By Emmanuel Imawiyisi-Eghaghe
As the 2020 gubernatorial election in Edo State draws near, some residents in the state have expressed uncertainty for a free and fair election as witnessed in the last eight years; owing to the underplays of both the major contending parties, the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
This is triggered by the lingering differences between the immediate past governor of Edo State and the current National Chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomole, and the incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki, on who flies the party’s flag in the forthcoming election; as well as the recent decampment of five-time unsuccessful PDP governorship flag bearer, who may likely become APC’s flag bearer for the election.
Apart from the ongoing media war by both factions, the assumed internal war in APC is gradually graduating external wings as pro and anti Oshiomole forces recently engaged in a brutal clash in Benin City.
Speaking with some correspondents on their expectations after the release of timetable for APC primaries, there were mixed reactions on happenings in APC, especially with the adoption of Pastor Ize Iyamu, to slog it out with Obaseki, who wishes to run for a second term.
According to a Benin-based political commentator, Mr. Austin Obasogie, the situation as a dance of shame.
He said, “How can you best define such situation where your chief mocker and antagonist suddenly becomes the most celebrated and preferred by the family of the attacked? Ize Iyamu whose image was best represented as a thief at previous governorship election campaign grounds, being an opposition has turned the preferred by the same voices.”
Commenting on the destruction of Tony Cabaca’s house, a respondent who pleaded anonymity sees it as a costly error by Governor Obaseki.
He said, “There are more to it than what the news may capture, because there is no way Obaseki can deny not involving them in services. Trying to defame them at this critical point is not a show of a good sportsman, because they definitely can’t just let go being humans.”
Responding to this, the Edo State Police Command’s spokesman, DSP Chidi Nwabuzor, reassured the good people of Edo State of peace and coordinated environment as far as the elections is concerned, with the support of citizens in ensuring this is achieved.
The police spokesman said, “Edo State Police Command is ready to carry out her constitutional responsibilities and in doing this, we are mandated to ensure the protection of good Edo people. Edo State Police Command is Nigerian Police Force and we are not pro-party or of any political body. We therefore assure the people of Edo State to be calm and maintain peace at all levels; with which there is no cause for alarm.”