Edo 2024: Osunbor, as an underdog

True enough, the working committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has finally concluded and made public the names of favoured candidates of the party in the state. One glaring and shocking revelation is the absence of Prof Oserhimen Osunbor whose tenure as Edo governor was truncated in 2008 by the Supreme Court ruling. This paved the way for the comrade leader, Adams Oshiomhole.

It is strange to some of us that the committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) left out the name Prof Osunbor, Edo Central, from the list of shortlisted candidates for the APC governorship primary of the party in the state.

Nigerians would never learn from history. Godfatherism seems heavily to be at work here in Edo State. Even Pastor Ize-Iyamu could not make the final list. To what and whose interest do the shortlisted candidates represent? Pastor Ize-Iyamu, with all his structures of 2020 could be left to lick his wound? The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has woken up from its deep slumber to endorse Dr. Ighodalo of course, without being told or any announcement being made, one can easily put two and two together to conclude that he is Obaseki’s candidate. Or is he not? What about Obaseki’s Deputy Governor, Philip Shaiubu?

Obaseki’s Deputy Governor who is from Edo North supported Governor Obaseki when the latter had some serious misgivings about Adams Oshiomhole’s overlord as godson politically.

Now, see what Obaseki did to him. Politics, they say, is very dirty, especially in this clime.

Unfortunately, the PDP, having been fractionalized in the past, has unanimously thrown its weight behind Dr. Asue Ighodolo’s ambition. Godfatherism at work? Well, nobody knows, apart from God, who sees the heart of man, which He described as desperately wicked and beyond cure, who then, can understand it?

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Why Governor Godwin Obaseki and other PDP adherents might confess openly that there is nothing like godfatherism in the choice of Dr. Ighodalo, do not say, I told you, I don’t know. But in all of these, there is a certainty and that is, whether or not you are for or against, God knows the entire workings, shenanigans, and exploits of the heart of man! Perfection is exclusive to His preserve! Prof. Osunbor from Edo Central, which is the senatorial district that has not produced the governor in Edo State is never boisterous, intimidated or feels unease. Prof Osunbor graduated with a First Class at the prestigious University of Nigeria, (UNN) Nsuka, Faculty of Law in 1975. he, being the First to set that record. Then again, at the Law School, Prof. Osunbor won the prize for the Overall Best Student at the Bar Examination in 1975-76 academic sessions.

Prof Osunbor heartily proceeded to the University of Warwick, England in 1977 as a Rhodes Scholar, having won the Scholarship in his final year of undergraduate studies based on his outstanding academic performance.

He completed his Ph.D in Company Law at Warwick, and in March 1981, he returned to the country, as a lecturer at the University of Lagos (UNILAG). How can such a fellow with these beautiful academic credentials be ignored by the Screening Committee of the APC? Is Senator Oshiomhole representing Edo North in the current senate working with him at cross purposes? Or is it that Senator Oshiomhole is not on good and working terms with Prof Osunbor? But, as the leader of the APC in Edo State, one would have reasoned that the senator would put the overall interest of the APC at heart.

Remember his role as the chairman of APC in the country? Remember, also that he introduced the direct and indirect primaries in the country? If he had the entire APC structure at heart, then the very best of the best candidates would have emerged without blemish or rancor from any quarters. Something does not fit here properly.

However, no matter what the APC thinks or does, Prof Osunbor would walk the talk having shown traits of this when he was Governor from 2007 to 2008 before being overridden by the Supreme Court judgment. The ball is now in the hands of Edolites electorates who have the final say at the polls come September 2024. In retrospect, the PDP senatorial candidate in the last election lost to the Labour Party despite his heavy and unalloyed support from Governor Obaseki. Osunbor’s leadership style, unblemished integrity, and uncommon humility would be his password for the coveted seat once again. Prof is a leader with understanding qualities who knows his onions. Ultimately, if the APC does not plan to fail in this election, they should immediately retrace their steps or else…

It was Albert Einstein who postulated that “The world would not be destroyed by those who do evil but by those who watch them without doing anything”.

The PDP’s Dr Asue Ighodalo is a neophyte in politics generally. If the APC puts the round peg in a round hole, coupled with the below-level performance of the incumbent Governor Obaseki, then the APC can go for the jugular in the forthcoming September election in Edo State.

I boldly say that Prof Osunbor would build peace above crises in the state if eventually he is considered to fly the flag of the APC and above all crucial development lacking in the state presently above politics. Selwyn Duke was right when he said “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more and more it would hate those who speak it”.

God abhors deceit and lies, Edo APC, let the truth be told.

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