Tomorrow’s election in Edo State is more than an election for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP; it is a battle for political survival by the one time ruling party against the most resilient threat to it since it first berthed in the state in 1998.
Not surprisingly, the party is deploying some of its most formidable captains in the battle to wrest the ship of state from the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Although Governor Adams Oshiomhole hails from Edo North Senatorial zone, it is not going to be a clean sweep victory for the APC in the zone. In Etsako East local government area, the PDP will give a good fight as the party can boast of notable politicians such as High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, Abu Dokpesi, High Chief Stanley Odidi, Jude Imagwe, Hon Godwin Eshieshi and many others.
The coming of Hon. Abubakar Momoh, a former member of the House of Representatives and grassroots political mobilizer into Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu’s fold will further boost the chances of the party in the local government. The showing of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) through its former senatorial candidate, Momoh in the 2015 election in Edo North notwithstanding, the final election results were clear indications that he is not a pushover in the area.
The likes of Hon. Godwin Eshieshi, Joshua Ogene, and Hon. Abbas Jega and many other PDP stalwarts will take care of the Okpella axis of the local government to push for victory for the party. Aside, it is recalled that in the 2015 Presidential and National Assembly elections, the PDP won the local government.
In Estako Central local government, former Chief of Staff to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe, PDP State chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, Hon. Paschal Ugbome, Gen Alfred Ilogho (rtd), former Etsako Central local chairman, Emma Momoh and Alemhon Akhigbe and a former Commissioner for Lands and Survey in the Oshiomhole government, Osekhina Boi will work assiduously to ensure victory for the PDP in the election. PDP also won the local government in the 2015 Presidential and National Assembly election.
Estako West where the out-going governor hails from will be a tougher battle for the PDP. Both parties will slug it there. PDP will deploy Engr. Hussein Garba, Zakari Ayonote, Jarret Tenebe, Abu Nargata, Henry Duke Tenebe and Hon Sylvanus Eruaga, the PDP member representing Etsako West 11 in the House of Assembly.
In the case of Owan West and Owan East local governments, the PDP soldiers would be hoping to ride on the protest in the two councils that they were bypassed in the selection of a running mate to the APC candidate. Besides, the areas also cried of being marginalized by the Oshiomhole government.
The PDP will be marshalling Senator Yisa Braimah, Alhaji Kashietu Ozeto, Barrister Ail Aji Muze, Major Oisamojie (rtd), Aimola, Ambrose Imode etc.
In Akoko Edo where similar sentiments also prevail, political veterans like Dr. Tunde Lakoju, Col. Tunde Akogun, former Majority Leader in the House of Representatives, Mr. Bankole Balogun, Chief Johnson Emeasalu, Segun Saiki, Kayode Alabi, etc will be pushing the case for the PDP.
Edo Central Senatorial zone, the home of the Esan people has been predominately PDP. The Esan people have been identifying with the PDP national leader, Chief Tony Anenih since 1999. The allegations that the senatorial district was marginalised by the Oshiomhole administration, the underfunding of the Ambrose Alli University will be the currency for the PDP chieftains marshalling the attack for the party.
The PDP will be deploying Chief Tony Anenih, Senators Odion Ugbesia, Clifford Ordia, Chief Tom Ikimi, Prince Tony Omoaghe, Hon.Tony Aziegbemi, Hon Friday Itulah, Chief Mike Onolemenmen, and Hon. Joe Edionwele.
The party firepower will also be boosted by Mrs. Philomena Ihenyen, Mr. Richard Okosun. Elder Adekunle, Hon. Akhere Ugbesia, Hon. Festus Ebea, Felix Otubu, etc.
Edo South Senatorial zone is the beautiful bride that will decide the outcome of the election with the two foremost candidates from the zone.
Besides, Edo South has 58 percent of the voting population who include the Bini, Esan, Afemai, Owan, Igbo, Yoruba, Hausas etc.
It has three metropolitan local governments – Egor, Oredo and Ikpoba/Okha. In the 2015 Presidential and National Assembly elections, the PDP apart from wining the Senatorial seat also won three of the four House of Representatives seats in the senatorial district.
Among the PDP strong men in the zone are Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the governorship candidate, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, Hon. Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, the Esama of Benin, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, Hon. Omosede Igbinedion, Don Pedro Obaseki, a scion of the Obaseki family of Benin and a cousin of the APC candidate.
The PDP also has Dr. Godwin Oni-Edigin, Mr. Clement Edo- Osagie, Bar. Nosa Adams, Larry Ogieva, Deacon Bayo Ogomon, Owele Dickson Imasogie, Deacon Mike Ehima, Bar. Chris Agbomwanegbe among others.