March 31, 2016

THE BATTLE FOR EDO: The high stake game


By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor

The forthcoming governorship election in Edo State is a make or mar election for the different political tendencies in the state. The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP which lost control of the state in 2008 vide the courts is seemingly desperate to regain control and the power brokers in the party with the notable exception of Senator Roland Owie seem determined to throw up Pastor Osaze Ize-Iyamu who ironically was the campaign manager of the incumbent, Adams Oshiomhole of the All Progressives Congress, APC four years ago. Senator Owie and some other chieftains are, however, said to be inclined towards Chief Solomon Edebiri, who ironically also came from the other side, APC to join the PDP.

On the side of the APC, it is a battle of intrigues with the outgoing governor, and a number of his aides said to be in support of the Chairman of the State Economic Management Team, Mr. Godwin Obaseki. However, the challenges against Obaseki are said to be burdensome, but the economic wonk is now progressively moving to confront the challenges including some flowing from ancient Benin history.

While the PDP field is generally said to be a two man race between two former APC chieftains, the challenge in APC is one laced with much intrigues with an early establishment frontrunner and entrenched forces like Kenneth Imasuagbon (Rice Man) and the outgoing deputy governor, Pius Odubu, who are bent on ensuring a level playing ground that would produce what they claim as the best candidate.

Given the high stakes involved, the prospects of either party presenting the wrong candidate with inherent electoral deficits is a challenge that even the sponsors of the leading candidates are periodically reflecting on. None of the political patrons it is believed would want to make a mistake in the high stake game.

In two different interviews, agents of the two major parties in the state speak on the issues and their favoured aspirants in the coming showdown in the Heartbeat of the Nation.

Oshiomhole’s good works ‘ll push Obaseki as gov — Imasuen

How PDP ’ll produce Oshiomhole’s successor — Rep Edionwele