POLITICAL tension heightened in Edo State, yesterday, when a Bini socio-cultural organization, Enunuedo, led by the two-time governor of old Bendel State and political leader of the people of Edo South senatorial district, Dr Samuel Ogbemudia, convened a meeting of Bini leaders to brainstorm on the way forward.
Other conveners of the meeting include the Iyase (prime minister) of Benin Kingdom, Chief Sam Igbe; first civilian governor of Edo State, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun; and the Enogie of Siluko, Prince Omoregie Akenzua.
The meeting, according to Ogbemudia, was called with a view to refocus the Bini course after the leaders lamented that the district had not progressed as expected despite the fact that it command the largest population in the state, and therefore stressed the need for the Binis to be united in the pursuit of their interests. In his address, Ogbemudia said he decided to call the meeting after pressure from Binis that he should salvage the problems bedevilling the people. “ I also share the concerns raised. I am a proud Bini man and I believe that all other well meaning Bini people must be concerned about the direction our community is steered.
“Going by the statements and reports from different sections of our community, together with my own observation, I can humbly say that our community is not performing or competing optimally, therefore we must find solution”,he said.
However, tension heightened at the meeting when the deputy governor of the state, Dr Pius Odubu, disagreed with the argument by the guest speaker and former Director General of the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Dr Tonnie Iredia, who said the Binis must vote in their own son in any future election irrespective of the personalities in the race.
Odubu countered that “we must be careful when we use the word Bini candidate. I think the best word to use is Bini interest because we can have a Bini candidate that does not have the interest of the Binis at heart. When that happens, we continue to suffer”.
Consequently, the meeting resolved that “in all situation, the Binis should not play a second fiddle. As far as the 2012 governorship election is concerned, the Binis are open to all candidates that will promote her interest as negotiated”.