What are running mates bringing to the table?

What are running mates bringing to the table?

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IDAHOSA MOSES examines the factors and other intrigues that influenced the choice of running mates by the governorship candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party (LP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the dust over the conduct of primaries to pick standard-bearers for the forthcoming poll in Edo State:  

It is no longer secret that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party (LP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have concluded their governorship primaries ahead of the September 21 election. This is not without intrigues as different issues suffixed during the primaries.

Following the conclusion of the parties primaries, the issue of zoning has come to an end. Though, at the end of the whole exercises, the APC and PDP tactically ceded their guber tickets to Edo Central Senatorial District.

Of note, Edo which is heterogeneous ethnic-wise, is sitting on a political tripod of Edo South, Central and North senatorial districts respectively, with the former (Edo South) the largest in terms of population, landmarks and voting strength.

While it is apparently settled politically that Edo Central is likely to produce the next governor of the state, this is not without taken cognisance of the fact that the former President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and Labour Party candidate, Mr Olumide Akpata who is from Edo South t is also in the race for Osadebe avenue.

The reason for the assertion is based solely on the principle of equity, fairness, even distribution of power and above all political calculations in the area of voting strength.

Though, not officially confirmed by the national leadership of the PDP, the party’s candidate, Dr. Asue Ighodalo, and Governor Godwin Obaseki›s camp of the party seems to have settled for an Edo South deputy governor in the person of Barr. Osarodion Ogie.

This was occasioned by the wide jubilations that engulfed the Benin metropolis last week following an unofficial announcement of Mr Osarodion Ogie, Secretary to the Edo State Government as Ighodalo›s running mate.

The development, it was later gathered was to secured more for the the PDP in the coming election in Edo as the Edo South Senatorial District›s voting strength is more than the other two Senatorial Zones put together.

While the PDP in the state seems to have balanced its ticket, the opposition APC were being threatened by litigation instituted by one of its aspirants and Member of Ovia Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Dennis Idahosa, over the announcement of Senator Monday Okpepbholo.

Although, event right now is overshadowing the above opinion as the National Working Committee of the APC alongside President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had waded into the issue before the party. In striking a common ground for all parties, Hon. Dennis Idahosa, has now been picked as Okpepbholo›s running mate.

This development it was learnt is in preparation for the party›s campaign flag-off. Emperor Jarret Tenebe, the Edo State APC Acting Chairman, made the disclosure on Sunday in Benin.

He said: “Our choice of running mate emanated from the people and we are going to unveil him tomorrow (Monday) in Abuja.It will be the youngest ticket ever in the history of Edo State and that is what we will use to defeat the other parties. We are not like them that are producing much older people to govern the state. We are going to produce a young team” he said.

It was reliable gathered that the member representing Ovia Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives and a governorship aspirant in the party’s governorship election, Hon Dennis Idahosa has been picked by the party to be the running mate to Okpebholo.

Though Idahosa was at the time of his consideration for the position challenging the outcome of the election in the court, claiming that he won the primary election and the supplementary one conducted, it was gathered that President Bola Tinubu personally intervened in the Edo APC issue.

The president was said to have later mandated the Minister of the Niger Delta, Hon. Abubakar Momoh to ensure that Idahosa’s name is submitted. It was also gathered that part of the conditions in picking Idahosa was that he would withdraw his case from the court once all the processes were concluded.

“It has been a difficult issue for over one week especially after Idahosa went to court. The leadership of the party in Abuja had to come into the issue. There have been so many interests at play.

“Ego was also involved as there were some leaders of the party who saw the primary as an opportunity to get at a leader of the party, they even threatened to publicly denounce the party and work against it if Idahosa is chosen.

“The president intervened and I believe that was what calmed nerves and I hope that all of them will respect and honour the wish of the president.” an insider said

Now that the two major political parties for the election have settled for the Edo South Senatorial zone for their deputy governor, what is going to be the fate of LP in the election?

Will the Labour Party Zone its deputy governoship position to Edo Central Senatorial District? This is especially as the current Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly is from Edo North Senatorial Zone.

One of the issues that will determine who wins the forthcoming election in Edo is who will be able to ganner more votes in Edo South Senatorial zone. This is so because, Edo South as earlier posited in this piece has the largest voting population in Edo State.

While the seemingly PDP deputy governoship running mate, Osarodion Ogie is viewed in the political space in Edo as one who can win the Edo South for his Party, anytime and day owing to his wide acceptance by the people, Dennis Idahosa on the other hand, though young might pull a surprise in the Zone owing to his grassroots appeal.

Most youths in the state are now singing «youth O› clock›, meaning, they are supporting a youth for the position of a governor or deputy governor for the state. This is where Hon. Idahosa may have an edge, especially, having dominated Ovia Federal Constituency over the years.

Ogie, also is a major factor in Ikpoba-Okha, Oredo and Egor Local Government Areas in Edo South. No, doubt, with his political dexterity and large followers, Barr. Ogie is got to be key in the forthcoming election.

The battle for the seat of power in Osadebe House in Edo State is going to be very competitive in Edo Central Senatorial District as Dr. Asue Ighodalo of the PDP and Sen. Monday Okpepbholo are from this district. So, who wins this zone in the election is another question begging for answer

While Ighodalo has transversed the nooks and crannies in senatorial district and the state at large in his quest for the number one position in Edo, Sen. Okpepbholo, who is a debutant in the Senate House and popular amongst Edo Central people may be banking on the  tag of “Chief Tony Anenih adopted political son”, to emerge victorious in the Zone.

The issue of aggrieved members in the Edo Central senatorial district may play kill role on who wins the election in the area. This is the area, the APC governorship candidate, Okpepbholo may have little or no issue as virtually all the aspirants of the party are fully in support of Okpepbholo›s candidacy.

For the PDP, some aspirant are that include Aselm Ojezua and Chief Felix Akhabue who are rumoured not to be favourably disposed to the candidacy of Ighodalo may want to work against the party in the area.

Also, Edo Central is politically made up of Agbazilo and Okpepbholo and this will no, doubt, play key role in who controls the zone in the next election. While Agbazilo has a house of representatives member, Hon. Odianose Okojie (APC), Okpepbholo has Sen. Monday Okpepbholo and Hon. Marcus Onobun (PDP) House of Representatives Member. The agitation may be to balance the political equation of two apiece each for the two group.

In Edo North, Oshiomhole›s factor will be coming to play as this Senatorial District is largely controlled by Oshiomhole›s political cum developmental influence. Again, with the disagreement between Governor Godwin Obaseki and his Deputy, Philip Shaibu, not to talk about Chief Dan Orbih, and Pascal Ugbome of the legacy faction of the PDP, Edo North is likely to be one way traffic- APC. This is not to undermine the political potentials of Hon. Johnson Abulegba, Mike Ogiadomhe and others in the area.

As it stands, Edo South Senatorial zone is going to be the deciding factor for which party wins the governorship election come, September 21, 2024.

READ ALSO: 8th day Fidau prayers for late Olubadan, Oba Balogun, holds Friday

 


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