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Edo 2024: After Obaseki, It Cannot Be Akpata – Edo State Citizens Assert

  • people shoulc concentrate of voting for the most competent candidate, which is Ighodalo.

Ismail Abdulazeez Mantu Reporting

MUCH of the people who we interviewed in the cause of sampling opinions in the three senatorial districts that make up Edo State stressed that after the eight year tenure of Governor Godwin Obaseki, power cannot be retained in the South senatorial District specifically. Their reasons for the deduction were simply issues of justice, equity and fairness.

Mr Osagie Orobosa, a retired civil servant, who resides in Benin city had this to say: “Politics should not make us loose our sense of reasoning. It is common sense to know that in a heterogenous setting like Edo State, with three major senatorial zones, power should be rotational to give the minorities some sense of belonging. Nor be everything dem dey write for book or tell person, we must use our sense. If all the districts are equal, yes, we can say let us all slug it out, but we are not equally distributed; some are more populated than others. So let us be reasonable. After the eight years of Governor Obaseki from Edo South, it is ideal for us to have it zoned to another area. And from all calculations, you will notice that the Esan people in recent times have been shortchanged. We have the most competent, sellable and electable candidate from Esan as we speak. Dr Asue Ighodalo has all it takes to govern effectively because of his competence, capacity and character. As for Akpata, he should not have contested in the first place. Perhaps he is just introducing himself to the people because of the small change he has. He is our brother, but what is unfair is not good. We must be seen to effect justice, equity and fair play in all our dealing”.

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In Edo Central Senatorial District, we spoke with a lot of persons and they asserted very firmly that power ought to be rotational. Professor Oseghale, who was among those we interviewed, was very firm in his account of where power should go to in this election. “You see, I have taken my time to read comments on the matter of zoning: for and against. Those against it have been disingenuous. They claim zoning whittle down competence, and I disagree with them. No single zone has the monopoly of competent people for elections. The most important thing is for these zones to put forward their best eleven, as it always said, so that the people can have choices to make within the array of these competent people. Unfortunately, the APC have decided to fail themselves in this regard. How on earth can they for whatever reason feature someone like Senator Monday Okpebholo from their ranks where the likes of Mike Onolomenmen, Professor Osunbor, Engineer Ikhine and others went for the same primary? I am yet to be able to wrap my head around the rationale. So for me, even as an APC card carrying member, my support is for Ighodalo who ticks all the boxes. We cannot on the basis of partisan politics or just for the sake of zoning bring out a recluse, someone hiding from the press, someone without any known track record, someone without a known history, someone who is grossly incompetent. And for Akpata, well, he is a good man from the face value but the issue of zoning discounts him from the race completely. We have heard that Obaseki is his relative, and how does he, Akpata think the Edo State electorates will serve his relative for eight years and serve him too? He should have waited to run for a localized election like House of Asembly”.

As for the people of Edo South that were interviewed, most conceded that power should go to the Central having had the govenor from Edo North and South in recent times.

“People should not be greedy in politics no matter how sugar coated they are. I have seen Akpata campaigning, and in vain. He should have been adviced not to waste his earnings on an election he cannot win. Nothing at the moment favours him. The Obidient Movement he is banking on has fizzled out completely, and members are daily pledging support for Dr Asue Ighodalo, who is the most viable and electable candidate among the serious and pretentious candidates for this election. Akpata, I was told, is a relative of the out-going governor, Obaseki, and how on earth will he think the people will vote him in to replace his relative from the same ward, LGA and zone? This does not make sense. Any vote for him is a waste of vote. People should concentrate on voting for the most competent candidate, which is Ighodalo.

From Edo North, the issues raised were basically not too different from what we gathered from the other two senatorial districts. Among those we met and interviewed was Idris Kadir from Auchi, a businessman. And he had this to say: “The reason why we did not support most of our aspirants from Edo North was because of the issue of zoning. We couldnt have had Senator Oshiomole rule for two terms, then Philip was deputy for almost eight years and then still be gunning for the same position. That was why we said to our people like Hon. Clem Agba, stay off the race, it is not for us this time. After eight years, we shall be clamouring for it, not now.

“I am a card carrying member of the APC, but my support will not go to the party because of the choice of the candidate. His docility is unimaginable. His is a totem of incompetence, I must confess. We cannot out of politics, set Edo State backward deliberately”.

From opinions we garnered, we discovered that most people were in support of zoning. We also discovered that apart from few Labour Party members, most people across party lines said Olumide Akpata should not be voted for. The third discovery was that of competence. Across political divides as well, most people interviewed opined that Dr Asue Ighodalo is the most competent of all the serious candidates, and vowed to vote for his come September.

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