Home Politics Edo 2024: APC governorship candidate in senatorial seat dilemma

Edo 2024: APC governorship candidate in senatorial seat dilemma

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The Edo State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Monday Okpebholo is enmeshed in a web of political office sharing, it was learnt on Wednesday.

According to a source close to the candidate, the Edo Central lawmaker has offered his seat at the Senate to at least four different former governorship aspirants, who contested the primary with him, promising to facilitate their replacing him in the upper legislative chamber, if they can support him to become governor.

The source said that, as at the last count, Okpebholo has promised to support four Esan politicians as his replacement in the Senate. The politicians, who contested APC governorship primary recently, include a former Minister of Works, Dr. Mike Onolemenmen, who hails from Esan North East Local Government Area (LGA); Chief Festus Ebea, Hon. Joe Ikpea, and Victor Eboigbe,all from from Esan South East LGA.

Findings show that, with the scandal now blown open, some of the former aspirants have withdrawn to their shells ostensibly because they do not want to be used and dumped, a practice said to be common with Okpebholo.

Further information from inside Okpebholo’s campaign council revealed that the said agreement was the reason behind Onolememen’s recent sudden declaration of support for the APC governorship candidate.

Findings showed that Onolememen, who was minister under a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration, finalised his decision to work with Okpebholo over the weekend in order to take over from him at the Red Chamber of the National Assembly. In agreeing to work with, and for Okpebholo, the former Works Minister had to go against his friend, the PDP governorship candidate, Dr. Asue Ighodalo, whom he had earlier promised to support and work for.

The source, a former youth leader, said: “Minister knows Asue is a more competent and by far a better candidate than Akpakomiza (Okpebholo); but for the allure of office, he wants to go to the Senate. They have reached an agreement to give Monday’s Senate seat to Arc. Mike, if APC wins the election. And if things go according plans, the implication will be that both Senator and House of Representatives member will be from Uromi axis.

“For that reason, it was agreed that when Hon. Odi Okojie finishes his first term, his House of Representatives seat will go out, because Uromi cannot hold the Senate and House of Representatives seats together. We have agreed that Dr Felix Akhabue (also known as JOEFEL) will be the next Representative after Odi”.

The news, which started as a rumour, has gained traction and it is said to have unsettled Okojie, the current House of Representatives member representing Esan North East/Esan South East federal constituency and husband of celebrity Nollywood actress, Mercy Johnson-Okojie.

Asked if Okojie will probably align with any of the other Esan South East politicians to preserve his seat, the source stated that “Odi (Okojie) is a young boy, a loyal party man and a true son of Uromi. The Senate is better than Reps for Uromi. Let Odi relax. He has time. After minister finishes in the Senate, Odi can go back to the National Assembly. When Akpakomiza wins the election in September, Odi can be made a commissioner, if he helps to deliver Uromi for us”.

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