By Emman Ovuakporie
Another warfare appears imminent between President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar. Both political leaders have respectively charged their foot soldiers to get ready for the battle ahead of the September 19 governorship election in Edo State.
Edo is the only surviving state of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the oil-rich Niger Delta Region of Nigeria, and the outcome of the battle for who rules the state will undoubtedly shape 2023 general elections as well as affect the popularity of the duo among their supporters.
For 12 years, Edo has been the footstool of APC and any attempt to lose it to the opposition will be heavily resisted by the ruling party.
Apparently aware of the dangers at hand, Buhari on Friday gave a marching order that on no account should it go to the opposition.
President Buhari gave the marching order when the APC Governors on the platform of the Progressive Governors Forum, PGF, led by its Chairman, Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State led some members of the forum and the Chairman, Caretaker/Convention Planning Committee and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni paid a ‘thank you’ visit to him at the State House, Abuja.
This is a clear signal that Edo has been declared a battleground as it will be most annoying to lose the state after the Bayelsa debacle.
Atiku who is unarguably the leader of the opposition too is not sleeping on his oars knowing that he needs Edo to send a message across to the ruling APC that its days are numbered in Aso Rock Presidential Villa.
Avoiding any last-minute surprise attack from the APC, the former VP on Saturday re-launched the 150 Atiku support groups across Nigeria to mobilise against any onslaught.
The Atiku support groups have a grassroots support base across the nation which could be used to galvanize support for Obaseki.
The PDP as a party has vowed that never again will the party’s flag leave Denis Osadebey Government House as it has come to take a permanent lodge there.
Obaseki with the kind of support base he has after changing the face of Denis Osadebey Government House into that of PDP may not rest until he renews the new permanent lodge tenancy.
As it’s today, the state commissioners, special advisers, 18 local government chairmen, and 14 lawmakers are in the kitty of Obaseki.
The APC needs a total rebranding of their candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu who has been properly de-marketed by the former Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole.
Federal might and incumbency have a major role to play in the Edo battle and the winner at the end of the day come September 19 needs to prepare for the second round of legal battles that would put the Nigerian judiciary into another acidic test.
The judiciary system is crucial in Nigeria’s politics and it had been a recurring decimal since 2007 in the state.
Oshiomhole became governor of Edo through the courts using the PDP so called leaders to truncate Senator Oserheimen Osunbor’s administration which lasted just 18months.