February 23, 2024

For a while now, the South South geopolitical zone of the country consisting of Rivers state, Delta state, Bayelsa state, Edo state, Akwa Ibom, and Cross Rivers states, have all fielded People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governors, excluding Cross Rivers state

Bayelsa state recently tightened their strong hold by retaining the state. The 2023 Bayelsa State gubernatorial election took place on 11 November 2023 to elect the Governor of Bayelsa State. Incumbent PDP Governor Douye Diri won reelection. Diri polled a total of 175,196 votes to defeat his closest rival, Timipre Sylva of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who scored 115,262 votes.

This victory will serve as a momentum builder for the incoming Edo state election, which will be tightly contested by the two heavy weights including the PDP which is an incumbent party in the state and the All Progressive Congress (APC)

The Mid-Western Region was a division of Nigeria from 1963 to 1991, formally known as Bendel state from 1976.[21] It was formed in June 1963 from Benin and Delta provinces of the Western Region, and its capital was Benin City.[22] It was renamed a province in 1966, and in 1967 when the other provinces were split up into several states, it remained territorially intact, becoming a state.[23]

During the Nigerian Civil War, the Biafran forces invaded the new Mid-Western state, en route to Lagos, in an attempt to force a quick end to the war. While under Biafran occupation, the state was declared as the “Republic of Benin” as Nigerian forces were to retake the region.The republic collapsed a day after the declaration as Nigerian troops overtook Benin City. Edo State was established on 27 August 1991 when Bendel State was split into Edo and Delta States. The Edo people political organization is expressed in a three-tier age group system that cuts across kin groups and make age, rather than line-age affiliation, with criterion of authority.Benin city itself is organized on the basis of age-grades similar to those of the villages as well as on the basis of wards and chiefs, both hereditary and non-hereditary, serving the Oba in specialised functions. The Oba is the focal point of the Benin political system and institution is based squarely on that of divine kingship.

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Let’s look at the political trajectory fof the state as it concerns the governors. The 1992 gubernatorial election, pitting John Odigie Oyegun (the SDP candidate) against Lucky Igbinedion (theNRC candidate) was annulled on 4 February of that year by the electoral tribunal. Among Igbinedion’s claims were that the Oba of Benin and one of his chiefs, Nosakhare Isekhure, unfairly supported Oyegun. Oyegun’s victory was upheld on 18 March 1992.

On 20 March 2008, an election tribunal nullified the election of Oserheimen Osunbor People’s Democratic Party,(PDP) and declared erstwhile labour leader Comrade Adams Oshiomhole of the Action Congress as the winner. The decision was based on several voting irregularities.Oshiomhole was voted for a second term in 2012.

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On 29 September 2016, Obaseki was elected as the Governor of Edo State under the platform of the All Progressives Congress.During the 2020 Edo Gubernatorial Election, Obaseki sought for re-election under the APC but was controversially disqualified by the party’s Primary Election Screening Committee from contesting the primary elections, citing missing letters on the governor’s National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate and what other observers described as spurious excuses surrounding the governor’s university admission.The governor had had a running battle with his predecessor, Comrade Oshiomhole, the National Chairman of the APC, who headed the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) at the time, which constituted the screening committee. Political analysts argue that the former governor acted out a script, with the ultimate aim of denying the governor a second-term ticket under the APC. Comrade Oshiomhole was eventually sacked as National Chairman of the APC.

The governor was in possession of his West African Examination Council High School Certificate, which the committee said was absent from the governor’s credentials, while the NYSC reissued a corrected version of the governor’s NYSC discharge certificate, while apologizing for being responsible for the initial error. The Federal High Court in Abuja eventually struck out a certificate forgery case instituted against the governor by the All Progressives Congress (APC), his former political party. He said the ruling was victory for truth, and victory rule of law. He said the case against him was a most needless attempt by desperate individuals trying to undo the will of the people through the backdoor.

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On 16 June 2020, Obaseki resigned his membership from the All Progressives Congress.On 19 June 2020, Obaseki decamped to the People’s Democratic Party and declared his intentions to seek re-election on the platform.PDP described him as a big catch. On 20 September 2020, The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced Obaseki the winner of the Edo State gubernatorial election, He won against his major opponent from the All Progressives Congress Osagie Ize Iyamu with a total number of 307,955 votes.

Governor Godwin Obaskei a man in protagonist in the incoming election, will have to go into a battle of influence again Adams Oshiomole of the APC, who was on On 28 May 2022, Oshiomhole won the APC primaries for the 2023 Edo North Senatorial Elections. On 26 February 2023, INEC declared Oshiomhole the winner of 2023 senatorial election for Edo North Senatorial District in Edo. With 107,110 votes, Oshiomhole was declared winner of the polls defeating the incumbent Senator Francis Alimekhena of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who scored 55,344 votes. He was named chairman, Senate committee on interior of the 10th senate on 8 August 2023.

Adams Oshiomole and Godwin Obaskei will play the godfather role in the incoming election. Will Edo State remain PDP and strengthen the stance of the PDP in the geopolitical region? Time will tell.

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