By Ainofenokhai Isa
A repeat governorship clash is imminent between two arch-rivals as Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, on Thursday emerged the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming September 19 governorship election.
In a curious historical twist, he will be facing the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, against whom he contested in 2016.
It is now a question of platform reversal as Obaseki who was standard bearer of APC in 2016 is now PDP’s standard bearer while Ize-Iyamu who was standard bearer of the PDP in 2016 is now APC’s standard bearer.
While Ize-Iyamu emerged candidate of the APC on June 22 in a direct primary election held in 192 wards across the state, followed by the ratification of his candidature by the NEC of his party at a meeting on Thursday (June 25), Obaseki’s candidature became a fait accompli about an hour to the commencement of the PDP’s indirect primary election held in Benin.
The last aspirant in the race against him, Barrister Kenneth Imansuagbon, withdrew from the race about an hour to the commencement of the exercise, thus making it a one-man race for Obaseki.
With Obaseki’s emergence as PDP’s candidate (although as of the time of filing this report, delegates were still casting their votes to validate his candidature), he enters into a two-horse race with Ize-iyamu of the APC.
There are however some other fringe or minor candidates of smaller political parties in the governorship race. They can hardly make any significant impact or cause an upset.