Few days ago, the anointed candidate of Governor Godwin Obaseki, the unpopular outgoing governor of Edo state, formally registered as a member of the Peoples Democratic Party in his ward in Edo State.
While it is a good thing that a new member has been added to the PDP rank, it is actually disturbing that this gentleman is prepped to be forced on Party members by the outgoing Governor as his preferred successor at the end of his gubernatorial term in 2024. It is an aberration for anyone to turn the PDP into a Party that abandons its loyal members in favor of new entrants.
The move to impose this gentleman is already creating rift within the depleted camp of the outgoing Governor within the Party. The exit of former works minister, Arc. Michael Onolemenem, from the Party few days ago is not unconnected to this development.
This gentleman was never a PDP member at any point in time. He has never contributed to the growth of PDP at any time, and there is no record to suggest that he has ever voted for PDP nor possess a voters card in Edo State.
Should PDP elevate such a person with its prized gubernatorial ticket over loyal, credible and popular leaders?
It could be recalled that the outgoing governor was a beneficiary of the magnanimity of the Legacy PDP in 2020 when they rescued him from the political disgrace meted on him by his former Party – a decision they regret till this day as all the agreement reached with the Governor was left unfulfilled. Having not kept to a single item of the 2020 agreement, the least Governor Obaseki can do to redeem his image within the Party is to focus on completing the remainder of his tenure without nursing any idea of installing a successor.
In all fairness, Governor Obaseki does not possess the capacity to suggest nor anoint a successor due to underperformance and unfulfilled campaign promises since 2016.
Secondly, the Governor has never won any election for himself nor any political party he is involved in. This is evident in the 2023 elections that saw PDP suffering defeat at his Polling unit, Ward, Oredo LGA and the State – finishing distant third at the Presidential election, and losing literally all National Assembly seats to opposition.
Furthermore, the 2023 defeat of PDP is consistent with a 2019 loss earned by the Governor for the APC (his then Party) to the PDP starting from his Polling Unit, Ward up to the State at the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
In view of these, I urge the people of Edo State, especially members of PDP, to be of alert and resist any move to impose any “anointed” candidate in order to prevent any misfortune during the 2024 gubernatorial election.