By Prof. William Evbosowan

As the race for the successor to Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state kicks off, the general understanding amongst political actors who stand for justice, equity and fair play, is that the successor should come from Edo Central Senatorial District. The movement is growing like a wild fire daily and cutting across the state . The acceptability of this position among most key political players and interest groups in Edo North and Edo South Senatorial Districts seems to put a seal on this position.

Unfortunately, the crisis th that rocked the PDP before and during the just concluded 2023 general elections is an albatross to the wheels of progress in this direction. Some persons are still holding onto the Legacy/ New PDP divide. This will surely not benefit the struggle for an Esan Governor come 2024 within the party. It will create a situation for what happened in the 2023 general elections to repeat itself; where the Edo Central PDP surrendered its House to Adams Oshiomole and his APC. The political leadership of Edo Central was deliberately handed over to Edo North. This could be fatal if allowed to continue. Edo Central is and should remain the base of the PDP in Edo State.

There has been calls in certain quarters that the State Chairman of the party, Dr. Tony Aziegbemi, should resign or be forced out. If this happens, the deputy chairman who is from Edo South will take over. When the PDP eventually meets to decide the fate of the governorship zoning in 2024, Edo South will have the Governor, SSG, one BOT member and the Acting State Chairman while Edo North will have the deputy governor, South-South Chairman and 2 BOT members to drive their interests. Edo Central will have nobody. The only position Edo Central has (which is the most important one in the state when deciding congresses and primaries), that is, the state chairman, wants to be taken away and some Esan people are actually clapping !!!?

The mistake Governor Wike and co made at the National level should not be allowed to be repeated in Edo Central. You removed a southern National chairman and replaced him with a northerner expecting the northerner to hand over power to the south. We are all living witnesses to what played out. No matter what anyone says, Secondus would not have worked against the Southern agenda. In the same vain, the Esan Agenda is safer in the PDP with Aziegbemi as state chairman. The position of the state chairman is pivotal in the whole scheme. Edo Central PDP must hold on to it.

A united and peaceful state PDP will give an atmosphere to promote equity, justice and fairness. Those that are encouraging the continuation of the crisis do not mean well for the Edo Central PDP. They either want another party in the Senatorial District to have the Governor or they want another Senatorial District to have it. If the PDP is united, the major stakeholders will be forced to commit themselves openly to support an Esan Governor for 2024. This cannot be achieved under disunity and crisis. Edo Central PDP will loose out if the crisis continues.

William Evbosowan a retired lecturer and Professor of Political Science writes from Egor

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