Remember Mrs. Ifijeh? The widow who earned the ire and curse of a governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, as he then was, for hawking her wares across the newly contracted walkways on Mission road, Benin City, Edo state Capital. She became popular in the mad shout of a Governor – “Go and die” !!. She became
Remember Mrs. Ifijeh? The widow who earned the ire and curse of a governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, as he then was, for hawking her wares across the newly contracted walkways on Mission road, Benin City, Edo state Capital.
She became popular in the mad shout of a Governor – “Go and die” !!. She became the testing waters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in opposition response to political Social action.
With her wares seized by Oshiomhole’s task force team and flung into a waiting truck by the governor’s entourage and with an uncertain future – The PDP decided in a most magnanimous gesture to accommodate and uplift Mrs. Ifijeh Blessing who despite pleading for mercy, forgiveness was to suffer more humiliation from Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s team.
Reacting to the denigrating event, and waiting to use Mrs. Ifijeh as a template, in 2013, the PDP moved to include widows and vulnerable persons in its charity moves.
Of course, partisan onlookers and political parties would scoff at PDP moves regarding them as gratitutious and self serving. But, not so said Edo state PDP Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih who averred that being in opposition provides a space for an eagle eye for introspection and developing intervention schemes.
For Chief Orbih, it was not a Media hype, but a systematic development of a political party, especially one in opposition that need not to wait to be in power to provide for vulnerable members of society.
The bold moves by the PDP in charity handouts to widows and vulnerable persons was almost scuttled by Oshiomhole who saw in the PDP acts as targeting him and bringing him not only to disrepute; But that the after effects sour taste of the “Go and die” curse on a widow could hamper the influence of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
This, Adams Oshiomhole did by inviting Mrs. Ifijeh in an aft of remors, to a cup of coffee in his office and later appointed her as a Senior Special Assistant on street trading.
Unfazed, the PDP has decided to raise the lor and the ante, said Chief Dan Orbih, the shrinking democratic space, wild scale poverty inflicted on the masses by the current ruling party both at the Centre and in Edo state, affords his party the avenue to impact in the society and reveal the PDP not only as a caring party, but a worthy alternative.
Speaking further, the PDP, Edo state Chairman said – “Political parties apart from contesting elections, must be proactive and imaginative, while in opposition as it is done in developed democracies”.
He added: “You cannot expect miracles when there is no action. Political parties must be prepared to do what is right for the benefit of the majority”.
In a self-evidence way, the Chairman concluded by saying – when an elected government is able to meet up their campaign promises, the opposition will have nothing to say. But here, we are in a deep mess by the APC. We are not criticising for criticism sake, we will applaud the government where they have done well”. On a final note, he asked rhetorically!! “Have they?”.
To answer his question and to put action to their words, on Thursday March 16, 2018, the PDP in another philanthropic gesture, uplifted Mrs. Ruth Efosa Omoregie, who became a widow following the murder of her husband by nomadic herdsmen at Oben Community, Orhionwmon Local Government Area of Edo state. For her and her six Children, there was a package of N200, 000.00 (Two hundred Thousand naira).
The PDP has thus made social impact philanthropy a new way to provide viable opposition and as a way of political service. These gestures must count in the present prevailing hardships. Aside support of widows, the PDP is into annual feeding and empowerment programme for widows.
The donations to Mrs. Omoregie was on the occasion of the party’s Democracy Lecture Series which was yet another social act. To underline it as a social service, the Lecture’s theme was on “The herdsmen menace in Edo state” – a real social concern. With all these, is anyone in doubt that the PDP has finally got its Mojo working?.