EIDENOJIE had reportedly advised Airhiavbere to go home (Edo South) and get his people’s maximum support for the governorship contest.
This is politically correct. Otaru of Auchi had fanned the embers of ethnic politics and Oshiomhole is reaping the consequences.
And coming on the heels of the endorsement by Esan traditional rulers, Edo South PDP leaders upped the ante by sinking their differences and uniting in support of Airhiavbere’s candidature.
This was after Airhiavbere had been presented to the revered Benin monarch in his palace for blessings. The monarch in praying for him did not act like the Otaru of Auchi who could not restrain himself from playing to ethnic gallery by openly declaring support for Oshiomhole on the grounds that he (Oshiomhole) is a son of the soil (Edo North).
The significance of Airhviabere’s endorsement by the Edo South PDP at a meeting called at the instance of the respected member of the party’s Board of Trustees, Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia, in his residence on April 2 is not lost on watchers of political developments in the State. The Ogbemudia initiative has culminated in virtually all political leaders in Edo South buying into the critical Bini support for Airhiavbere.
The only political interest that is yet to publicly buy into the Bini support for Airhiavbere is that of former Governor Lucky Igbinedion who sponsored Oshiomhole’s election in 2007. This perhaps explains why his protégé and the then Secretary to the State Government under his governorship, Pastor Osagie Izze-Iyamu, is today the Director-General of Oshiomhole’s campaign.
This is an isolated and understandable case. Igbinedion knows why his political structure-the Grace Group- is still supporting Oshiomhole. I guess the reason for the support is what has partly informed Oshiomhole’s deliberate policy to spare Igbinedion of criticisms whenever he is taking the PDP to the cleaners for the so-called eight years of the locust (when Igbinedion presided over the State as governor).
If there are pockets of Bini politicians supporting Oshiomhole as of now, it is because of financial inducements. They will sooner than later have a rethink. The Binis are proud of their heritage. They can use their majority to bolster their wellbeing by ensuring that political power resides in their bosom. And they have now realised that they are being deceived by some desperate political oligarch from Edo North.
In a bid by the oligarch from Edo North to push through its ethnic agenda to secure re-election, groups and individuals are being procured. Oshiomhole has turned politicking in Edo South into a huge bazaar. This is the consequence of Airhiavbere’s endorsement by Edo Central (Esan people) and the gospel of “our own is our own” that is spreading across Edo South like a wild bush fire.
There is a collateral damage waiting to happen to Oshiomhole’s re-election bid in Edo Central, Edo South and even parts of Edo North like Akoko-Edo and Owan which have been mindlessly marginalised by Oshiomhole (an Etsako man in whom his people and traditional rulers are well pleased) in the provision of road infrastructure (which is the only achievement he is parading in Edo).
So, when Oshiomhole is defeated, let his defeat not be pooh-poohed by outsiders to the dynamics of Edo politics.
Mr. AJOHN AINOFENOKHAI, a political analyst, wrote from Benin City, Edo State.