Eben Enasco Kingsley
Interests seem to be rising over Governor Godwin Obaseki’s second term bid within the political class, particularly within the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in Edo State with a little over a year left in his first term.
The 2020 gubernatorial election in Edo State has thrown up a deluge of issues that have divided the APC’s hierarchy in the state and gradually charging the body polity.
While many of the party’s faithful are honestly clamouring for Obaseki’s return, owing to his sterling performance across critical sectors of the state, a few members of the party who believe in money bag politics are dead scared that a second term for Obaseki means their annihilation because Obaseki does not share money to politicians, instead he has deployed his knowledge of finance, to repositioning Edo State for robust and sustainable growth and development. Edo workers and pensioners get their entitlements as and when due.
The governor’s prudent allocation of the state’s lean resources has earned him accolades from workers and their dependants alike. All the three senatorial districts are hosts to heavy earth-moving equipment delivering infrastructural facilities to enhance quality of life and spur socio-economic development.
As the APC primary election in the state draws near, the battle in Edo State is between millions of those whose lives have been impacted positively by the Obaseki administration and the few self-seeking, desperate and greedy politicians who want to enthrone a reign of looting by installing a ‘Yes Sir Man’ as governor.
A search for Obaseki’s replacement is on the card of these indolent politicians who rate their political value beyond their real field value. They bandy such terms as the ‘Governor’s undemocratic policies’ that have adjusted their pot bellies as one reason Obaseki should be replaced.
At a meeting of leaders across the senatorial districts held recently in Benin City by few of the aggrieved members of the party, they hinted at a plan to form a parallel group, and painted the picture that the national Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, to whom they pledged allegiance, is unhappy with his successor.
But the allegations suggesting differences between the duo was aptly refuted by the government of Godwin Obaseki calling it the handiwork of mischief makers.
But that has not stopped the peddlers of the falsehood, with more unfounded speculations being bandied in the political space.
It was learnt that the battle for supremacy started during the nomination of candidates to represent the party during the National and State Assemblies’ elections.
Despite the disagreement, millions of Edo people are looking forward to another four years for Obaseki to consolidate on his achievements, as he picks a second term ticket soon.
The detractors will continue to try all the tricks in their heads to show how ‘influential’ they are, but with leaders in the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), swelling the ranks of Obaseki’s supporters by openly throwing their weight behind and around the governor, the coast seems clear for the incumbent governor to, as we say, Carry Go!
The few people working against Obaseki in the APC, risk losing what is left of their marginal political equity in the coming days as Edo people in the South, North, East and West, from several groups and parties seem to have decided on only one candidate; Governor Godwin Obaseki, come 2020.
––Kingsley, a public affairs analyst, wrote from Benin City, the Edo State Capital.