The recent distribution of Toyota Sienna cars to some leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) , including non PDP members in the Orlu/Orsu, Oru East federal constituency by their representative in the Federal House of Representative, Chief Jerry Alagboso, in his desperate bid to remain in office beyond 2019, is almost tearing the party apart in the area.
According to reports, some political leaders in the area, who felt by virtue of their clout and contributions to his emergence as the party’s candidate and ultimate victory in the 2015 elections, should benefit from the larges are aggrieved and disappointed that they were denied the gesture.
Some of them who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “we stood by him when the ticket was given to his rival after the primaries, until he went to Abuja to solicit the assistance of President Goodluck Jonathan and other PDP stalwarts who facilitated the reversal of the result of the primaries and later gave him the ticket. The man who was initially given the party’s ticket went to court, but died in the course of the litigation. The most annoying aspect of it is that some members of opposition political parties benefited from the car gifts, including those who were not only opposed to his ambition but did everything possible to frustrate it while we that fought for him were left out”.
They also expressed worry and betrayal of trust that few of them who agreed and insisted that the legislator should not go for a third term are now singing different tunes because they have been swayed by the car gifts.
However, some beneficiaries of the car gifts who confided in this reporter, thanked the legislator for giving them the cars, but stressed that it is not enough to change their stand against the legislator’s third term bid. “After all, inspite of all we did for him, he has not gotten back to us since he emerged in 2015. Though we did not request for these cars, we believe they are rewards for our past efforts, especially for those of us who staked our all. If he is really keen on getting our support for 2019, he should bring more choice cars. It is however our resolve that his request for a third term is not only morally wrong but against the principles of equity, justice, and fairness”.
It will be recalled that Chief Alagboso, the retired custom boss turned federal legislator, in a bid to lure party leaders and stakeholders in his constituency to support and key into his third term bid, recently distributed a total of 18 Toyota Sienna cars to non party officials, six to each of the 3 local government areas in the federal constituency. Similarly, he donated cars to chairmen and secretaries of the party in his constituency during declaration recently.
Surprisenly,the action which he felt will pave the way for him, has turned out to be his albatross as it has created animosity, bickering and truncated the much needed peace, unity and internal cohesion in the party, as those who feel neglected and unappreciated are plotting his abysmal failure and humiliation.
One Deacon Elias Dikeigbo who also expressed disappointment at Alagboso’s actions said, “as the security coordinator in Orlu LGA, I protected Hon Alagboso’s votes in 2011 and has been working for him since then. But regrettably, he has not shown any form of appreciation. He is now appreciating those who fought us and vehemently stood against his ambition then. If he thinks that his money and the Sienna cars will buy him the ticket, he is in for a very big disappointment. I am a committed member of the PDP, but if Alagboso is given the party’s ticket, I will support and work for another party’s candidate”.
From all indications, Hon. Jerry Alagbaso who is said to be of a thick skin and has hardly given a dam to such criticism is presently very troubled as his gesture, borne out of his bid to remain in power beyond 2 terms has heated up the polity, polarized the party and may likely result in very unpleasant circumstances for him.