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Edo 2024 : Major Political Parties Battle For Reconciliation As Campaign Set To Begin

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By Our Correspondent

The battle over who succeeds Governor Godwin Obaseki after two terms in office is becoming fierce and intense.
Seventeen political parties are set for campaign to shore up the chances of their candidates for the September poll.

Whereas it is in certain political circles that the election is a two-horse race, the Labour Party and its candidate, Mr Olumide Akpata claim they are determined to upstage the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the main opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) from the Government House, Benin City.

Meanwhile, the APC seems to have resolved the internal crisis brought about by the outcome of primary. The PDP is involved in brisk moves to achieve a similar feat shortly, notwithstanding the issues thrown up by the recent impeachment of Philip Shaibu, the hitherto deputy governor of the state. The decision to impeach Shaibu by the Edo State House of Assembly at plenary followed the adoption of the report of a seven-member panel set up by the Edo State Chief Judge to investigate the allegations of misconduct levelled against him by the House.
Governor Obaseki swiftly appointed Mr Godwin Omobayo as the new deputy governor. The choice came too sudden to some PDP chieftains, particularly those from Edo North, as they were still hoping for reconciliation with the party faction led by Chief Dan Orbih. The new deputy governor was the LP candidate during the 2023 National Assembly election for the Akoko-Edo Federal Constituency. Although he lost the election to the incumbent House of Representatives member, Honourable Peter Akpatason, many political observers believed Godwin Omobayo made a solid political statement during the election owing to the factor of the presidential candidate of LP, Mr Peter Obi’s factor in the general election. So, some PDP members argue that there are competent and experienced PDP members in Akoko-Edo and Edo North Senatorial District, who could have been chosen instead. One of such members of the PDP in Etsako, who belongs to such school of thought is Honourable Hassan Umoru. He says the action of the governor was hasty as the area has a poll of other qualified and experienced individuals that could fill the void left by the impeachment of Shaibu.

With respect to the PDP candidates for the coming election, Dr Asue Ighodalo is generally perceived as a man with proven track records in many human endeavours. According to most observers, he is fit for the job of developing Edo and redefining governance. That is one of the reasons for the call by some individuals and groups for reconciliation in PDP, especially the imperative to broker peace with the Orbih-led faction in order to have formidable support for the party candidate. The view is that such reconciliation will reposition the PDP towards securing sizeable votes in the Edo North Senatorial zone. There are speculations about plans by a former governor of the state and current senator representing the district, Senator Adams Oshiomhole to erect a bridge of understanding and cooperation with Chief Dan Orbih.

However, other analysts believe that with the appointment of Godwin, a native of Akoko-Edo Local Government Area as the deputy governor, the local government area is sure win for the PDP. They argue that the new deputy governor is popular among his people, hence he will be pulling bloc votes for the PDP in the election. Therefore, the September poll is seen as an acid test for both Shaibu and Omobayo in Edo North.

In the meantime, some analysts point to the situation that played out during the 2023 presidential and National Assembly Election in Edo, where the Labour Party and its candidates made serious incursions into the politics of the state. But, other pundits contend that there are many aggrieved politicians in Edo North after the general election and the recent conduct of governorship primaries by the political parties.

Furthermore, candidates of the PDP and APC in the forthcoming election are from Edo Central and the implication is that the poll will be fiercely contested by Ighodalo (PDP) and Senator Monday Okpebholo of the APC. Who carries the day? Will the votes be split without an outright victory for a particular party? This is where the PDP former governorship aspirants, Chief Felix Akhabue (otherwise known as Joefel) and Mr Anselm Ojezua might play crucial roles. The presence of the ‘Odumah’ (Lion) of Igueben and the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, High Chief Tom Ikimi, is bound to be a big boost for the PDP and its candidate in the election in Edo Central. This is notwithstanding the expected contributions from Mr Akhere Ogbesia, Prince Joe Okojie and others.

But there are still many rivers to cross by PDP, some observers said. They hinged their opinion on the assumption that the APC candidate, Okpebholo, is the adopted political son of late popular politician, Chief Tony Anenih. However, a former House of Representatives member and daughter of the Esama of Benin, Mr Omosede Igbinedion is one of the few PDP chieftains with large followers in Ovia Federal constituency and beyond. She is capable of delivering bloc votes in Ovia for the PDP. But speculations were rife that she could go into an alliance with the incumbent Ovia Federal Constituency House of Representatives member and APC deputy governorship candidate, Honourable Dennis Idahosa. If it comes true, an alliance between Dennis Idahosa and Omosede Igbinedion could pose a nut to crack in Ovia. Also, the potent force is Honourable Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama. He is a foundation member of the PDP.

Global News Network Correspondent
Global News Network Correspondenthttps://globalnewsnetwork.com.ng
GNN is a News blog based in Nigeria to educate, inform and Analyse issues of interest like Politics, Health, Solid Minerals, Energy and Power, Transportation, Defence and Security, Sports and Entertainment to our teeming audience. Stories are generated by seasoned veteran Editors and Journalists. We Say It As It Is.

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