Residents of Edo State are opposed to the candidacy of Barrister Asue Ighodalo, the underhand anointed candidate of Governor Godwin Obaseki. He is acclaimed as a technocrat, another one after the detached Obaseki, who is based in Lagos, just like Obaseki was.
Asue and Obaseki have so much similarities apart from their dark skins, which one cannot determine if is deep into the blood and marrow.
First, both are from Edo State and are permanent Lagos residents. They both had no understanding of Edo State politics before they were godfathered into the fray. They are both into the hazy financial world.
However, these are mere unconnected conjunctions, the core issue that the Edo State residents do not want to hear is Asue being peddled by the Obaseki’s men as his successor. The citizens I have interrogated from the three senatorial districts have vowed not to work with Obaseki on Asue even as members of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
For example, Monday Lawani from Edo North has this to say. “I am a member of PDP, I moved from APC with Obaseki in 2020. However, on the issue of who succeeds him, I am not with him on anointing any candidate as it has been rumoured that one Asue Ighodalo is his prefered candidate. Come to think about it, if he is allowed to do this, what happens to the Chief Dan Orbih’s group that accommodated us when the roof of our party was leaking on us? There is no way PDP can win this gubernatorial election without Chief Dan Orbih and his original PDP.
We all saw what happened during the presidential election – it was woefully shameful. We are already aware that Edo North is a playground for APC, we must do everything possible to dialogue with those PDP members we have alienated from power since 2020″.
Mr Monday Lawani has spoken almost like others I have interviewed in Edo North across party lines. Friday Ikhine from Edo Central was more lacerating in his opposition. “Asue Ighodalo is our kinsman, but that ends there. Politics is beyond kinship, it is about strategy, tactics, involvement, dialogue, horse-trading and planning. Asue cannot work for PDP at this moment. Since 1999 when the party was formed, I have been a member of PDP.
I have contributed my quota to its growth. Asue was home last week to collect his membership card. No one knows him in the party, he has not contributed financially or otherwise to the party in his ward. So what is the moral rationale for fielding him? How do we start explaining even to the Esan people who this man is? Come to think about it. I do not want to predict defeat as there is still time to allow the people of Esan make their choice within the PDP.”
Several others from the Central District shared the almost the same opinion with Mr. Ikhine. They claim that if zoning is something to go by, they should be allowed to choose who will represent them rather than the governor foisting a ‘brotherly stranger’ on them.
The Edo South citizens I interviewed were more philosophical but direct. “You see,” said Orobose David, “Obaseki was not a creation of the Benin people and you can see the consequences on us. You can see that is why he, as a stranger to us, is fighting all of us including the revered Oba. No one does that, not someone from Benin. What exactly can we say we have gained since he became the governor? Where are the promised infrastructure in Benin?
“Oshiomole brought him to us, we actually never knew him. Barrister Puis Odubu was there and other homeboys, but Oshiomole chose a total stranger for us. Well, the deed has been done, we are going into another election. The Edo South people will decide on who to support but absolutely not one from the mould of Obaseki. Never! The idea of strangers ruling over natives must be discouraged. In Edo State Government today, almost all the contractors and consultants are strangers to us, and that is why you see them doing shabby jobs. Let us not go too far, Obaseki cannot decide for us, when we get to the bridge, we shall find a way to cross it, but we know those who we cannot support”.
The rejection of Obaseki in his attempt to foist another so called technocrat on the people of Edo State come 2024 is being rejected with vehemence by the Edo State citizens