The primaries have come and gone with all the intrigues and razzmatazz that accompanied them as each of the contending political parties in the forthcoming Gubernatorial Election in Edo State have chosen the champion they feel is best endowed to swing the decisive battle of September 10th, 2016 in its favour.
As has become the ritual in every political dispensation, the parties’ selected candidates have kicked-started their campaigns in full blast as they attempt to woo the majority of the voting public to support their ambitions to succeed the incumbent, Adams Aliyu Eric Oshiomhole, when he finally calls time on his gleaming stewardship in Government House come November, 2016, when he would have fully completed his second tenure as the state’s Chief Executive Officer. On all available billboard spaces across the state, on media platforms – local and national, regular and social – the contestants have launched massive public awareness campaigns geared towards winning over the electorate to their camps by trying to convince them that they have the magic formulas to all their challenges; unprecedented awareness crusades in the political evolution of Edo State.
Unlike previous electoral contests in the state’s checkered political history, the forthcoming one promises a lot more fireworks, due to the plethora of sparks that have defined the state’s political transitions since the return of democracy in 1999, which has seen two different political parties – the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressive Congress (APC), formerly Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) – administering the state’s affairs at different junctures.
For keen observers of the melodramatic developments in the state’s politics in the past fifteen and halve years, the forthcoming election promises to be a Titanic battle for the very soul of Edo State; an extremely intense gladiatorial struggle for the popular mandate to control the state’s apparatuses for the authoritative allocation of values and resources for the next four years – one that will definitely determine the democratic future of Edo State and its citizens. While the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) will be aiming to remain the party in power by besting other contending parties to the diadem at stake on polling day, the opposition will be hoping to swing the pendulum in their own favour.
Ultimately, the decision as to who comes out on top of this decisive duel will be determined by the people of Edo State through the exercise of their franchise on election day, when they will once more come face-to-face with the same set of tasking questions that confronted them in 2007 and 2012: Should they vote wisely for positive, progressive change, or sell their franchise and destiny to the highest bidder? Should they vote for the continuity of the ongoing transformations across the state, or bring back the gory dark days of retrogression, stagnancy and underdevelopment? Should they, through their votes, give a vote of confidence to the blossoming fruits of good, transparent, accountable and people-focused governance the state has been enjoying since 2008, or resuscitate the dreary dank days of tyranny? It will be another chance to decide the plank on which the reigns of political power should continue resting on: in the hands of Edos or in the greedy, mingy grasp of a few demagogues?
Here is calling on the good people of Edo State to speak out with one voice, through the constructive utilization of their ballots, on polling day. They should be guided by the gory lessons of the past in choosing the next Chief Executive Officer of their darling state. On September 10, 2016, they must come out en masse to speak out in concord for the continuation of progressive change in the nation’s heartbeat. Edos must speak the truth through the ballot once again, for only the truth shall set them free! God bless Edo State!