Ahead of the 2020 gubernatorial election in Edo state, there is no doubt that the year is beginning to wear the apron of approximated propinquity with an atmosphere of ferocity. Indeed, a frenzy battle line has been drawn between the Umbrella and broom parties in the state. The two most outstanding gladiators for the governorship contest in the state are now locked in the gallant political mind-reading. Edo is already in the hot pot of a titanic battle royale with a highly electrified atmosphere.
APC and PDP are beginning to step up some underlining maneuvers to stay ahead of each other, strategic imperatives, political permutations, intrigues, and undercurrents are seriously playing out while political alignments and realignments are taking the centre stage.
With the recent emergence of Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu as the APC standard bearer and the spontaneous summersault of Godwin Obaseki to PDP and the likelihood of his emergence as the party’s flagbearer, the red line has already been drawn. There is no doubt that the September 19th Gubernatorial Election in Edo State will be interesting and at the same time tense given the recent crisis rocking the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC) over the recent suspension of the party’s political ring leader, Adams Oshiomhole and the ferocious disposition of PDP and Godwin Obaseki.
The suspension of oshiomhole has no doubt left a conspicuous crack in the inner political lining of the APC. Many believe that the suspension of Adams Oshiomhole has compounded the internal crisis of the party and boosted the chances of PDP in the election.
The suspension of Oshiomhole may be a serious relieve to Governor Godwin Obaseki whose head Adams Oshiomhole has been calling for.
It can be recalled that Governor Godwin Obaseki and his political godfather and predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole, have been in a jolly ‘mother-and-child’ relationship until recently when they found themselves locked in the darkroom of irreconciliability.
It is an incontrovertible fact that the major plank for their impasse has to do with Obaseki’s move to clip Oshiomhole’s fluttering wings by blocking all the ‘pipelines’ he feeds from, when he suspected that the former ‘khaki leader’ is planning to lay ambush against his second term bid. Oshiomhole been the person he is, couldn’t guide his acidic and venomous utterances. When he started running his mouth like a COVID-19 preventive running water, that was when it became glaring to Obaseki that a dungeon has been dug for him. He started running from pillar to post seeking for water baptism of some APC political Messiahs.
Also when the APC political deity, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, started expressing interest in Edo election, considering his affinity with Oshiomhole, that was when it became clear that they are plotting to administer the same pill that demobilised Akinwunmi Ambode during the APC primaries in Lagos State last year.
The most interesting aspect of Edo governorship combat is that many PDP political heavyweight champions outside Edo are beginning to fasten their belts to join in the political ring to slug it out with APC in the open field. This will make Edo governorship contest an interesting “field battle” and ‘a must watch’. Some of the heavyweight champions in the side of Obaseki are those that have won laurels from the political cheese game.
Some political pundits are of the view that on the merit of re-election, Obaseki is said to have acquitted himself well in terms of living up to his campaign promises, his remarkable achievements in the past three years in office, some believe will guarantee him victory in the forthcoming election.
His victory will break the jinx of godfatherism and prove that our democracy can only survive if we do not create a situation where an individual or a small group can make or unmake our governors or other elected officials at the comfort of their parlors at will.
The truth is that Governor Obaseki is in for an epic battle. The best bet for him is to begin now to re-strategize and wear a ferocious toga for the epic battle. He needs to step into the camp of his opponent and confront him head-on. As a boardroom political maverick, Obaseki should step up more strategic actions and fasten his belt before entering into the ring. There is already a conspiratorial alliance of allied forces against him which only will require a centrifugal force to dislodge. PDP should take advantage of the conspicuous crack in APC and strike their opponents below the belt. The battle must be eyeball to eyeball. No pretense, no room-dressing.