On Saturday September 19, registered voters in Edo State will choose who will govern the state in the next four years. Adibe Emenyonu writes that whereas the two leading political parties, the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party are equally matched in some of the 18 local government areas of the state, there local government areas where either party shows a strong tendency to take the trophy
All is set for the governorship election in Edo State. There are 14 political parties on the ballot. They are Action Alliance (AA), African Democratic Congress (ADC) Action Democratic Party (ADP), All Progressives Congress (APC), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Allied Peoples Movement (APM), and Action Peoples Party (APP).
Others are Labour Party (LP), New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), National Rescue Movement (NRM), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Social Democratic Party (SDP), Young Progressive Party (YPP) and Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).
Of the 14 political parties, only two are visibly in the real contest, going by their level of preparation and presence all over the state. They are the All Peogressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) because of the large number of followership attracted to the parties and the resilience of their leadership.
The two parties are well entrenched in all the 18 local government areas and the 192 wards in the state.
This is a serious battleground in all its 10 wards that comprises two state constituencies and one federal constituency all under the control of the APC. The struggle for supremacy is expected to be of epic proportions because of the calibre of personalities from both the PDP and APC who hail from Akoko Edo. For instance, it is the home of former Speaker, Kabiru Adjoto. Mr. Oladele Bankole, a former House of Representatives candidate of the PDP also calls Akoko Edo home. They will square it up with the likes of former labour union leader and now member, representing Akoko-Edo Federal Constituency, Comrade Peter Akpatason; former Chief of Staff to Governor Godwin Obaseki, Mr. Taiwo Akerele; two-time council chairman, Anselm Agbabi; Emmanuel Agbaje, representing Akoko-Edo state Constituency I; and Yekini Idiaye Akoko-Edo II. The two state constituency members are amongst the 14 Obaseki denied swearing in and among the 17 supporting Ize-Iyamu. Akoko Edo is likely to vote APC.
The local government area is made up of 10 wards and one state Constituency. Notable politicians from the local government are the Council Chairman, Eghe Ogbemudia, Efe Stewart, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Odion Olaye, Chairman of RTEAN in Edo; member, representing Ego/Ikpba-Okha Federal Constituency, Jude Ise-Idehen all on the side of the PDP. In the APC lineup are the immediate past Commissoner for Information and Strategy, and two-time member of Edo Assembly and Deputy Speaker, Paul Ohonbamu; Gentleman Amegor, former zonal Chairman of APC, Crosby Eribo, member, representing Egor state constituency. It will be a tough fight. PDP might take it because of its metropolitan nature.
Also with 10 wards and one state constituency. It is the home of the factional Speaker, loyal to Adam’s Oshiomhole, Victor Edoror. It is also the LGA where the two chairmen of APC, Col. David Imuse and Mr. Anselm Ojezua come from. There is also Herbeta Okonofua, former PDP Woman leader, and Chief Francis Inegbeneki, a stunch APC leader and two-time member, representing Esan West/Esan Central/Igueben Federal Constituency, Patrick Ikhariale. The score may likely be a 50-50 margin though it is a LGA with the larger population who are sympathetic to PDP.
This is the home of the late Chairman of PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Tony Anenih, Former Minister of Works, Mike Onolemenme, former Speaker, Matthew Egbadon, the present factional speaker loyal to Obaseki, Frank Okiye and a host of others. The APC stands no chance here. The LGA has 11 wards and two state constituencies. This LGA will vote PDP all the way.
The local government area has 10 wards and one state constituency. Although it is the home of the Ugbesias (Senator Odion and Hon. Akere) who are strong allies of the PDP, and Kenneth Imansuangbon, the Abuja based business man cum politician, the entry of the Ikpeas, Chief Leemon Ikpea and his younger brother, Joseph Ikpea who last week resigned from the cabinet of Obaseki as Commissioner for Minerals, Oil and Gas, promises to turn the table around for the APC.
With 10 wards and one state constituency, the LGA is likely going to be a 50-50 shot. Former Governor, Prof. Oserhiemen Osunbor, a strong supporter of Obaseki is from there. Same thing as Chief Omofonma, owner of GT Foods, and current member, representing Esan West/Esan Central/Igueben Federal Constituency, Mr. Joe Ediowele. But they have Patrick Aguinede, two-term council chairman, former member of the state House of Assembly; and former Speaker of the House, Thomas Okosun among others who are drumming support for the APC to contend with.
This LGA has 10 wards and one state constituency member in the House of Assembly, Ahmed Waziri, the member, representing Etsako Federal Constituency, Johnson Oghuma is also from there, making it a strong APC area. Nevertheless, former deputy governor and former Chief of staff to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Chief Mike Akhigbe; and the LG Chairman, John Akhigbe all of the PDP are from there two. There will be some resistance, but APC will triumph.
