At last, the much awaited election in Edo State is here for the people of the state to either exercise their franchise and vote wisely for a government that would impact their well being and the state or vote wrongly or unwisely to enthrone a government that would be a clog in the wheel of progress.
The Edo Government House baring any moment from Saturday would be the take of any of the two major political parties, The Peoples Democratic party PDP, and the All Progressives Congress APC.
In Every election in our country, there are the contenders and the pretenders. The contenders are those who have the resources, the people and the media around them.The pretenders on the other hand are those who feel they also have come of age to have their names on the ballot
Before the election on Saturday September 19, contenders have criss-crossed the length and breath of Edo State,to units,wards and Local Government Areas.Some who are visitors to their units only when election calls took advantage of the situation to persuade those at the grassroots who have made up their minds to vote and those who are yet to decide on who to vote.
For the two major candidates, the election of a governor on their platform means a lot
First,it will be a test of popularity for the parties as 2023 though far away , beckons . The gladiators are not leaving any stone unturned to swing votes in their direction by hook or crook.A lot happens during the day and night on election eve and election day and Edo election is no different.
Second, the election will be a redemption of wounded pride for both candidates, Godwin Obaseki and Osagie Ize-iyamu and their godfather (former and present) Adams Oshiomole.
Ize-Iyamu took a long walk to the APC after his defeat in the 2016 election which his challenger then and now won.Ize-Iyamu would like to teach his challenger Obaseki a lesson that he is more accepted than him and would do what he can to avoid a second defeat at the polls,
For Obaseki, this election is redemption of his humiliation over cerificate by the sacked National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress APC under his former benefactor and godfather,Adams Oshiomole . Recall it was the alleged discrepancy in certificate used against the incumbent governor that made him seek solace in the Peoples Democratic party PDP.
For Oshiomhole, the election means the world to him, otherwise what else would he tell his party members who were disenfranchised and the states they once governed taken away from them by their opponents under his watch ?,what would he say that his once godson whom he ousted from the party to another would trash him at the polls?
It has become a tradition since the election in 2015 that the center is apolitical to the issue of a particular party winning or losing., should that not be the case all states would be under the control of the ruling All Progressives Congress.
The issue of godfathers is resonating in the state and whoever wins,it will remain a factor.The APC leader,Bola Ahmed Tinubu had in a broadcast to the people of Edo, asked them to reject Obaseki for a second term.Tinubu has not shielded himself from being noticed as a great godfather to Oshiomhole and Ize-iyamu.
There are PDP personalities playing the role of godfather to Obaseki.they include former Vice President,Atiku Abubakar, his Vice in the 2019 Presidential election and others who sympathise with him for being so treated badly by the Oshiomhole’s NWC.
The election will dominate discussions around the country and the world.World powers who seek the growth of Nigeria’s democracy have slammed sanctions on those who obstruct elections and derail good governance.They along with NGOs they sponsor will form part of the process as they will observe and make reports and apply appropriate sanctions.
Over 30,000 policemen drawn from different police formations according to the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu, have been deployed to Edo to man each of the 2,627 poling units in the state.
The presence of the police along with other security agents will help put fear in the minds of trouble makers.
To say the least in all honesty,whoever wins will be sending a message to some quaters however, those who may lose their lives as a result of violence might not be around to send their own messages which is why utmost care is needed during and after elections.
Conclusively a winner will emerge at the end of the exercise and the parties involved owe their state the duty of keeping the peace.