BENINâ€”THE Benin Leaders of Thought (BLT), which comprises elders and traditional rulers in Benin kingdom, yesterday gave reason another Benin son did not emerge governor of Edo State after the tenure of Chief Lucky Igbinedion.
The BLT explained that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state shut the door for governorship aspirants from the North and South senatorial districts of the state, except those from Edo Central senatorial district, where Professor Osunbor hails from.
It would be recalled that the group had campaigned vigorously for a candidate from Edo South senatorial district to succeed the then Governor Lucky Igbinedion, who also hails from the same district.
But their campaign hit the rock, as the leadership of the PDP decided to zone the seat to the Central, which eventually produced Professor Osunbor.
However, the leader of the BLT and the Enogie of Obazuwa, Prince Edun Akenzua, who spoke with Vanguard shortly after the dissolution of its standing committees, argued that the BLT did not fail in its campaign, but noted that the zoning policy of the PDP affected its bid for the governorship to return to Edo South.
According to him, â€œthe thrust of the campaign was to make a Benin person succeed Lucky Igbinedion. PDP leadership had shut the door against all aspirants who wished to participate in the gubernatorial race, except those from Edo Central.
â€œBLT then embraced Action Congress which was then known as ACD, because it left its door open to all and, in fact, adopted a Benin candidate.
â€œ BLT then sold AC to the people, and if you study the pattern of voting, as shown at the election tribunal judgments, you will see that the votes that gave AC victory were from Edo South. That was a result of BLT campaign and its mobilization of people to register during the registration exercise.
â€œSo, to that extent, BLT did not fail on its objective, even though the Benin candidate it canvassed was replaced as if he was a decoy, only three weeks to the AC convention.â€
Asked if the BLT will present another Benin candidate for the 2012 governorship election in the state after Oshiomohleâ€™s first tenure, Prince Akenzua asserted that â€œ we are at the drawing board, re-strategizing.
â€œIn 2007, BLT position was informed by the population figure of Edo South which was 58 per cent of Edo state. If God blesses us with a population like that, why should we gamble with it?â€