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Edo 2024; And The Winner Is? Series 1, By Mike O. Enahoro

EDO people cannot afford to go for the less when the best and the finest exists…

In the series; And The Winner Is?, I shall attempt to critically and unbiasedly analyze the likely top six political parties, and their respective candidates; the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Aner Aliu, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Asuerinme Akintude Ighodalo, the New Nigeria Political Party, NNPP, Azena Azemhe, the Labour Party, LP, Olumide Akpata, the Action Alliance, AA, Mr. Uwaifo Osaro, and the All Progressive Congress, APC, Monday Okpebholo by considering the political dynamics of Edo State, the political environment, the thinking process of the Edo People, the mindset of members of the various political parties, and of course, the umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to form an opinion to inform what Edo People and Nigerians will expect at the end of September 21, 2024, election cum Edo 2024.

In this analysis, I would want to remain as neutral as possible, and as an unbiased Political Analyst who has over the years made predictions adjudged to be 100%. It is promised to be revealing, interesting, and analytical. I shall consider all possibilities before the prediction will be made. This particular series will briefly talk about the parties, and their candidates, and do a very simple analysis to reduce it to three for further detailed, and comprehensive analysis.


The Social Democratic Party (SDP) and its candidate Aner Aliu:
The SDP has a strong ideological foundation, and Aner Aliu is seen as a fresh face in Edo politics. Unfortunately, the SDP has limited political structures and resources in Edo State. Its candidate appears to have a name unknown to many people in Edo State except for people around him. The above are no doubt likely to affect the party and Candidate negatively, hence the party is likely to have no significant impact on the election.

People’s Democratic Party (PDP) – Asuerinme Akintude Ighodalo:
The PDP has a strong political base and experienced leaders in Edo State. It is the ruling party in the State with a Governor who seems to have Grace. Usually, in the Nigerian political certain, it is rare to defeat a sitting Governor committed to having his way by whatever means possible. Over the years, it is an established fact in Nigeria that when the Chief Executive of a State and that of the Federal Government are different, the connivance of rigging elections in that State has always been unfruitful because the Chief State Executive is closer to the people. In Edo State, PDP will be lucky especially when the PDP candidate has a route in the President’s ethnic background. Moreover, the Edo people are highly educated. It will be difficult for people to consider a less educated and uninformed fellow when there are other options. The PDP candidate possessed the finest and variable credentials amongst all the candidates for the election and as an individual, appeared to be very humble, honest, resourceful, generous, understanding, and youth/women friendly. Today, the Man who came with Man Wey Sabi brand seems to have captured the minds of majority of Edo people by his amiable hugging of the ordinary people in the streets of Edo. Though other political parties have not provided better leadership since they came on board, like many other political parties, PDP faces internal conflicts and has been criticized for past governance issues which others have only displayed worst situations. Although, the PDP candidate is inheriting the hate for today’s Governor, he seems to have been overcoming it by his unwavering qualities and personal relationships with the people that matter in Edo politics. It is therefore right to say, the PDP is likely to be among the top three after the September 21, 2014, election cum Edo 2024.

New Nigeria Political Party (NNPP) and Azena Azemhe:
The NNPP has a growing popularity among youths and is seen as an alternative to major parties. However, the major weaknesses is NNPP lacks established political structures and experience in Edo State. The party candidate, Pastor Azena Azemhe has a strong record of being a Pastor and this will naturally influence the religious. However, even though Edo State is majorly more of Christians, it is a liberal State. The Pastor is likely to be told to go and face his altar calling by using the ballot paper. This will eventually take NNPP out of the top three political parties.

Labour Party (LP) and Olumide Akpata:
Ordinarily, the LP has a strong grassroots presence in Edo State especially because of the party’s Presidential Candidate for the 2023 general election. The LP won the general election in Edo State but however, the winning was occasioned by natural support from PDP members and lovers of PDP in Edo State. Again, LP was being funded as an alternative option for critical stakeholders of the Government of the day. However, the choice of the PDP running mate for Edo 2024, and the deliberate strategic appointment of Hon. Engr. Omobayo Godwins Marvelous to replace the former Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Phillip Shaibu, the LP has been depleting massively mostly in favour of the PDP. On the part of the LP candidate, Olumide Akpata is seen as a credible candidate but has spent his major financial resources to have the LP ticket believing he was going to get funding from people in both home and abroad. Unfortunately, most politicians and funder of elections are like investors who want to always invest in investments with a sure future. They are likely to disappoint the LP candidate because of the popularity of the PDP candidate has become supersonic. This means, the PDP lovers who voted for LP in the 2023 general election are likely to return to where they truly belong. Considering the above, LP faces funding challenges, and independently, the LP has limited political influence in Edo State as of today. Though, generally, from the above given, there is the likelihood that the LP will be among the top three political parties after the September 21, 2024, election cum Edo 2024.

Action Alliance (AA) and Mr. Uwaifo Osaro:
The AA is assumed to have a strong leadership, and Mr. Uwaifo Osaro is also assumed to have experience in Edo politics having served as the Party’s State Chairman. The very important question is, as a Chairman of the State Branch of the party, he has always compromised to supporting other political parties during election. This means, his style of political party is to be in one of the mushroom political party to align with the party with better prospective. Now that he is a candidate of a political party, his kind of person is not going to change, hence is likely to put his weight behind the finest candidate few days to the election,ost because AA has limited political presence and resources in Edo State.

All Progressive Congress (APC), and Monday Okpebholo:
The APC has a strong political base in Edo State, and considered the strongest, especially in the largest Local Government Areas, in the Etsako Federal Constituency of Edo State. The party also has experienced leaders, and control of Federal resources. The party Candidate of APC is a serving Senator, and appears to have relied on his massive wealth, allerged to have been diverted or stollen from people’s patronages to the late political Icon from Edo State, Chief Tony Anenih of blessed memory. Politics in Nigeria is money before capacity, character, and competence. This underscores the importance of having good governce in Nigeria. Unfortunately, Edo State is among the States considered having highly educated. To this end, like many other political parties, Edo APC faces internal conflicts, criticism over governance issues, and perceived imposition of candidates. The reality of today’s poverty is attributed to the party performance at the Federal level that most Nigerians including residents in Edo State wanting to return what Nigeria was before 2015. The present situation of Nigeria has become unbearable that even brothers and sisters of operators of APC are very angry with APC Government. This is no doubt will affect the APC candidate. Unfortunately, the hunger in Nigeria is not allowing voters to ask some questions, such as, where did you get your wealth? Why can’t you speak good English? Why do you lack confidence when addressing people? Why do you consider getting directives from party leaders when the Chief Executive is expected to be independently minded? To this end, for his massive wealth, the APC is likely to be among the top three political parties after September 21, 2024.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC
On the part of the INEC, its role as the umpire will be crucial in ensuring a free and fair election. Over the years, it has been accused of being an unbiased umpire. Fortunately, the INEC has always used Edo Gubernatorial election to prove a point that it can be considered a credible commission. It is likely to disappoint the APC that is only relying to rig the election. Edo People and Nigerians can expect a keenly contested election with a possible surprise from the smaller parties. However, Edo 2024 result is likely to reflect keeping smaller particles, small, and bigger parties, big.

Therefore, considering the political dynamics of Edo State, the political environment, and the thinking process of the Edo People, the election is likely to be competitive among the three major parties; PDP, APC, and LP. The SDP, NNPP, and AA may have a smaller but significant impact. _*This therefore means, Asue Ighodalo’s PDP, Monday Okpebholo’s APC, and Olumide Akpata’s LP are the likely three top political parties after Edo 2024.

Watch out for series 2.

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