IT is gradually dawning on those who forced an unpopular governorship candidate on members of Edo Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, that the selfish decision appears to have boomeranged as the popularity of the party has continued to wane ahead of the July 14 governorship election in the state.
Since the political chicanery called party primaries where Major General Charles Aihavebere(rtd) was crowned by the godfathers as their godson for the poll, a political tsunami has hit the party in the state as members who were disillusioned and disenchanted with the outcome of the primaries are now leaving the party in droves to join the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in the State.
With this development, it is obvious that ahead of the July 14 election in the state, the contest is almost over, even before the whistle is blown. So July 14 might be a mere formality for Nigerians to witness the handing over of the trophy to Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as the winner. That is the prize Edo PDP will pay again, just like it did in 2007 for allowing a godfather to impose an unpopular candidate on party.
As at now, the exodus from the party has left Chief Anthony Anenih and his new godson, Aihavbere as the only members of substance in the party? And the question is how far can they go now because they are like lone rangers in the field without supporters and followers. This is because Edo people have spoken, even before the D-day. They are just waiting for the D-day to crown their choice and one needs no prophet to know who their choice is.
This is because PDP in its political abracadabra has made it easy for the people to make a quick choice without batting an eye. Before now, there were strong enthusiasm and expectation among party members in the state that the battle of July 14 will be a tough one with the hope that the best aspirant, definitely Barrister Kenneth Imansuanagbon, would emerge as the party’s candidate following his acceptance and track record; but that was not to be.
So when PDP presented the people with the black choice, they quickly abandoned it for the white. And there is no meeting point for white and black for they are incomparable.
As it is, this is the final and last chance for the godfather in the state who has refused to bow out honourably. He might be forced to retire with shame after the battle of July 14, especially as one of his kins men, Prof Osereihmen Osunbor has declared support for Oshiomole ahead of the poll.
Apart from Osunbor, there has been mass defection of PDP members to ACN across the state, since the controversial, kangaroo and stage-managed party primaries that was hijacked by the godfather in the state for his new godson. Who knows which other PDP bigwigs will next publicly declare their support for Oshiomhole in the days ahead?
What is certain before the election is that there is no hiding place for Chief Tony Anenih and his supporters because the people are at alert and there will be no room for manipulations. The secret of ‘fixing it’ is already in the open and the present INEC under Prof. Attahiru Jega will not allow his commission to be dragged to the mud by any ‘fix it’ ploy.
As long as Edo PDP has murdered sleep during its primaries, those responsible for this will not sleep comfortably no matter how long they live in fool’s paradise. If they could fail to capture the State in 2007 election even with all the federal might, power of incumbency, financial resources and corrupt INEC, how would they perform the magic now with a huge baggage on their necks in the name of the unpopular candidate they presented to the people. It will be a dream too far to be realised, no matter how one looks at it.
On the worries of some PDP chieftains over the next line of action by Imansuangbon, it is like beating a child and deciding for him how he will cry. It is unacceptable, unthinkable and immaterial at this point because as a man of the people, Imansuangbon will not disappoint the people by going against their wishes to please the godfathers who denied him the opportunity to serve them.
But why the worry now which can be likened to crying over milk intentionally spilt for selfish political reasons. Why did it take some PDP chieftains this long to realise the political value and relevance of Imansuangbon, a man who towered high above other aspirants before the primaries? Is it that they are just realising that their new-found godson will fail them at the poll? Or are they looking for those to go down with them on July 14, when the people of the state will pass a verdict on them for posterity to remember and judge?
It is already too late in the day for the Edo PDP godfathers because an irreparable damage was done during the party primaries and any belated reconciliatory move now will count for nothing. Edo PDP is twice bitten and twice shy, because the leaders failed to learn from the mistake of the past, forgetting that experience is the best teacher.
Interestingly, the outcome of the election might definitely put the godfather in a permanent limbo where he belongs and might bring political godfatherism to an end in the state for good. So the people of Edo might be heading towards total political liberation after the July 14 governorship election with Oshiomhole returning to Government House, after joining hands with the progressives in the State to retire the so-called godfather who has a date with political history without honour.
Mr. ADEGORUN OGAN, a political analyst, wrote from Auchi, Edo State.