The beauty of democracy is multi-faceted and the benefits are equally immense to such an extent that it has become an aphorism that the worst that may come out of a democratic government is still better than the best that may come out of a military government.
As 2015 stares us in the face, the argument is strident as ever before and permutations are on across boards in all the major parties.
While majority rule is often a yardstick to ensure popular democracy with the minority watching helplessly as the political tide swims against them in a genuine vote count, it is nonetheless significant to point out that equity, fair play and good conscience are equally as important as majority rule when put on the balance scale.
This is where the political scenario in Edo State throws interesting challenges that political pundits in the state may find agreeable or throw away in their rejectionist disapproval.
The stakes are therefore high as the countdown to 2015 inches closer in the race of the position of Senate and House of Representatives in the three Senatorial Districts of Edo State and at the Federal Constituency level.
Taking a retrospective look at past representations at the Senate and House of Representatives, it appears that some areas have been more favoured at the level of senate.
A cursory division put Edo State into three Senatorial Districts, with their equivalent federal constituencies. In Edo South for instance, we have the Oredo Federal Constituency, Ovia North East/Ovia South-West Federal Constituency, Orhionmwon/Uhunmwonde Federal Constituency and Egor/Ikpoba-Okha Federal Constituency.
In Edo North Senatorial District, we have Etsako Federal Constituency, Akoko-Edo Federal Constituency and Owan Federal Constituency while in Edo Central Senatorial District, there are the Esan West, Esan Central and Igueben Federal Constituency and Esan North East/Esan South West Federal Constituency.
In the case of Edo South Senatorial District, Egor/Ikpoba-Okha Federal Constituency is yet to produce a Senator while the rest three Federal Constituencies had in the past produced Senators. Beginning from the first republic, on attainment of independence, it is on record that Senator Dahlton Ogieva Asemota from Oredo, represented the then Benin Province which is today known as Edo South Senatorial District, at the senate, followed by Senator Olu Akpata who in the era of the second republic on the platform of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), represented Edo Central as it then was at the Senate. Senator Akpata hailed from Usen in what is today the Ovia North East and Ovia South West Federal Constituency.
However, following the return of democracy in 1999, Senator Roland Owie from Orhionmwon/Uhunmwode Federal Constituency represented Edo South. The Senatorial baton changed hands when it was handed over to Senator Daisy Danjuma from the same Federal Constituency as Senator Roland Owie. Similarly, Senator Ehigie Uzamere from Ovia Federal Constituency has had two terms consecutively at the Senate.
It is therefore, imperative at this point in the political equations to as a matter of equity and fair play to give opportunity to those areas which are yet to produce a Senator, particularly, the Egor/Ikpoba-Okha Federal Constituency, for which it must be asserted as been neglected and cheated from having any good turn to clinch the Senatorial ticket. It is the wish of the good people of the area that it is their turn this time around to take a shot at the Senatorial ticket. While other areas have enjoyed it in the past, it will be good political decision to let the area benefit from the elective office which has been the prerogative of some section of Edo South.
To decide otherwise will be sheer injustice and deemed a political tyranny by some political leaders who do not mean well for the entire Edo South.
Perhaps, the political gladiators may see this posture as incomprehensible as no fewer than 15 aspirants are currently in the fray for the Edo South Senatorial ticket with some still clamoring for a third time at the Senate consecutively while those who had done one term previously had thrown in bids for the ticket using covert and overt means and the media to make known their intentions.
My proposition is that it is fair and reasonable for those who had been there to step down and allow aspirants from Egor/Ikpoba-Okha Federal constituency to jostle for the ticket. We should not allow money to be the dominant factor, because the people’s feelings and sensibilities matter in the choice of candidates and hence the privilege accorded them in this respect counts more honourably than any amount of money spent in trying to tip the scales a particular way.
It is obvious so far that this intention is there and we only watch and see to ensure that the political cohorts and enemies do not carry it out. Ipso facto for political fairness and equity, the Senatorial seat in Edo South should be picked up expectedly by Egor/Ikpoba-Okha Federal Constituency, this is in the spirit of promoting positive values that should be devoid of rancor and bitterness. We wait patiently for the transfer of this value in the jostle for the 2015 Edo South Senatorial ticket, to be executed, signed, sealed and delivered.
*Edegbe Stanley, a political commentator wrote from Benin City, the Edo State capital.