As Edo decides…
Politics Today with Abdullahi Yusuf Tela
YBTC News—Expectations and tensions over who would emerge winner in today’s gubernatorial election are very high. This is due to the fact that the tussle between the incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki and the former governor, who was also the former Chairman of the All Progressive Congress, Mr Adams Oshiomhole took a very twisted dimension. Apparently, this development may decide the political future of Edo state.
The twist began when the incumbent Obaseki left the APC to the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) because of a rift between him and the then APC chairman, Oshiomole. The scenario however replicated what happened during the 2019 elections where some governors, House of Representative members and Senators where denied the party’s ticket in the APC which consequently led them to defecting to other political parties.
One unavoidable and key figure worth mention in the Edo election, 2020 is Adams Oshiomole. Oshiomole has stood against all odds to make sure that the APC’s Osagie Ize Iyamu emerges as the governor in Edo state. As some analysts say, Oshiomole is trying by all means to be the political god of Edo state that decides and undecide who wins the governorship seat.
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Oshiomole, however, has come under heavy criticisms over his recent support for Ize-Iyamu. This same Oshiomole had in 2016 vilified Ize Iyamu who has then vying for the gubernatorial seat under the platform of the PDP against Obaseki. Oshiomole was then in aStructure strong alliance with Obaseki before things begin to fall apart. That is politics.
It is expedient to intimate that the Edo election is an episode of Nigeria’s poor political structure series. It shows that political parties are just there as mere boats to sail during elections. Political parties lack ideology and a formidable structure to contest and win elections. The election in Edo has also shown that politicians aren’t after fulfilling the demands of and yearnings of the populace but to win election by all means.
Ize Iyamu who was insulted by Oshiomole some years back has now humbly and politely accepted the insults. According to him, Oshiomole vilified him earlier because they were not on the same side and the only way Oshiomole can de-market him was by throwing huge insults on him. Surely, he will accept that because Oshiomole is now on his side and he is doing the same thing he did to campaign for his candidate for years ago.
Moreover, despite strong criticisms by some civil society groups, the IGP of police has sent over 30,000 security personnel to handle security issues in the Edo elections. The elections has attracted alot of media attention especially on security issues. This maybe a good reason, though. In another case, the civil society groups are seeing such deployment as a waste of resources which is due to the fact that there are a lot of security issues bordering the country.
It can be recalled that this not the first time that thousands of security personnel are assigned to secure the conduct of elections in some states. States such as Osun and Ekiti were given such maximum security personnel in the conduct of their respective gubernatorial elections. But, the question still remains why is it that such amount of security personnel are not sent to places that are facing security challenges?
Currently, Edo state is divided along two political lines. One surprising thing is that Philip Shaibu, a political godson of Oshiomhole and the present deputy governor of Edo state has cunningly stick to his boss, Obaseki. This has given the PDP an edge over Oshiomole. But could it be a political strategy? Perhaps so that Oshiomole can have an insider or a trick to bring him down?
In the same vein, there are strong indication from Edo state that the Lucky Igbinideons’s family are in support of Obaseki and they have tossed him to be their favorite in the election. Although, their political influence got drowned after they lost in their bid to bring in Ize Iyamu during the 2016 gubernatorial elections where Obaseki emerged victorious. Now the Igbinideons are on the corner supporting who Obaseki who they campaigned against in the previous election.
Anyway, as the people of Edo state go to the polls today, it is going to be a tough fight between the incumbent and other strong contender. It is a tussle of strength between the anointed candidate and the forced-rebel candidate. The election’s intensity has been heightened by both aspirants and their political parties.
I wish them a free and fair election in Edo state.