ON THE SPEAKERSHIP TUSSLE IN EDO
Recently there was a struggle going on; it was about which of the three senatorial districts in the state will produce the next speaker of the State House of Assembly. The state has three senatorial districts, namely, Edo South, Edo Central and Edo North. This battle for the speakership position has its origin in the electoral losses suffered by the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria party in the state in the just concluded general elections.
The Chief helmsman in the state is miffed that he could not 'conquer' Esan people of Edo Central and has in a premature response sacked most notable state officials from the area for non-delivery of electoral dividends. The battle for the speakership of the State House of Assembly is engendered by the same desire by the state governor to 'punish' the Esans for not being loyal.
Currently, the position is being occupied by Rt. Hon. Bright Omokhodion who hails from Edo Central, precisely Esan West Local Government Area, but lost in the recent State House of Assembly election.
Indeed, the chief helmsman in the state had issued a pre-election warning to the extent that if the outgoing speaker of the State Assembly was not elected, the Esans would lose the speakership position. This is exactly the crux of the matter. If the variables were otherwise, it is the democratic rights of the elected honourables to elect their own presiding officers. Since politics is also about who gets what, when and how (apologies to Harold Lasswell), it is important to retain the mechanics of peace and development in the state.
A point of historical importance is that from the beginning that the Bini and the Esan sub-nationalities in Edo State are kindred. Together with other sub-nationalities, they built the Edo Kingdom to the zenith of its reputation in ancient time and have continued to do so in contemporary time.
•Akhigbe, is the Secretary of the Edo Central-based Esan Good Governance Group.