Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
Ahead of the Edo State governorship election slated for next year, and as part of the strategic move to present a united front, a joint meeting of Esan leaders of thought, governorship aspirants and leaders of the socio-cultural organisation, Esan Okpa Initiative (EOI), has laid the groundwork to prune the high number of aspirants.
Many aspirants from the central senatorial zone angling to succeed Governor Godwin Obaseki whose term expires on November 11th, 2024.
However, the Esan Okpa in May this year, kick started a series of consultations with political and traditional leaders in the Edo South and North senatorial zones with the vision to get their buy in to support a candidate of Esan extraction to succeed Obaseki
Another meeting which was held in Benin City, the state capital on Sunday, urged the Edo Central Senatorial Zone to rally behind its best candidate while urging all aspirants to eschew acrimony, aspersions and bad blood.
The body resolved amongst others that it is “Obligatory for the governorship aspirants of Esan extraction to consider the need for unity of purpose and ensure that all actions they undertake are devoid of acrimony, aspersions and bad blood.”
It also stressed the need that, “in all circumstances, the overriding and collective good of Edo State will define their actions.”
At the end of the meeting, a communique signed by the President, Esan Okpa Initiative, Mr. Mathew Egbadon and Public Relations Officer, Mr Tony Iyare, stated that “The joint meeting received the briefing from the Consultations which Esan Traditional Rulers held with His Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, Ogidigan, the Oba of Benin and the Traditional Rulers of Edo North, respectively.
“The joint meeting also received report of the consultations held so far by the leadership of the Esan Okpa Initiative with political and opinion leaders across Edo State.
“The eaders and governorship aspirants expressed gratitude to the Esan traditional rulers and the leadership of Esan Okpa Initiative for the sacrifice of spearheading the strategic engagement with the fathers and leaders of Edo State.
“The joint meeting considered the feedback from the consultations as of critical importance to the impending Edo State governorship elections in 2024 and proceeded to discuss the matters arising therefrom.
According to the communique, after an exhaustive deliberation and cross fertilisation of ideas on the matter, the leaders of thoughts and governorship aspirants agreed that it is important for all governorship aspirants to commit to conduct themselves peaceably and work for the harmony and progress of all the people of Edo State;
That it is essential for Esan people to put their best foot forward in the impending governorship race; That is obligatory for the governorship aspirants of Esan extraction to consider the need for unity of purpose and ensure that all actions they undertake are devoid of acrimony, aspersions and bad blood; and that in all circumstances, the overriding and collective good of Edo State will define their actions.
Besides, the joint meeting urged the governorship aspirants to interface among themselves and settle on a shorter list of persons to seek the ticket of their individual political parties.
The gathering also advised the governorship aspirants to strategically and voluntarily engage with the defined criteria of moral uprightness, integrity and passion for Edo State socio/political and economic development.
It further urged the governorship aspirants to seek viable political platforms in the impending governorship race.
The communiqué concluded that the joint meeting will reconvene later to receive and consider the consensus list prepared by the governorship aspirants themselves within their respective political parties, and revert to the Esan stakeholders in order to unstintingly mobilize for the necessary support and buy-in of the generality of Edo people in the spirit of fairness, justice, equity and brotherly relations among Edo people.