- Edo state politics has dominated the news in the last few weeks
- This is as politicians battle for the soul of the state as the forthcoming governorship election approaches
- This article lists 5 reasons why the PDP should make Governor Godwin Obaseki its candidate for the election
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The forthcoming Edo state governorship election has dominated the headlines in Nigeria in the last few days.
As the nation awaits the poll scheduled for September, the exercise is expected to be one of the biggest political battles ever witnessed in Nigeria.
While Governor Godwin Obaseki has been booted out of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), there are now speculations that he is heading to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to clinch the party's ticket and contest against his former party.
Obaseki, 60, is a corporate guru turned politician. While he has undoubtedly distinguished himself in the private sector and has done well in governance, he is still struggling to learn the ropes in the murky waters associated with Nigeria's politics.
The forthcoming Edo governorship election, however, gives him an opportunity to prove to his political enemies that he is not a pushover.
This article lists 4 reasons why the PDP should give Obaseki its ticket for the election.
1. Incumbency factor
Although he is no longer in the ruling APC, Obaseki is still the governor of the state and no doubt has an edge over any other candidate if he gets the PDP ticket. In Nigeria politics, the incumbent always have access to a never-ending flow of funds to prosecute elections and it won't be a surprise if the Edo state chief executive goes all out to retain his seat, albeit at the expense of governance during the electioneering period. As the sitting governor, Obaseki still has the state apparatus under his control and it can effectively work for him during the poll.
2. Sympathy votes
Already, public opinion is in favour of Obaseki. Nigerians hate bullies. APC national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is now seen as a politically bully by the majority of Nigerians and more importantly, residents of Edo state. The people of the south-south state supported the former governor when he went head-to-head with Edo godfathers almost a decade ago. Today, Oshiomhole is now playing the role of a godfather, stifling Obaseki politically and eventually chased him out of the ruling party. Naturally, Edo people will rally round their governor and ensure he triumphs over an overbeating godfather.
3. Outstanding performance in office
Obaseki has done well in almost four years as Edo state governor. He pioneered a state-backed health insurance scheme to provide a robust sector that will attract private investors. He has rehabilitated more than 60 roads across the state, restructured the Universal Basic Education Board and the Geographical Image System (GIS) capturing of land and houses in the state to ease issuance of Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) among others. He is the recipient of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) award for best performing governor of the year in October 2019.
Since assuming duty, Obaseki has enacted projects with the aim of making the state an investment hub. Such projects include:
The Benin River Port Project
The Benin Industrial Park
Modular Refinery Project and
4. PDP well-rooted in Edo state
Despite its opposition status in Edo, the PDP is well-rooted in the state. This is why the party produced two senators in the state during the last election. PDP also boasts of heavyweight politicians within its fold which include the like of the state chairman; Chief Dan Orbih, media mogul; High Chief Alegho Dokpesi, former foreign affairs minister; Chief Tom Ikimi, former governor; Chief Lucky Igbeneidon, former deputy governor; Chief Mike Oghiadome, Senators Clifford Ordia and Matthew Urhoghide.
Obaseki can ride on the back of these political heavyweights to establish himself as a force to reckon with politically in the state.
5. Nigerians are tired of APC
The APC has failed in all ramifications. At the federal level, the party is nothing short of a disaster. From insecurity to bad economic policies to infighting within the government, the ruling party is a plague. One that Nigerians must do away with as quickly as possible. The revolution might just start in Edo. Governor Obaseki should be grateful he has left a party filled with hawks, bullies and a gathering of never-do-wells. If there is a perfect definition of promise and fail, it is the APC. A party that came into power with so much promise, but has turned out to be a pain in the neck for Nigerians. Having said that, the party still has some shining lights in its midst like Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno state and his counterparts in Kaduna and Lagos - Nasir El-Rufai and Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
APC disqualifies Obaseki from Edo guber primaries | Legit TV