The road to the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Edo state is rocky and fraughtw ith danger, turbulence, violence and uncertainty owing to abuse of power and outright disregard for the rule of law. APC in Edo state is polarized to an unimaginable height and as a result, party members are cautious with whom they converse with for fear of not touching the cobra’s tail. As it is today? there are different factions that bear allegiances to their choice of candidates – and considering the number of aspirants in APC, there is fear of the unknown. As a result, the free flow of information that characterizes the good interest of political like minds has been rubbished and swept under the carpet – at least for now. – perhaps till after the primaries.The in-fighting and imbroglio have been repeatedly felt within the APC-led Government of the state. The party is at war with itself and the center can no more hold – as the supposed custodian is sword in hand and ready to fight any perceived enemy – not of the state but any person that stands in his way of actualizing his ambition. The law has become his instrument of reprisal and antagonism with impunity.
The people are astonished as they watch events inimical to true democracy at play. Worse still, his deputy has eventually become an archenemy – and both estranged because of Mr. Odubu’s intention to vie in the coming gubernatorial election. It is on air that, the Comrade Governor’s inappropriate reactions and restlessness is simply on the ground that the state’s second in command might not exit with him as their tenure expires this year (if he wins) – and there is a strong fear that the deputy, with his popularity and, connection can truncate his ambition to becoming a political godfather in the state. Apologists of the deputy see it as laughable because Mr. Egberamwen Odubu’s action is not at variance with the constitution. The citizens are somewhat apprehensive – not knowing what will happen next. Social and news media are agog with pity stories of Oshiomhole’s desperate move to misappropriation of funds and other finance related matters. For this not to happen, he is all out to make sure that the next governor of the state comes from his camp.Reports have it that he has stepped on many toes to realize his ambition. This is why many people are not at peace with him.
In the recent past, Barrister Gentleman Amegor was embarrassed by some elements in the state and arrows of accusation was pointed at him because of the difference in their choice of candidate, other political matters and his indifference to the plight of the embarrassed party chieftain.In a similar action, this happened just recently, one of the Comrade’s Senior Special Assistant on media was arrested, arraigned and was released on bail and as luck would have it that the charge preferred against him was bailable. If he had perfected his plan, the man would have been languishing in jail. The reaction of the first citizen of the state was because SSA made bold to publicly pledge his support to the candidate of his choice to the dismay of the Governor. The people of the state in reaction see it as an outright intimidation and an attempt to infringe on his freedom to exercise his fundamental right as a free citizen of the state.
In a similar vein, Hon. Osaro Obazee, the elected chairman of Oredo local government was suspended from office allegedly on the ground of corruption and other related matters. In a swift reaction, the Chairman went to court for redress.The court gave him an audience and the judgment went in his favour, but in flagrant disregard for the court’s decision, the office of the chairman was barricaded by some people – denying him the opportunity to gain entrance into the office. In this episode, the people also believe that the Comrade Governor was behind the action as the latter felt slighted because the chairman supposedly pledged his loyalty to another political stalwart in the state. On this very matter, as you read, the Iyamho man has become a law unto himself as thugs at his behest remain stationed at the Oredo secretariat refusing the local government chairman from gaining access into his office.
Therefore putting these pieces together, one can deduce that the political atmosphere in the state is unfriendly and if not addressed by using the right apparatuses of the government to resist any act of abuse, oppression, and intimidation by these agents of evil, there is fear that in the coming days leading to the election might become volatile and unbearable.
Iredia Osakue is a Turin-based political analyst and public commentator on current affairs