From Habiba Ibrahim-Sam
Notwithstanding the huge political advantage it enjoys as the ruling party in the state, Edo North chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is currently suffering from dearth of senatorial aspirants with the requisite popularity and clout to secure the much anticipated victory for the party at the National Assembly elections expected to hold in the first quarter of next year.
The party leaders are having nightmares over the situation and even though they have ruled out the possibility of sourcing a sellable candidate externally, there is, however, a consensus that the party needs to redouble efforts at getting the right person for the job within the earliest possible time.
Consequently, some concerned PDP party leaders, bent on displacing the APC which have been in firm control of the district for 12 unbroken years, has forced them to openly express their reservations on the dearth of a sellable candidate to match whoever is put forward by the APC.
To underscore their seriousness, the leaders have listed two salient qualities which must be a part of the political CV of any interested aspirant.
These are, one, sellability; in terms of clout, reach and experience; and, two, unblemished record of service; in terms of baggagies which may be used against the candidate by the opponent(s). In addition, it does not matter to the leaders whether the most suitable of the candidate comes from any of the three zones which makes up the district, namely: Etsako, Owan and Akoko Edo.
Since the advent of former NLC president, Comrade Adams Oshiomole into partisan politics and his subsequent leaning with, first the AC, then ACN and after the merger of the legacy parties, the APC, Edo North District has become the exclusive preserve of whichever political party the former comrade governor belongs.
Ever since, the PDP have tried unsuccessfully to either neutralize or diminish the overarching political influence of the former comrade governor, all to no avail.
In 2019, the PDP made a very strong push to snatch the district’s sole senatorial seat from the APC through its then candidate, Abubakar Momoh. That effort also failed and before long, Momoh and a coterie of prominent PDP leaders defected to the APC.
Surprisingly, Owan and Akoko Edo axis which have cried out about being marginalized by the Etsako axis have so far failed to parade any worthy aspirant.
The only Owan and Akoko Edo politicians who have represented the district in the National Assembly are SenatorYisa Braimoh and Senator Domingo Obende, on both PDP and APC platforms respectively.
As a last resort, sources confided in our reporter that PDP leaders in the district are keenly watching political developments as they unfold.
Part of the wait- and -see posture adopted by the leaders requires that they allow the APC to first field its senatorial candidate and then come up with a master stroke that would guarantee the party victory.
Though some political observers have labeled the PDP strategy as “playing the second fiddle”, party leaders are somehow optimistic their plan is water tight enough to spring surprise on the APC.