Edo 2020: Octopus Predicts Outcome Of Election

Edo 2020: Octopus Predicts Outcome Of Election
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  • Violence may mar election
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Fatima Mohammed

As the countdown to the Edo State governorship election slated for September 19 narrows, stakeholders are already warming up and upbeat that the outcome of the election would favour their respective candidates.

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However, AljazirahNigeria Octopus as a tradition is out with its own outcome of the election which parades contestants from different political parties. This is contrary to the thinking in many quarters that it is a straight fight between the All Progressives Congress, APC’s, Pastor Ize-Iyamu and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP’s Governor Godwin Obaseki. 

Besides Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu, there are 12 others in the race to Osadebe House, the seat of power in Benin. It is not a game of the fewer the merrier this time, however, the large army of contestants may just be there to add to the numbers, many have averred.

Octopus reveals that Pastor Ize-Iyamu would lose by a wide margin of 35 percent, to Obaeski who would coast to victory with 50 percent, leaving the others to share the dregs.

By Octopus reckoning, the politics of Edo State over the years has always revolved robustly on the stellar performance of the PDP. It is on record that before the incursion of the APC in the state’s political permutation, PDP had always held sway in the state.

Octopus, after a review of the likely inter-play of various factors, including an insider check reveal that the incumbent would steal the day from an Ize-Iyamu who is aiming his first shot at the Edo Government House.

With the two leading contestants coming from Edo Central District, it is going to be a split vote between them as they must have built their respective loyalties along personalities over the years, even as each of them parade personal nuances that would give them their respective edge against the other.

Ize-Iyamu would want to rely on his clerical character as a pastor to shore up his chances while Obaseki as governor would not forget the power of incumbency and his capacity to spread the largesse to the best of his ability.

With Edo North, the district from where the ex-Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole comes from, it would be thought that it would be a  smooth sail for his anointed candidate, Ize-Iyamu but that also is punctured, given that Obaseki’s deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu shares nearly the same relevance there since he hails from there also. Octopus therefore believes that even there it would be a split vote for the leading contenders.

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In the southern zone of the state, Obaseki would have an upper hand as some political appointees are from there. It is believed he latched on this robust influence of his acolytes from there to garner in more votes than other opposition forces.   

As a way out of the growing tension in the state ahead of the election, Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu had attended a summit in the Oba of Benin’s palace where the monarch had retrieved commitments from the duo that they would ensure a hitch-free electioneering where the sanctity of life would be protected. The monarch did so amid growing tension in the state occasioned by fears that mayhem may characterize the forthcoming election.  

Notwithstanding the intervention of the monarch, it is still widely feared that the tension is yet to abate, given the body language of the various supporters of the major gladiators, even as they are seemingly telling their supporters to avoid violent approach to the ballot box. How this would play out is a matter of days.

It is therefore widely predicted that violence would not be ruled out in some traditional flash points where both candidates have apparent strong showing.

For the APC, it is a desperate effort for a victory as the country is blighted by the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fall-out, at least it would further advance its cause for 2023 when general elections are expected.

The election is a weathervane for Nigeria’s politics. The main opposition, the PDP has been very critical of the Federal Government, saying it has derailed from its promises to Nigerians when it initially sought and captured power in 2015.

Incidentally, the APC would want to hang onto Edo State, the only state in the South-south that it controls in order to give it a national character and spread.

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Many have reasoned that in 2023 when general elections would hold is at the centre of this fierce battle in Edo State, since it is believed any party with the highest number of strongholds across the country would take charge.

Battling for the soul of Edo State is between Obaseki and his erstwhile political godfather Adams Oshiomhole, the ousted national chairman of the APC, as both have parted ways over certain political departures.

Obaseki won the 2016 gubernatorial election in Edo on the APC ticket but then fell out badly with Oshiomhole, who used his power within party structures to block Obaseki’s nomination for a second term as governor in this year’s election.

That triggered Obaseki’s defection to the opposition PDP, although he remains the incumbent governor, with all its powers of patronage, until the September election. Oshiomhole in deft move to clip Obaseki’s growing wings truncated him from becoming APC’s candidate for the Edo governorship. It is just as many have tagged it; it is more of a battle between incumbent Obaseki and Oshiomhole than his challenger Ize-Iyamu.

For Oshiomhole, and his ally Bola Tinubu, this is a dry run for their turbulent campaign for national leadership. Despite his recent and emphatic denials, Tinubu is still seen as a leading contender for the APC’s presidential ticket in 2023.

An Obaseki and PDP victory in Edo would be a serious blow to the standing of the Oshiomhole-Tinubu faction in the party. When added to the suspension of Oshiomhole as national chairman last year, and the dissolution of the party’s National Working Committee – where they had a powerful base – this would make it still harder for the pair to win back their standing.

Barring any last minute uncertainty, all is set for the 14 parties which have submitted names to contest the September 19, election where Obaseki would test his popularity against Ize-Iyamu, amid the influence of an Oshiomhole, widely regarded as “the godfather” of the state’s politics.

Obaseki thought it would be futile to fight back against Oshoimhole’s bid to bar his nomination for the APC ticket in the state. As his spokesman Crusoe Osagie said: “Comrade Oshiomhole has declared that he is the Supreme Court and ultimate determiner of the fate and future of our great party.”

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Reasons given for the disqualification included inconsistencies in Obaseki’s academic certificates, as well as his National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, Certificate; which reads Obasek, instead of Obaseki.

However, as Obaseki ran without problems on the APC ticket in 2016, and these certifications have not changed since then, such enforcements appear vindictive, many political watchers have said.

However, one factor working against Obaseki is the rumor circulating that much money changed hands before he was admitted into the PDP fold, even though it is a common practice in our politics. So far, no evidence has emerged to support these claims.

For Oshiomhole, Ize-Iyamu is an ally of convenience. In 2016, Oshiomhole spurned Ize-Iyamu’s campaign for the governorship in Edo in favour of Obaseki. Now, it is the other way around. And in 2012, Ize-Iyamu led Oshiomhole’s campaign for a second term as governor of Edo.

Many believe Obaseki’s push to be his own man may have cost him the fortune of hobnobbing with his erstwhile godfather. It was reported that soon after his election as governor in 2016, Obaseki banned APC officials from the government house in Benin City, the state capital, saying that public funds were for development, not for sharing among the political elite.

Oshiomhole reportedly saw this refusal to entertain the party funders as a betrayal. These officials and financiers had been loyal to Oshiomhole, who had used them to help Obaseki get elected.

 Obaseki and Shuaibu have in different occasions bemoaned Oshiomhole over his claims that he picked them from gutters. They said that Oshiomhole’s claim was a lie from the pit of heel.

If all things been equal and INEC and security men remain neutral as AljazirahNigeria Octopus has given verdict; Gov. Godwin Obaseki will carry the day.

Aljazirahnews


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Adams OshiomholeGodwin ObasekiOsagie Ize-Iyamu