This is the home of two rival political bigwigs: Senator Francis Alimikhena, representing Edo North Senatorial District (APC) and High Chief Raymond Dokpesi (PDP). The LGA with 10 wards and one state constituency also has personalities like Malik Afegbua, Minister of State,, Clem Agba and Kingsley Ugabi of the state House of Assembly to guarantee victory for the APC
With 10 wards and two state constituencies, it is one of the flashpoints to watch. The election promises to be volatile here. The APC former national chairman, Adams Oshiomole, deputy governor, Philip Shaibu and the APC deputy governorship candidate, Gani Audu all come from here. With Shaibu boasting of defeating Oshiomole even in his ward, the entire voting process will be highly interesting. The PDP does not stand a chance here. One, the area is predominantly APC. Second, the two members in the state assembly are not with the deputy governor and his party, (PDP) which in effect will guarantee victory for the APC.
The tiny LGA with 10 political wards is the home of former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Tom Ikimi (PDP). It is also home to two-term member of the Edo State House of Assembly, Ken Ihensiekhien; and former deputy speaker of the state, Festus Ebea. The LGA was once a PDP stronghold , but it will fall to the APC because of the declining influence of the Oduma (Lion) of Igueben, Chief Ikimi.
Although the LG has 10 wards, it commands a large voting population that will make things happen in favour of PDP, because of the influence of persons like the Secretary to State Government (SSG), Osarodio Ogie, the member, representing the constituency at the state assembly, Henry Okuarobo, former NDDC Commissoner and Majority Whip, Edo Assembly, Matthew Iduoriyekemwen.
The APC and PDP are equally matched in this LGA with 12 wards. This is the homestead of Governor Obaseki, member, representing Oredo Federal Constituency, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama; the Political Adviser to Obaseki, Chief Osaro Idah; and the governor’s Political Adviser, (Edo South), Osaigbovo Iyoha; who will contend against the likes of the APC State Secretary, Lawrence Okah; retired military chief Gen. Charles Airhiavbere, Brig-Gen Idada Ikponmwen; and the two members representing the two state constituencies of the LG, Messrs. Okaeben and Ekosodi that Obaseki denied Inauguration.
This is a large local government with 12 wards and home to the APC candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu; the former deputy governor, Dr. Pius Odubu; Dr. Chris Ogiemwonyi, former Minister of State Works; member, representing Uhumwonde/Orhiomwon Federal Constituency, Patrick Aisoweren.This will make the area a hard nut to crack for the PDP.
This is the largest LGA in the state. It has 13 political wards and two state constituency seats. This is the home of the Esama of Benin, Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion, his son and former governor of the state, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, her daughter and former House of Representatives member representing Ovia Federal Constituency. This political jugernuts will have to go the extra mile to outwit persons like Issac Osahon, former House of Representatives member, the two state constituency members Obaseki denied Inauguration. This will make the contest and equal victory for both the APC and PDP.
There is only one state constituency in this LGA.It is home to the member, representing Ovia Federal Constituency, Mr. Dennis Idahosa, two-term LG Chairman, former Commissioner, Christopher Adesotu, Robert Okubor, an Ijaw Youth leader, all with the APC. The only significant figure there for the PDP is Destiny Enabulele, the local government chairman. This LGA is a sure bet for the APC.
This LGA parades the likes of Johnson Abolagba (PDP), former House of Representatives member. Commissioner for Education, Jimoh Ijegbai and the council chairman, Andrew Osigwe. But the likes of Pally Iriase, two-term House of Representatives member and Deputy Majority Whip; Abdul Oroh, a former member of the National Assembly, will not lie low especially when they join forces with Eric Okaka of the state House of Assembly. The LGA will go to the APC.
The combination of Prof. Julius Ihonvbere (APC), Owan Federal Constituency and Michael Ohio-Ezomo of the state assembly no doubt will swing votes in favour of the APC. Though Johnson Abolagba of the PDP, a former member of the National Assembly may pull his weight, but his presence will not amount to much because the council chairman is yet to declare support for the PDP.
This is a LGA packed with personalities such as Senator Daisy Danjuma, Senator Roland Owie, former Information Commissioner, Charles Idahosa, former Chief of Staff, Isaiah Osifo now the Labour Party (LP) candidate but fronting for the PDP as well Owere Dickson Imasogie. How these persons will outshine the APC generals like Washington Osifo, Joseph Omototionwan, and Ekpenisi Omototionwan is left to be seen. The PDP and APC are equally matched here.
The APC and PDP are equally matched in Oredo LGA with 12 wards. This is the homestead of Governor Obaseki, member, representing Oredo Federal Constituency, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama; the Political Adviser to Obaseki, Chief Osaro Idah; and the governor’s Political Adviser, (Edo South), Osaigbovo Iyoha; who will contend against the likes of the APC State Secretary, Lawrence Okah; retired military chief Gen. Charles Airhiavbere, Brig-Gen Idada Ikponmwen; and the two members representing the two state constituencies of the LG, Messrs. Okaeben and Ekosodi that Obaseki denied Inauguration