Edo APC and The political life of Governor Obaseki.. 

By Mesioye Toheeb Babatunde

Politics they say has always been a game of interest and it is not a new thing in that act when foes become greatest of friends and friends become foes to the marrow.

It didn't start today neither did it weeks or months ago, it has been from the scratch, from the very onset of the act, interest and loyalty has always been the core currency of politics.

The ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in EDO state has set June 22nd has its game day for its Direct primary to decide who the flag-bearer of the party will be in the forthcoming Governorship Election slated to hold in September 2020.

Followers and observers of the State Politics(EDO) should be aware there are 2 staunch faction in the state chapter of the All Progressive Congress.

A faction loyal to the National Chairman of the Party and former Governor of the State Comrade Adam's Oshiomole and the other faction loyalist of the incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki who happens to be once political godson to Oshiomole but today the narrative has changed.

Estranged godfather and godson have been in the news for a long time for different reasons attacking each other over the governance and administration of the state.

To some it may be as if Oshiomole is meddling in the affairs of the state too much rather than face his new assignment as the Party's number card carrying member while to others it may be a case of Obaseki been ungrateful to his political godfather who against all odds ensured he emerged as Governor after him, they believe loyalty is key in politics and if he could treat Oshiomole like this then nobody should feel safe around the Governor.

Godfather /godson eventual breakup didn't start today in Nigeria, it has been part of our political revolution for a while, cutting across all the six geopolitical zones. We have had the Kwankwanso/Ganduje issues, We've had Akpabio/Udom Emmanuel issues and many more.

Overtime the All progressive congress, Edo state chapter has witnessed series of issues and has not for once stopped being in the news since the feud between Oshiomhole and Obaseki started. Battle of supremacy between the two has not allowed the party to truly enjoy its time as the ruling party in the state.

The scenario here can't be totally compared to what played out in Lagos in the case where Ambode had the soul of the party. Here is largely divided yet the Lagos scenario might play out if the governor slacks in his preparations.

Who is Osagie Eze-Iyamu?
Born in Benin City on the 21st day of June 1962, A pastor, A lawyer, A politician, A former Chief of Staff between 1999-2003 and Secretary to the Edo State Government between 2003- 2007.

He was the National Vice Chairman, South-South, of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and led Governor Oshiomhole’s campaign for second term, After he fell out with Oshiomhole and left the APC, he joined the PDP and became Coordinator of the Goodluck/Sambo Campaign Organisation for the 2015 presidential election and later became the governorship candidate of the PDP for the 2016 governorship Election against the incumbent Governor Obaseki. He lost the election by close to a 100 thousand votes having over 41% of the total votes cast.

Before picking up his gubernatorial nomination form on Wednesday 27th, it was gathered that 6 other aspirants had stepped down for him while the 7th person voluntarily backed out of the race. Pastor Eze Iyamu even claimed they all gathered and paid for his 22million nomination form.

It is clear from all the happenings in the state chapter of the ruling party that Governor Obaseki is the sole enemy and everyone seems to be dropping their ego and join in the race to unseat him.

It should be noted that Pastor Eze-Iyamu who was a one time close ally of Oshiomhole before the relationship went sore is now the candidate of the Faction allegedly loyal to Oshiomhole in the state chapter and they both seem to have let go of the past in a mission to unseat the incumbent.

Another point worthy of note is that the party has decided to go the way of Direct primary which means all card carrying members of the party in the state will be eligible to vote in the forthcoming primary slated for June 22nd.

The issue of primary election procedure has been a big issue for a while if it should be direct, indirect or consensus as the party constitution accommodates all but it seems all party have agreed and Direct primary will now be the order of the day.

In Direct primary, the most popular and the one who has had the most impact on the party members and not the wealthiest usually emerges. So this will be a big test for the incumbent Governor as Eze-Iyamu is also a very strong grassroot politician and the song on most APC card carrying members in the state remains Obaseki must go.

Direct primary is not a good ground for anyone that has failed the party supposed bigwigs as mobilization comes from each constituencies of the party structures and not the entirety of eligible voters in the state including the not so interested in politics.

For the Governor to avoid an Ambode like scenario he need to set all his mercenaries into motion and start reaching members in different constituencies, as there is a big gang up against him.

If the Governor loses this battle ahead of him, his political life will be at big risk for he might lose too much relevance and as the game of politics is, political relevance is essential to political growth.

Another point worthy of note is the fact that only the National chairman of the party has the vested power according to INEC to present the party's flag bearer for any election. Here is another hurdle for Obaseki. Can his estranged godfather ever present him as the party's flag bearer even if he emerges?

A whole lot of dynamics will shape the forthcoming primary election of the ruling party but for the incumbent to emerge victorious more needs to be done party wise for his advisaries are roaring really high.

The Governor has really tried to show the whole world he is not a coward, He said and I quote on a National Television "I am not a violent person. But I am confident that the way I got into power is the same way I will return. God gave me power. If he wants me to return I will continue. No man can stop me. Power comes from God."

It is good he is also getting prepared for the big day, He has said either Direct or Indirect He will win.

But he should be properly briefed of the gang up against him and the personalty of Pastor Osagie Eze-Iyamu as a grassroot politician with years of experience and service.

We, the observers shall continue to watch as events unfolds because definitely the game is becoming clearer and more intoxicating I would say.