BY SIMON EBEGBULEM
THE toughest contest in the senatorial race in Edo State is expected to be that of Edo South district where the incumbent Senator, Ehigie Uzamere will be slugging it out with the wife of the former Minister of Defense, Senator Daisy Danjuma. Uzamere is flying the flag of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) which he joined in July 2010 from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP after irreconcilable differences with the former Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih.
Uzamere won the ticket of the ACN in a hotly disputed primary which his major challenger, Pharm. Mathew Urhohide claimed he won but was schemed out by the leadership of the party in favour of Uzamere. Following the disagreement, Urhohide dumped the ACN for the PDP. Senator Danjuma who was in the senate between 2003-2007, emerged as the PDP flag bearer for Edo South after she defeated Barr. Henry Idahagbon in the primary.
The former Chief of Staff to the state government, Dr Isaiah Osifo withdrew from the race 48 hours before the primary after he accused the leadership of the party of skewing the list of delegates in favour of Mrs Danjuma.
Saturday’s contest between the duo is expected to be keen due to the present political situation in the area.
Uzamere has been very vocal in a crusade he claims is geared towards liberating the Binis from the stranglehold of some individuals who are not from the senatorial district. He was said to have played a prominent role in the emergence of the first Bini Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin and in assisting Governor Adams Oshiomhole in installing his candidate as the state representative on the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
His major advantage in Saturday’s contest is that the state is being controlled by the ACN so he is expected to receive the support of the ACN machinery, that is if the leaders sincerely work for him. Oshiomhole has been taking him round in a vigorous campaign around the seven Local Government Areas of the state. The only anxiety is that no senator from this district has returned to the senate for a second term since this democratic dispensation in 1999. But he has vowed to break the jinx.
But Daisy is fully equipped to stop Uzamere because she is from a traditional home, her father being a Chief. Which means that even her marriage to a man from Taraba may not pose as a problem to her ambition. It is believed that her philanthropic gestures towards women and young girls has endeared her to lots of people, particularly women in her senatorial district.
It was also gathered that she has empowered a lot of widows with funds to set up small scale businesses. She was said to have single handedly executed an electricity project for Idumwundha community in Uhumnwonde Local Government and she provided a comprehensive health care center at Obadan and other projects.
But the only problem she may have was the poor performance of the PDP in the state in their over ten years reign. But she has been able to run a flamboyant campaign which has endeared her to many just like Uzamere. With the backing of Senator Rowland Owie, Urhohide, she is capable of shocking Uzamere. That is why any observer of the politics of the state knows that the result of the race is still dicey.