- The stage is set for the Edo governorship election coming up on September 10, 2016
- Momentum is gradually building up across major political parties in the state
-- Ize-Iyamu and Obaseki will join other two candidates from APGA and the Labour Party to stake a claim to Oshiomhole seat
On Monday, June 20, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state made a remark after the PDP governorship candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu won the PDP governorship primaries. Oshiomhole said Ize-Iyamu was a featherweight.
The comment of the comrade-governor is coming on the heels of the fact that the PDP flagbearer will contest the Edo governorship election of this year, with his own anointed candidate, Godwin Obaseki.
Osagie Ize-Iyamu vs Godwin Obaseki
A good number of Edo state indigenes and some Nigerians have started reacting to the emergence of the two political titans.
Critics of Governor Oshiomhole believe it is high time the PDP took over Edo state from the high-handedness of the APC in the state. These anti-APC people believe, the current governor is more of an authoritarian.
On the other hand, anti-PDP forces are of the opinion that, the only thing Edo state needs, is someone who knows the in and out of the state, like the APC governorship flagbearer. They opined that it is continuity that the people of the state need.
Since Osagie is part and parcel of the APC current administration, therefore he will be coming to a familiar terrain.
Both men have their strengths and weaknesses. However, the electorates of Edo state will have the final say, as to which of the two men deserves to put on the shoes that will be left by Oshiomhole.
Comparing the credentials and experience of both men in administration and possibly achievements in recent past, will also make people to know which of the two contenders is capable of succeeding the current governor.
Ize-Iyamu is a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) and a former chief of staff and secretary to Edo state government.
He was a top member of the APC before he decamped to the PDP. Ize-Iyamu was likewise the national vice chairman, South-South zone of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
He was the director general of the Adams Oshiomhole’s second term campaign organisation, but later fell out with the governor. He coordinated the office of the Goodluck/Sambo campaign organisation, and ensured he contributed his own quota to the organisation.
The PDP governorship flagbearer was the chairman of Oredo local government council, Benin City, in 1983, under the zero party system.
He showcased his knowledge in management and entrepreneurial spirit when he set up the magnificent I.O Farms Training Institute, which is a model farm settlement at Ugbor-Amagba communities, Benin City, Edo State. The institute has churned out hundreds of young agriculturist.
He was recently honoured by the Benson Idahosa University, a private Higher Institution of Learning in Edo state, with an honourary doctorate degree in public administration.
Obaseki served as the managing director and director of Afrinvest (West Africa) Limited and also served as Chairman of the Board until June 2016. In 1995, He founded SecTrust, the predecessor company to Afrinvest, pioneering major innovations and providing leadership in the Nigerian stock market.
Obaseki served on the Presidential Committee on the Reform of the Nigerian Pension System. He also served on the Committee on the Re-activation of the Nigerian Bond Market set up by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
He is an active member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and currently serves in its Governing Council. He has also served on many of the committees of NSE. In 2001, he was nominated Global Leader of Tomorrow (GLT) by the World Economic Forum.
He is a Fellow of the Nigerian Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers and an alumnus of the Lagos Business School Chief Executive Program.
He is the founding and current chairman of the Edo state Economic and Strategy Team which was inaugurated by Governor Adams Oshiomhole in March 2009.
He got a wide endorsement from all the major political stakeholders in APC in Edo state before he contested the primary election which he eventually won by a wide margin.
Obaseki holds post graduate degrees in both Finance and International Business. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Stock Brokers of Nigeria.
Adams Oshiomhole's influence
Some political observers of the Edo episode think the incumbency factor of the governor will swing victory towards Obaseki's side.
The justification of these people is that, Oshiomhole is determined to see Obaseki succeed him. One of the reasons for this is that despite Pius Odubu, the deputy governor of Edo state, who was one of the contestants at the APC governorship primaries, he was not favoured by Oshiomhole.
Some people believe the PDP is already dead in Edo state based on the sterling performance of Oshiomhole in the last seven years. They stand on this point whenever they talk about politics in the state.
To some people, the comrade governor has become the rallying point in the state. Therefore, any candidate he endorses, will surely carry the day.
There are other surprise candidates to the coveted seat. Two candidates from All Progressives Grand Alliance and the Labour Party have also fancied their chances in the all-important election. Osaro Osaro Naiwu.
While the the Edo governorship election may turn out to be a referendum on the performance of not just incumbent governor's stewardship in Edo. It will be a test for APC-led federal government preceding over a recession hit economy.
Can the people still trust the APC to lead them?
Who will win the election in Edo? Will it be a straight fight between APC and PDP? Or should we expect a surprise winner to emerge. Edo people will decide but Nigerians await the outcome with anxiety.
Meanwhile, we have created a poll below. Please feel free to vote. Tell us who you think the cap fits.