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Zoning governorship seat won’t be accepted — PDP Chieftain, Idahosa Separato

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As agitation for zoning of Edo State governorship seat to the Central Senatorial District continued to gather momentum, a leader of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Mr. Charles Idahosa, on Tuesday, said such move is not only politically lazy, but would amount to bringing in ethnic sentiments into the body politic of the state.

The PDP leader added that if that should be allowed, it would polarise the otherwise monolithic state into ethnic fractions, insisting that Edo State remained a large one family of common ancestry.

Idahosa, who was one a Commissioner for Information under the administration of Governor Luck Igbinedion and later a Special Adviser to Comrade Adams Oshiomhole on Political Matters rejected the agitation that the Edo 2024 governorship ticket be zoned to a particular senatorial district based on tribe or religious considerations.  

He said those making such agitation that it is their turn to produce the next governor to succeed Governor Obaseki come 2024 are lazy-lots.

He counseled that rather than appealing to ethnic sentiments, the leaders of the zone which felt it is its turn should embark on massive lobbying of the leaders of the other two senatorial districts, just as he urged all Edo people interested in the position to come out irrespective of tribes or any other primordial sentiments.

In addition, Idahosa advised that whoever would be seeking to occupy the number one seat of the state must put the interest of Edo State first and must be  someone with the  competence and capacity to unite the people.

Idahosa made these observations at a press conference in Benin City, the Edo State capital, spoke on the heels of mounting pressure by the people of Edo Central senatorial district to produce the next governor come 2024.

“Edo state belongs to all of us and the beauty of Edo state is that no ethnic group or tribe in Edo state cannot trace their origin from Benin and it is a statement of fact. We don’t want a situation where a politician will use ethnicity, religion to divide us. We need a true Edolite this time in our quest for a better Edo.

“We want a proper Edo person, not Benin, Esan or Afemai, every Edo person is eminently qualified to run for the governorship of Edo state and we are now left to look at their profiles and make a choice.

“Reducing our choice to an area will not be accepted. There was no time when elections were conducted in Edo state that it was tied to a particular ethnic group or senatorial district. And of recent is that of governor Obaseki when Obaseki contested, no time was it left for the Benins alone; every other tribe in Edo partook in that election and the best person won.

“So the issue of somebody or any group of people saying it is this tribe’s turn is totally unacceptable to me and my group. What Edo needs now is a person who has the capacity to unite everyone.

“If we want to start breaking it down you will discover that each senatorial district can give reasons why it should be their turn because there are so many advantages some areas have had above others”, Idahosa submitted.

According to him, “For example, like the Benin’s, we can say we want to hold on to the governorship because we haven’t produced the Vice President of this country. Late Admiral Aikhomu was Vice President, Akhigbe was Vice President and we the Benins have never done it or have that privilege. There was a time two Esan men were chairmen of the two political parties, Tom Ikimi and Late Tony Anenih”, he pointed out.

Idahosa added that unlike what happened in other states where the majority ethnic groups lord it over others, “Benin people are the most generous and accommodating. The Benin people are very fair minded and they had demonstrated it in the past when they voted for Professor Ambrose Alli against their son, Air Iyare, at the UPN primaries.

“Let us leave all this sentiment and look for any aspirants that can be governor to all. If at the end of the day and Esan candidate emerges, we will all go out and support him. As we speak now, there are 37 aspirants from Esan alone. Are we saying all the 37 of them should be the only ones that will come to Urhopota Hall and we will be voting for them? Let their leaders there begin to reach out to the leaders from the other districts”, he added.

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