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Edo 2024: Is Ighodalo Using Akpata to Campaign? By Amb. Tony Okonigene

A documentary released online by an undisclosed author suggesting that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship candidate in Edo State, Barr. Asue Ighodalo, Ai, is using the Labour Party, LP, candidate, Barr. Olumide Akpata, to campaign caught my attention. The heading was meant to catch the attention of any critical mind and it actually did.

I took my time to watch and listen to the narrator as he laboured in confusion to persuade himself that the engagements and actions of Barr. Asue Ighodalo are reflections of the political tides favourable to the All Progressive Congress, APC. A close sensory diagnostic of the video will tell you that you are hearing the voice of Jacob(APC) but feeling the hands of Jacob(LP).


Let’s take a close look at some of the issues he raised.

1. Governor Godwin Obaseki: The narrator claimed in the video that Ai is not in anyway giving any sign to leverage on the developmental strides of the incumbent governor who happens to be his party member. He admitted that the strides in the educational and roads sectors are worth to be continued by Ai.

I do not know if the author has had the fore privilege to go through the manifesto of Ai that is yet to be made public. Ai has said in many fora that he would continue with the laudable projects and policies of the current administration like the minimum wage, improve on those to be improved upon and jettison anyone that is unfriendly.

2. PDP National leadership: The narrator said that Ai is avoiding carrying the leadership of the party along in his campaigns. In his confusion, he recommended using the pictures of leaders like Atiku Abubakar and other party leaders in his bill boards to show confidence in them.This is laughable. It reminds me of some unpopular APC and PDP candidates in the north during the 2015 elections who had to put the pictures of PMB beside theirs to campaign.
Well, Ai is not that kind of candidate. He is a brand himself. Moreover, Atiku or other leaders are not on the ballot. Ai and Ogie are the ones on the ballot and that is why you see their bill boards and the PDP logo on the billboards. The narrator and his sponsors should wait for the campaign council to start moving round with the candidates. He will then know if the party leadership is with Ai or not.

3. Defectors: There was the wrong impression that people were defecting from only the PDP to APC. This is wrong. There are serving office holders in the APC defecting to the PDP while former ones( as mentioned in the video) are defecting from the PDP. Infact, the mass defection from the LP to the PDP, for me, if it is a yardstick, should foreclose the chances of the LP in the elections.

4. Obidients: The narrator is obviously mischievously confusing the Obidients from LP members. Obidients are independent-minded electorates who believe in fairness, equity, justice and competence irrespective of party. They decided to support Peter Obi because they saw in him the above qualities better than other presidential candidates in the last general elections. Now they are seeing these qualities in Asue Ighodalo of the PDP not in Olumide of the LP. Hence they have decided to support Ai.

The Obedients did not support Peter Obi underground so they cannot support Ai underground as being suggested by the narrator.

Again, most of the bill boards, vehicles, caps, etc you see about Ai are sponsored by individuals and organizations who believe in him. It is therefore not correct to say that Ai errected bill boards using Obidients brands. They sponsored them using Ai.

In conclusion, what is happening in Edo State is a movement and not a normal political campaign. There are novelties brought in that will certainly confuse a lot of stereotype politicians as evidenced in the video. The Ai Movement is organic and infectious. If there is no room to use anymore to campaign for Ai, it will certainly not Olumide Akpata. The only way the Obidients can remain consistent with their ideologies is to support Asue Ighodalo.

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