Edo 2024: Jettison Power Rotation- Panel Of Discussants Tells Parties, Electorate

…… Urges aspirants who are equipped for leadership like Agba to join guber race

A three-man panel of discussants on a television programme has charged political parties and the electorate in Edo State to jettison the notion of ceding the governorship in the 2024 election to any particular zone.

The panel rather suggested that the contest for the state’s plum position be thrown open to all the aspirants, irrespective of the zone they came from.

This, according to the discussants, who shared the same position on the matter, would ensure competition and emergence of the brightest and the best candidate within the context of sound democratic culture of popular participation.

The three discussants-
Comrade Tony Erha from Edo South, Hon. Zibiri Mohammed (Edo North) and Abraham Momoh (Edo Central district also called Esan land) also unanimously agreed and reiterated that an ideal governor for the state in the election should be competent, reliable, imbued with sound mind, have good pedigrees and be well conversant with the state, to be considered for the post.

The positions were canvassed while dissecting the topic, “Democracy and its Dividends,” on a weekly current affairs programme on the Nigerian Television Authority, Auchi.

Responding to the question of the benefits of democracy to Nigerians and the Edo people, since the inception of the Fourth Republic in 1999, Erha, a journalist and civil rights activist, scored the benefits low at 48 per cent, adding that the outcome had not met the expectations of Nigerians.

Zibiri Mohammed, a politician and former secretary of Etsako West local government council of the state, aligned with Erha, except Mr. Momoh, a businessman, from Uromi in Edo Central, who scored it much lower.

However, the three discussants agreed that Edo State and the people had benefitted most from the immediate past state government under Comrade Governor Adams Oshiomhole, explaining that it was a golden era of huge democracy gains, in which the state’s electorate and the public had a say because they were the ones who truly voted it to power.

Apparently referring to the current state government, led by Governor Godwin Obaseki, the trio berated its slow pace of development, where avoidable disputes and fights continued to impede progress.

They cited, as an example of such avoidable disputes, the current face-off between Governor Obaseki and his deputy.

The panellists particularly criticised the last local government election, held in the state, under the supervision of the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC), describing it as the worst in Nigeria’s history.

When asked about the Multidimensional Poverty Report, which was last released by the Federal Government, Erha commended Prince Clem Agba, the Edo State-born politician and immediate past minister of state for Budget and National Planning, for his earnestness and courage in releasing such an evidence-based report which identified the states of the federation as the main cause of the multidimensional poverty that had deprived Nigerians of access to healthcare, education, water and sanitation.

Messrs Erha, Mohammed, and Momoh observed that although the discussion was predicated on democracy and its dividends, it would not be out of place to mention the influences of some persons and institutions on the topic.

The trio, therefore, commended Agba for the numerous projects, which he, acting in concert with other members of the Economic Sustainability Committee, facilitated across the country.

They noted that he also facilitated projects across the three senatorial districts of Edo state, which, they said, had set a standard for successive ministers to emulate.

They called on Agba to immediately make public his interest in the 2024 governorship race, stating further that it is his kind of aspirants, who are competent, reliable and know Edo that the people would encourage and vote into office to lead the state.

The development needs of the state, the Ministry of Niger Delta, and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) were discussed in view of their roles as interventionist organs.

The discussants concluded that the new minister of the Niger Delta Ministry, Hon Abubarka Momoh, who is from Edo North zone, is proactive in his work, thus leaving no one in doubt that he would make his marks, and surpass his predecessors in the Ministry.