I was deeply involved in Battle Royale 2016 in Edo with my pen as weapon, working for the PDP Governorship candidate’s campaign. We thought we won that election, but ‘they’ said we lost. On the campaign trail, I saw Pastor Osagie in his elements, likeable, loveable, amiable, always looking out for everyone on the convoy, making sure that we were all well taken care of. I thought we had that election in the bag.
The courts ruled.
We all went home.
I moved to a far location.
In 2020, I got a call that there was going to be an epic rematch, only this time, not only had the candidates switched sides, the godfather had also switched candidates. The godfather sang, went on his knees, and danced all to no avail. The people stepped up their game as they adopted the incumbent as their underdog. The Edo people abhor injustice. They rallied behind the man whom they perceived to be the oppressed. He played well the part. This time, he won fair and square.
Obaseki has been on the saddle for a little over 7 years now. He has little time left, but I doubt that he desires to waltz into the sunset. It appears no one who wields power in Nigeria ever walks that road, a road not often traveled. It is for the rarest of men. They don’t make them like that anymore.
There’s a moral and ethical battle raging, now, in the hearts and minds of Edo people:
To be or Not to Be.
That is the question.
What therefore is the answer?
My crystal ball is not working well. Vision is cloudy, misty, obfuscated by the fact that I am involved as a tiny speck in the kaleidoscope and colorful array of candidates, small, medium or mighty who have emerged.
The incumbent has a candidate, Asue Ighodalo, a man almost in his own image, a very capable, deep-pocketed, and quite frankly, a very cerebral mind. He comes to the turf like Muhammad Ali. If recent history is anything to go by, then, we can assume that he will be the undisputed champion of the PDP, come nomination time.
Analyzing the APC is tougher this time.
Will they throw up a Joe Frazier for the ‘Thrilla’ on Osadebey Road?
For all intents and purposes, to the fairly enlightened mind, anyone who knows anything about the politics of Edo State, the man to beat for the APC ticket is Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu who aims to execute a Trifecta.
In essence therefore, we might be witnessing the battle of the Titans as the heavyweight masquerades take center stage. What is different this time is the fact that there’s a third leg—-The Labor Party.
The ObIdient movement, having suffered some heavy bruises is gearing for action. It would appear that the powers that be drew ‘first blood’ on them on February, 25th. It would matter what kind of candidate they throw up. It is yet to be seen therefore if 2024 would be a battle between old foes or a cage fight, free for all, until one man is left standing.
Be that as it may, a fourth actor appears to be in play. It’s the Philip Shaibu factor. Over the weekend, he reached for the hip, for his holsters, two guns drawn. He’s made clear that he intends to use both guns, everything be damned. The guess would be that he has made his calculations. He alone can see the arithmetic by which he intends to get the PDP ticket. Something tells me he’s flying a kite, but if he were, why reach for his holsters?
There’s a scene from the old Classic—-The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly that this scenario resembles: “If you’re gonna shoot, shoot, stop talking.”
I think this man is gonna shoot.
And then, there’s the X factor—-
I’ve thrown down the gauntlet. I am raising the bar for everyone with these assertions, and posers.
Considering how small the IGR of Edo State is at N28B annually; considering the parlous state of the national treasury with dwindling revenues and therefore smaller allocations to the States; considering the state of unemployment of our people in Edo State; considering the horrible state of our education sector; considering the heartbreaking situation of our roads; considering the runaway inflation situation in the land——-how do these heavyweights plan to solve the problems of Edo State if any of them is elected or selected to office?
The story is told of a lowly man. His nation was about to be invaded by a foreign army. He had an angle to solving the problem, but he was lowly. Who would consult a lowly man?
The answer is to raise the IGR from N28 Billion to N1 Trillion annually.
I have done the homework.
Ask me how.
Author, Poet, Playwright, Public Affairs Communicator, and now, aspirant for Governor, Edo 2024.