Election: Edo, Battle Ground Between Two Rival Parties, PDP And APC

Share this

By Suleiman Umaru

More facts have emerged why the political battle for control of the south-south state of Edo in the September 19, 2020, governorship election between the People’s Democratic party , PDP and the All Progressive Congress, APC, is very fierce .

 This is because of the battle for supremacy between  Godwin Obaseki, the state  governor, who incidentally was a former political ally of Adams Oshiomhole,  a Court  sacked National Chairman of the APC. Note that Oshiomhole was a one –time governor of the state.

 Note that the dismissed APC,  National Chairman, was said to have used his political  clout  as  a former governor of the state  to prepare the ground for  Obaseki’s emergence as the governorship Candidate of the party, in the 2016, and subsequent victory in the Independent  National Electoral Commission, INEC, organised election, by beating Osagie Ize-Iyamu, a Pastor and  PDP, Candidate to it.

The relationship between Obaseki and Oshiomhole may have gone sour because of the refusal  of the former to allow his alleged godfather run the Affairs of the  government from Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT. The  relationship may have worsened in the last two years forcing Obaseki to decamp to the Opposition PDP with the  party machinery and paraphernalia of office.

 This may have forced Oshiomhole to look in the direction of Ize-Iyamu, the then PDP, governorship Candidate in the 2016  election  in the state. The former  Edo state governor wants to prove that Obaseki is no threat to him in Edo politics. He wants to sho w Nigerians  that  if he could install Obaseki in 2016 as the Edo sate governor, he will repeat  same  in 2020 by installing Ize-Iyamu, as the next state governor of the state. But Obaseki wants to prove him wrong , describing  him as political  feather weight.

There had been accusations and counter-accusations between the  key  players  in the two major  parties in the state over plot to rig the election . Reall that Obaseki had accused  Oshiomhole and Hosa Okunbo, a retired Naval Captain,  shipping  magnate and Chairman, Marine Solutions Nigeria  Limited , MSNL,  of holding  a secret meeting with thugs and paying them upfront in order to rig the  September 19, 2020, election in favour of Ize-Iyamu, the APC Candidate.

Oshiomhole: Former National Chairman Of APC

Given the fact  that  president Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo including Bola Tinubu, a former  governor of Lagos state and the Party National Leader  do not want  what happened in Rivers, Zamfara and Bayelsa  states in the 2015, general election to repeat itself in Edo, they were said to have endorsed the APC Candidate which had strengthened the resolve of the party Chieftains in the state to win the election at all costs.. They may have taken the bold decision to endorse and support Ize-Iyamu, to avoid division in the party that may give the PDP an edge over the party in the election.

Political  Observers  believe  that  the plot by the two major parties, PDP and APC, to win the election at all costs  may have created political tension  in the state. They  noted  that  the  tension had  been worsened by  the crisis  rocking  the state House of Assembly.

 Recall that Oshiomhole , the APC , former National  Chairman had  camped fourteen of the Lawmakers in Abuja, forcing Obaseki, the  governor, to make a proclamation for the ten  other Lawmakers who turned out to take the Oath of office. He may have  Camped  hem in his Abuja base  with the intention to win their heart in order produce the Principal officers  of the  house and prepare the ground  to  impeach  Obaseki . He go it wrong.

T Oshiomhole may have known that a misstate had been made  that he and his allies had moved to take over the House  with the  approach of the September 19,  governorship  election.  He  was  said to have mobilised the APC leadership to piled up pressure on the governor to make a proclamation for the inauguration of the House

. But Dan Orbih, Edo PDP Chairman Campaign Council, may have dashed the hope of the APC  leaders   to think that the governor  will make another proclamation.  He  was said to have told the APC, political jobbers that’’ once a proclamation  is made by the governor, the law prevents him from making another’’.

Ize-Iamu: APC Governorship Candidate

Aware that  APC  had lost the battle to control the House may have informed  why Tinubu, regarded as the godfather of  south west politics, had accused Obaseki,  who was elected in the 2016 , governorship on the APC ticket  and now the PDP Candidate in the upcoming election  of ’’resorting to the tactics of dictators  o deal with the Edo Assembly Crisis’’. Many believe that the Comment  may  have fueled the tension in the state. 

      Perhaps to prepare the mind of the people of the state to be watchful in order   to forestall the election being hijacked by  the  desperate power hungry APC, Chieftains , Philip Shuaibu, the state deputy  governor and who is also Obaseki  running –mate in PDP, had raised alarm of the  plot ‘’to assassinate  some high profile personalities in the state’.  He    had  claimed  that the state government had received  information through intelligence gathering  that Thugs were in the state noting  that ‘’their assignment  is to assassinate certain known individuals’’. He may have alluded to the fact that those on the mercenaries hit  list are from the ruling PDP in the state.

 The aggrieved Edo state  deputy governor  had said  at a recent press briefing in Benin , the state Capital that the state government  had aleady  communicated  to the Heads of the various security agencies in the state about’’ the activities  of the  thugs and why they are in the state’’.

He may have known that the Heads of the security agencies  are  handicapped  to take major decision  without Abuja interference  that he had  appealed to the Katsina state born Nigerian President and Commander –In- Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,  Chairman, National  Security Council, NSC,  to intervene to save the security   situation of the state  from degenerating.  He was said to have pleaded with the  President   to charge the security agencies personnel in the state ‘’to do their work by tackling the security issues  as the state ‘’is not a theatre of war’’.

Okunbo: Accused With Oshiomhole Of Holding Secret Meeting With Thugs And Paying them Upfront

It is instructive to note that Oshiomhole and his political allies  are determined to deliver Edo state to APC, by employing every known political tactics. This may  have  informed  why Ize-Iyamu, the party governorship Candidate  who flagged- off  his electioneering Campaign had said that he will clear the 18 local government areas of the state during the  election.

The feelers coming out from the troubled Edo state  ahead  of the governorship  election may have sent a warning  signal to the International Community that all is not well with the state for now.  This may have informed why the United States , US, government last Friday through its Embassy  in Abuja, had expressed concern  over the deteriorating Edo  political Climate, stressing that  that ‘’it is disappointed  with the role  played by the key political actors in the state’’.

The North American continent  country  however,, said ‘’it supports  a democratic  process  where the will of the people   is reflected in  the results of an election. The Donald Trump led US,  government  had made it clear  that ’’ it does not   support any party or Candidate in the Edo governorship election.

 Even  Ike Ekweremadu,  a former Deputy Senate President in the 8th National Assembly was said to have advised  the key players of the two major parties, PDP, and APC, to give the people of the state  the opportunity  ‘’to exercise  their Franchise  and elect who they want  as their leader’’.

An angry  Ekweremadu, who could not hide his feelings  had called  on the players irrespective  of the  party affiliation to desist  from any act  that will  threaten the young  Nigerian democracy .’’What is happening   in the Niger  delta  state is an affront  to democracy,  I believe it is not supposed to be so’’, he had said. The former Deputy Senate President ,lamented that ‘’ the issue and attitude  of bringing  in  tugs,  security  men to  come and determine  the will of the people is anti-democracy’’.

Ewuare Ogidgan II, the Oba of Benin, who do  not want to be dragged into the crisis in the state  of either  supporting the PDP Candidate or the  APC Candidate , had told  the people of the state  that the ‘’Palace  does not meddle  into partisan  politics , insisting that he has no Special Candidate   when it comes  to who becomes the governor of  Edo state.

 Recall that the duo, Obaseki, the PDP Candidate and Ize-Iyamu, the APC, Candidate had both  paid courtesy calls to the royal father in his Benin palace in order to receive his royal blessing.     

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *