Edo state, has produced political heavy weights in Nigeria, both at the state and at the national levels. Edo is indeed one of the most politically intriguing states in the South-South geopolitical zone in Nigeri.
One of the common practices in the Nigerian politics today, is ‘godfatherism’–a term that has become well known in our recent politics. It is a household political terminology, though it is not the best way to go, yet it has perhaps, become inevitable and accepted, because it has in most cases proved to be quite efficient and potent in getting the desired results for those behind it.
Edo State clearly has its own fair share of this political godfatherism, which describes the very high ranking political party chiefs who are capable of influencing the electoral processs and results to favour them or their preferred candidates.
During the last general election of February/March 2019, it was another opportunity for politicians to showcase and test their popularity among the electorates.
The winners of the general elections have however been sworn into their various offices, while the legislators took their oaths of office both at the national and States levels.
In Edo State, the governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, who will be seeking a re-election next year, 2020 was at his best to ensure that his ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), clinched all available 24 seats in the State House of Assembly and one out of the three senatorial positions at the federal level.
To some political watchers, this was an unprecedented political achievement for a governor many considered as a rookie in the game of politics.
The success, no doubt was spearheaded by the governor, which some described as a demonstration of the love the people of the state have for him.
This love, most people say, stemmed from his exemplary administrative skills that has brought about massive infrastructural developments, human capacity growth and wealth creation in the state.
This was seen as the reason why the electorates came out en mass to vote for almost all the candidates of the governor’s ruling party, the APC.
However, based on the popularity he presently enjoys and which made the 2019 elections for his party, APC very sucessful, the governor is expected to leverage on these successes to approach the 2020 gubernatorial election with a winning mentality that could see him secure his party’s ticket and bid for his second term in office, as victory would be assured.
In any case, it is not all that rosy in the ruling party. There are some other highly influential party members, who felt that their interest were not protected enough but compromised by the governor in the build up to the elections.
Those aggrieved politicians have come together for a common fight: threatening to equally compromise and ensure that the governor looses, come 2020 governorship primaries.
The governor during a recent media chat was asked to respond to the threats and scheming by some of the notable names in his party, who claimed to be ready to thwart his second term bid.
His assertion was, although he has huge respect and admiration for these people and every other party man and woman, he really does not have any sleepless night because of their stand.
According to him, he strongly believes that his performance is what will speak for him and his administration and not the stand of any few individuals. He further said with confidence that, he still enjoys hundred percent support of the other prominent members of the party.
Nevertheless it should be recalled that there is currently a battle of supremacy between the national chairman of the party and the governor. This was more highlighted given the way the State House of Assembly was inaugurated and a Speaker elected only a few weeks ago. Many are of the opinion that putting aside their differences at the right time and forging a common understanding will help to secure the governorship seat for the governor, the second time.
It is clearly on this note, that the national working committee (NWC) of the party (APC), has set up a six-man committee to thoroughly look into the matter with a view of amicable resolution. Each of the committee members are drawn from each of the six states that make up the South-South geopolitical zone of the federation, with Chief Uduebor Afuda representing the state in question, Edo.
This will in no doubt also put the entire party on better footing, as preparations for the Edo 2020 governorship election is by the corner.