By G9ija

Moses Uadiale, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for Esan North East Constituency I for the Edo State House of Assembly election in 2023, has protested the substitution of his name.

The candidate registered his protest when he spoke with newsmen in Benin, the Edo State capital, on Sunday.

Uadiale, who claimed to have won the party’s primaries conducted on May 22, 2022, wondered why the party failed to issue him a Certificate of Return along with others.

He alleged that his name was replaced on the list of candidates of the state chapter of the party presented the certificates on Wednesday in Benin.

He urged the party leadership to urgently see to it that he was not deprived of his right.

He said: “I happened to be the candidate-elect for the party and when the nomination forms were given, I was called to come for the form at the secretariat, but on getting there, I discovered my name has been replaced.

“I tried everything possible to get the form, but to no avail.

“I consulted leaders across the state.

“I got in touch with the speaker, state House of Assembly and other members to ensure I got the form.

“I wrote letters through my lawyer to the state chairman, went to his house and begged him to let me know the reason my name was changed.

“When information came that they would present the certificates, I went there hoping that this would have been resolved for the fact that I have consulted a lot of people before, but I discovered the name has been changed.

“They replaced my name with a guy that never contested the primaries.

“I was in (Governor Godwin) Obaseki’s camp.

“He was not part of the process.

“He did not contest the primaries with us but with another faction.

“Unfortunately, he was given the certificate to replace my candidature.

“I asked for the reason, but nobody was ready to explain to me.

“I contested the primary election and won.

“I have my result sheet, I have video clips, I have every document to prove that I was the authentic candidate produced at the primaries.

“I am pleading and appealing to the state chairman because I know him to be a good man.

“He has been piloting the affairs of the party in the state in a way we all appreciate.

“He should not allow himself to be used because it will be unfair for a man like me that has fought for the party to be deprived of my right.”

Uadiale said that he might be forced to seek legal action should the party fail to do the needful.

When contacted, the state party chairman, Dr. Tony Aziegbemi, said the Certificates of Return given out did not emanate from him, but given to him to present.

Aziegbemi said: “Edo PDP does not print Certificates of Return.

“It was given to me and what was given to me was what I gave out.”

The Edo State chapter of the PDP is enmeshed in legal battle over which faction the Independent National Electoral Commission should recognise their candidates.

The party members in the state are polarised between Governor Obaseki and the South South Vice Chairman, Dan Orbih.