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Fielding wrong candidate will cost PDP Edo governorship – Chieftain

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It looks like there are three factions in the state but the problem did not start today. When Governor Godwin Obaseki was having a problem getting a second-term ticket in the All Progressives Congress, then he decided to move to the PDP. Most of the APC leaders and their supporters moved with the governor and worked with those we met there to give him victory. After the win, the governor turned against the old members and the ones who followed him to the PDP. He didn’t pick up calls and those of us who had board appointments lost them. So, there was bitterness between him and leaders from both sides. The governor’s inability to handle situations well led to his fallout with Dan Orbih and his group. Orbih is not a man you can just push around; he is a passionate politician who has a large following. The governor failed to unite us and that is why we are where we are today.

I know that some leaders met last week. Some even went to Orbih’s village to celebrate with him and many aspirants were also there. What is happening now is that leaders from different factions are coming together under Orbih and that will be bad for Obaseki who might be overwhelmed. I hope the factions will be a thing of the past before the primaries.

I am hoping that the party will listen to the electorate, that is, all of us who are members, and make the right decision. We have a lot of problems in the state. We have schools that are not functional, and roads that have not been rehabilitated while we also have several other complaints from the people. The party should be able to nominate a candidate that can unite all the factions so that we will be able to win the election. We need someone who has been tested and is well known. The party should not impose someone who can’t relate with his people and speak his language. A former governor of the state, Comrade Adam Oshiomhole, brought Obaseki and left all the good candidates. That is the same thing the present governor is trying to do and that will not work.

How is Obaseki going to convince people to vote for the candidate he has been taking around to meet party leaders? Are they not the people who are going to vote? Let’s accept that language should not be a barrier but all the candidates also have connections to do the job. Oshiomhole brought Obaseki because of his international connections but how well has it helped the state?

The attention is still going to be on Edo Central despite the parties throwing their tickets open. Leaders in Edo South and Edo North are sympathetic to the call for Edo Central to produce the next governor. The South and Central have produced governors and I am sure they will back a candidate from Edo Central.

I have the right to choose who I want to queue behind. If I am with someone, I let everyone know that I am with that person. Some don’t show their support openly because they are afraid that if their candidate loses, they may be persecuted. That doesn’t bother me at all, I love Ojezua and I will support him. Before now, I had stepped aside but the moment Ojezua joined the race, I had to come back to support him. However, God is the one that will determine the winner of this race.

The move he is making will not succeed. The leaders say that the governor has not done well and whoever he brings will have a problem.

He has the right to support who he wants, but he has to be very careful. We can all see what is going on in Rivers State. If he is looking for somebody who will be loyal, that person should be Ojezua who has been with him all along. Ojezua’s activities were what enabled him to get the PDP ticket for his second term before winning the election. Ojezua has also made sacrifices for Obaseki.

The PDP has a good chance of winning if we can work out our differences. Edo State is predominantly a PDP state. But with the way Governor Obaseki has handled matters relating to the party, it may be not easy. The PDP lost in Esanland (where the late Tony Anenih came from) in the last election because of disagreement over the choice of candidates.

They will not come to me or call me to any meeting because they know my stand. I don’t know of any party leader who has attended such a meeting, maybe they attended without letting me know so that they won’t be accused of collecting money. I will tell you that politics now is not all about money. The APC was said to have brought huge cash when Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu contested against Obaseki but people collected the money and voted against the APC. So, goodwill has a lot to do in an election. When Ambrose Alli ran for governor, he didn’t have money but he defeated his wealthy opponent. He had goodwill and people voted for him. People will take your money and still vote against you. So, if anyone believes he can buy the leaders with money, they will take it and still vote their conscience.

I may just stay away from voting if the right person is not chosen and I am sure many will follow me. There will even be protest votes.

The party would be working against itself by nominating the wrong candidate.

It may lead to failure even before the race starts if the Obaseki and Orbih factions do not agree. The disagreement will centre on the choice of governorship candidate by Obaseki. The governor has the right to choose anyone but that does not guarantee his nomination. If the governor’s choice is not wanted by other factions, he has to retrace his steps. There are lots of good aspirants out there; so, why that man?

Imagine him saying that when there are reports that Obaseki has taken him to see political leaders in the state. So whose candidate is he? They must think that we are fools. Why is Obaseki not taking other candidates to see party leaders?

When I say abandoned, people may think it is about money, but it is not so. This is like having a son, and he helps you on the farm after you prevailed on him and you don’t thank him for the good job he has done, or even acknowledge his presence after coming back from the farm. I don’t care about money from politics; I have my business and it is doing well. I am in politics to help develop my community and give people jobs, and that is what he promised while campaigning. He abandoned us by not fulfilling his campaign promise to my community. I am representing a people and I need to do everything within my reach to make sure they are okay just like I did during the Yuletide. Imagine the government bringing 15 bags of rice to over 10,000 people.

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