards and took their protest to the state secretariat of the party barricaded the Benin -Sapele -Warri express road, thereby restricting human and vehicular movement on the busy Benin road for several hours.
Do not blame Oshiomhole over President Grassroot Youths Initiative (GYI), Osarobo Idahosa who said the youths of the state have been defrauded by a party leader who denied them of their pay from the presidential campaign largesse voted for the youths and vowed to work against the party if the money is not made available to them.
Do not blame Oshiomhole over what the youths said that the act was a slap on the face of Edo youths, and that it could threaten the victory of the party at the February 14th general election “few days from now is the February 14th election and if the leadership of PDP fails to do the needful before the election day, the youths of the state will ensure the party fails because what we are saying is no to what we are sensing. Do not blame Oshiomhole.
Inwalomhe Donald, Public Affairs analyst writes from Benin City.