Home Politics Edo 2024: Esan Okpa lauds parties over primaries

Edo 2024: Esan Okpa lauds parties over primaries

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A leading pan-Esan organisation, Esan Okpa Initiative (EOI), has lauded two of the major political parties in Edo State, – the All Progressive Congress (APC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) – for conceding the governorship tickets of their respective parties to aspirants of Esan extraction.

While congratulating the candidates of the APC and PDP, the group recalled that it had in the past made several appeals to APC, PDP and Labour Party to look in the direction of Esan land in the choice of their flag bearers for the forthcoming governorship elections, to ensure “fairness, equity, justice and inclusiveness” in the governance of the state.

Noting that the outcome of the primary elections showed clearly that it was only APC and PDP that heeded its call, the group warmly expressed its gratitude to the leaders and members of these parties across the state.

In a statement in Benin City, the state capital, by its President, Rt. Hon. Matthew Egbadon; and Public Relations Officer, Mr. Tony Iyare, EOI asserted that what has played out so far in the unfolding politics of the state was a demonstration of the grain embedded in the DNA of Edo people to always support and fight for what is just, equitable, fair to all, and inclusive of the different sections of the State as one family with a common ancestry.

It therefore appealed to the generality of Edo electorate to take a cue from the outcome of the party primaries, and support the quest for power shift to Edo Central in the 21st September governorship election. It also asked the victors of the primaries to be magnanimous in victory and embrace the aspirations of all sections of the state as they campaign for votes, stressing that nothing must be done particularly by their supporters and foot soldiers to engender needless strife, division and confusion in the state.

Urging restraint on messages, rhetorics, emotional outbursts and chest beating on social media platforms, EOI equally appealed to the aspirants who lost out in this race to sheathe their sword and unite to work with the candidates of their parties for the betterment of the state. What is paramount, it said, is the ability to subsume individual aspirations for the collective development of the state.

“At a glance, all those who ran for the primaries of the various parties are qualified noble men and women to aspire to govern Edo State. And we have said severally, that every part of the State have people who are eminently qualified to govern our State. However only one person will emerge as Governor at a time. That person should come from Edo Central come September, 2024″.

“This is time for utmost restraint by supporters, well wishers and foot soldiers of the various political tendencies in the State. They must ensure that their messages, rhetorics, outbursts of emotions, and chest beating, particularly on social and other media, are not deliberately directed at inflaming passion, causing discord, taunting those who ‘lost out’ and unnecessarily putting asunder the peace and harmonious relationship of the different sections that make up Edo State.

“We all need to realize that this is a contest among brothers (Edo Okpa Mankhi) who are driven by a noble desire to fast track development in our dear state”, it further said.

Led by Egbadon, a two-time Speaker of the state House of Assembly, EOI kickstarted a whistling campaign in 2022 to ensure that the successor to incumbent Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, whose term will expire on 12th November this year, is from the Edo Central senatorial zone.

Anchoring this quest on “justice, equity and fairness”, EOI maintained it was the right thing to do to assuage the feelings and ensure inclusiveness of all sections of a state created on a tripod in 1991.

The organisation therefore began a more strident campaign in early 2023 by reaching out to key political actors and opinion molders in the North and Southern senatorial zones in order to mobilize and unite thoughts on the issue of power shift to Edo Central senatorial zone.

Arguing that since the creation of the state in 1991, an Esan in the person of Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor, had only been Governor for 18 months, EOI argued that, while Edo South, which had Chief John Oyegun, Chief Lucky Igbinedion and the incumbent, would have been in the saddle cumulatively for 17 and a half years by 11th November this year, Edo North with Senator Adams Oshiomhole as Governor, also had eight unbroken years.

The organisation, which has been working behind the scenes on a non-partisan basis, stated that its task would not be complete until a governor of Esan extraction, irrespective of party affiliation, is elected in September this year. It therefore calls on the Edo political leaders, opinion molders and indeed the electorate, to ensure that this was achieved in the interest of “justice, equity and fairness”.

While appealing to all citizens of the state to help realise the objective, the organisation implored all to ensure this was done in an atmosphere devoid of rancour and discord.

“The bigger picture is the rapid socio-economic development of all parts of Edo State. We need to galvanize the indomitable spirit of our people located in different sections of the state, anchored on hard work, resilience, resourcefulness and brotherhood. We must watch out and not give in to the insidious designs and campaigns of political mischief makers and political hallelujah boys, who are angling to put one section of the State against the other”, EOI stressed.

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