Beyond APC’s Defeat in Edo
The truth about penultimate Saturday’s governorship election in Edo State is that APC defeated APC, writes Olawale Olaleye
One of the instructive takeaways from penultimate Saturday’s governorship election in Edo State was putting a lie to the age-long prism that all politics is local. In the just concluded governorship election in Edo State, the politics that returned Governor Godwin Obaseki to office was not entirely local.
If there was any strategic slant to his landslide victory, poached from a seemingly transparent, credible, free, fair and non-violent poll, it was the untold story of how the Edo governor plugged into both the regional and national politics to trump his menacing opponents.
Several weeks ago, shortly after Governor Obaseki defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), there was a comprehensive session between some governors from the two main political parties in the country – the PDP and the All Progressives Congress (APC) – at the behest of one of them, who is very well respected.
They were seven in all. Three on each side with Obaseki as the seventh person since his matter was top on the agenda. In the PDP, there was a governor from the South-south, Southwest and North West each. But APC has just a governor from Southwest, while the two others came from North West.
The essence of the meeting was way beyond Obaseki’s reelection. It was a session designed to review some of the political situations in the country with respect to party politics and ponder the way forward, especially the need to sculpt a need and viable leadership recruitment process in both parties, more so at the highest level – the presidency.
Better put, the governors were determined to take the parties back from their current managers and start running things, just as it was in the days of the late president, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. What this also meant was that, going forward, the governors had reached an understanding to always produce the leadership of the country, which included the president and his deputy.
The meeting, which considered many sensitive issues as they pertain to the future of the country, however, first perfected Obaseki’s defection to the PDP, after the initial storm it encountered, particularly from the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, who had someone else in mind as the PDP candidate for the election.