Edo state is one of the mightiest and most highly influential states in the South-South, Nigeria. Its historical and political legendary in the zone is paramount. Benin, a city that stands as a foremost destination of Europeans during their exploration of the African continent many centuries ago, has been the heart of the state. It is estimated that the population of the entire state is approximately eight million which is made up of three major ethnic groups; namely Edo (Binis), Esan and Afemai (Owan/Etsako) with Akoko Edo. However, the cosmopolitan tendencies of the state make people from different spheres of Nigeria and the world at large come for tourism or for business settlement.
With the coming of its governorship election 2020, politicians have turned the state into a political war zone. Oppositions, rivalries, wailing and mayhem have taken over the control of the state in its all nooks and crannies. There is no doubt that Edo state modern politics starts to tremble amidst this political emancipation.
The recent fracas between its political gladiators has caused many noises among Nigerians, particularly the politicians, Edo elders forum, political analysts and even the party members. The genesis of its problem could be traced back November 12th, 2008 when Adams Oshiomhole, the former president of the Nigeria Labour Congress, was declared winner as an executive governor of Edo state, following his victory over Osunbor of the People’s Democratic Party. His victory came as a result of a court’s nullification of 2008 gubernatorial election in the state due to some irregularities.
Since then, Oshiomhole continued to ran the office of Edo state government for two good tenures from 2008-2016. Immediately after his second tenure, Adams Oshiomhole nominated Godwin Obaseki to be his predecessor under the party platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
On June 23rd, 2018 when Oshiomhole emerged as the National chairman of the All Progressive Congress in the country, following a voice vote by his party delegates at the party national convention. He became untouchable alpha and omega among the mighty godfathers whose words were feared and obeyed without any second thought.
Henceforth, his predecessor, governor Obaseki, who was once a die-heart political ally, metamorphoses into a political foe. Their intimacy becomes history and the cordial relationship between the two runs into muddy waters. It doesn’t need any interpretation of a soothsayer to understand how the two musketeers outrageously exchanges invective between themselves. Their political sycophants are at a dagger-draw, causing many destruction to their political reputations. This clearly goes with the saying “politics is a game of interest to who ever played it “.
Obaseki, been a former pioneer chairman of Edo state Economic and Strategy Team on March, 2009 and an executive Board Members of several private companies as well as a founding Secretary of U.S-based Africa Chamber of Commerce, made him on September 2016 contested and won a gubernatorial election with full support from his godfather, Adams Oshiomhole.
Obaseki, as reported by Vanguard, was tagged as “Wake and See Governor “. This is to fact that, he prefers working and delivering infrastructural projects without prior fanfare or needless rhetoric. He brings many capital projects such as buildings, roads, schools and many more under his watch. He champions a number of policy reforms that saw the state restructure, its public finance, secure funding for infrastructure. More so, he improves the business environment to attracts investments in power, agriculture and other critical sectors.
On October 2019, Obaseki publicly declared his interest to contest for a second term in the state gubernatorial election coming up in 2020, stating that his reelection is nonnegotiable. As a result of a clash of interest between him and Oshiomhole, Obaseki was controversially disqualified from contesting in the APC primary election by the screening committee due to his disagreement with the national chairman of the party and his predecessor in office Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
However, stating the reason of his qualification, the committee said that it was as a result of inconsistency in Obaseki’s name in the national youth service certificate; some letters are said to be missed. Though, political analysts argue that the denial is a deliberate attempt to refuse him from contesting by Adams Oshiomhole. This, on June 16th 2020 necessitates Obaseki to resign his membership from the party (APC) and decamped to PDP in an effort to seek for reelection on the party platform.
While on the other hand, on November 12th,2019, Adams Oshiomhole was suspended from the party after 18 local government chairmen of the party in his native state of Edo passed a vote of no confidence on him. He was accused of trying to disintegrate the party in the state. Notwithstanding, on March 4th, 2020 a High Court sitting in Abuja ordered the the suspension of Oshiomhole from office of the National Chairman of the APC that having been suspended, he was no longer a member and could not possibly continue to discharge his official responsibilitiesas the national chairman.
When Obaseki was disqualified, APC nominated Osagie Ize-Iyamu to run as a party flag bearer for Edo gubernatorial election 2020. Ize-Iyamu’s victory came after he polled 27,838 votes, while his closest rival, Dr Pills Odubu, scored 3,776. The chairman of the APC primary election committee and Imo state governor, Uzodinma, further said that the election was a formality in accordance with the guidelines of
Independent National Electorate Commission.
Ize-Iyamu is a Nigerian pastor, a legal practitioner and a politician. He was a former chief of staff and secretary of the Edo state government. He was also the gubernatorial candidate of Edo state people’s Democratic Party (PDP) for 2016 when Obaseki was contesting in APC. He served as Director General of Adams Oshiomhole’s 2nd term campaign organisation.
Somewhere around June 26th, 2020. Politic Digest, an online media house, reported that some notable leaders of Edo Elders Forum (EEF) issued a statement condemning APC captains for allegedly organising political violence near the palace of the Oba of Benin on Saturday. In a meeting in Benin, the leaders sticked to remain firm in their condemnation to Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and Gani Audu. They also appealed to the youths in the state not to allow themselves to be used by frustrated politicians to cause disorder that could derial the electoral process.
The elders from the eighteen local government areas also advice Ize-Iyamu of APC to clear himself of the corruption charges by the anti-graft agencies in the country. ” There had been a lot of questions about his past records and he should be ashamed that his name is mentioned in relation to corruption, of wrong doings and improper behaviour in the country. He has to claim responsibility for his past actions and seek forgiveness from the good people of Edo state “.
Who deserves the mantle of governorship seat in Edo state?
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Those who predict the next Edo state governorship winner by indicating the percentage or the number of votes far each local government and the entire state would be given a good promo of 100,000. GIVE A TRY!