peaceful and refined manner during the primaries. But, one wonders if the tempo is going to be sustained when the chips are down.
The governor speaks
Governor Adams Oshiomhole while casting his vote as a delegate of the APC in Azama Primary School, Jattu, Edo North, tried to popularize a new party slogan which incidentally sounds different from the popular “One man …one vote.” Instead he reiterated that election riggers do not fit into the “change” slogan of the APC. Such persons he said will be excused from the party. This keeps pundits asking, “Has something changed?”
One thing is for sure this time around, the two parties do not want their members to leave even if they do crash out during the primaries. Shortly after casting his vote, the governor stated, “I will be surprised if anybody who participated in this transparent election decides to leave simply because he did not win. If such people want to leave, we will escort them out because they cannot fit into the logic and philosophy of change.”
Major upsets
The theory in the power of incumbency in retaining power or political seats was once more put on hold as Hon. Patrick Ikhariale lost out to Joe Edionwere in his quest to retain the seat in the Esan West/Esan Central/Esan East Federal constituency. Hon. Friday Itulah also lost the battle to reclaim the Esan North and South Federal Constituency seat to Barr. Ogun; Magnus Odion Ugbesia lost the candidacy to the Edo Central Senatorial seat to Engr. Clifford Odia.
Rumbles in the house
Despite the hushed allegation in certain quarters that delegates were mandated or enticed to vote for certain aspirants, none came forward to state their findings, backed by evidence. This was however to change when three aspirants- Messieurs Etinosa Onaiwu, Osayemwenre Edosa and Kelvin Aigbe vying for the Ovia Federal Constituency Seat into the Federal House of Representatives boycotted the PDP primaries alleging the manipulation of candidates by the leader of the party in Edo South who doubles as a former deputy governor of Edo State, in the person of Chief Lucky Imasuen. They accused him of manipulating delegates to vote in favour of the daughter of the Esama of Benin, Ms. Omosede Igbinedion. This boycott made her the sole candidate for that seat.
Stakeholders speak
Next step on the issue of alleged manipulation of delegates
Mr. Olusola Oke the PDP returning officer during the Edo South primaries for the senate stated, my guideline is to conduct elections. Nobody has submitted any petition to me. I guess they know who to give. Elections appeal panel that will come after me will receive petitions.
Need for honesty
Jim Adun of the APC who asserted that winners should know that victory belongs to God and the people, stated however that there was need for leaders at every stratum to be honest. Affirming that he read the protest of the aggrieved aspirants in the press, he upheld the view that there was the need for honesty in the PDP since it was being re-built. When leaders are not honest he said, they will get into trouble. He however stated that the party will look into the issue; any leader who is not honest or transparent should not go into the next election we are going into. They should gladly give way and allow human beings to run the elections, he maintained.
Consensus candidacy is democratic
Commodore Andrew Osas Agbonwanegbe who lost the APC ticket to represent Egor/Ikpoba Okha Federal constituency at the House of Representatives ventilated that consensus is democratic. It shows maturity and awareness. Even if this did not work at the senatorial level it however pointed to the fact that democracy is in place. The best candidate should emerge as long as it is free and fair. There should be no impositions; no one should adopt any candidate. The conduct of the election is good; no one mentioned anything about consensus to me. People have rights; no one should trample on them, he persisted.
At the primaries
Chief Lucky Imasuen speaking on the expected outcome of the PDP Primaries for the Egor/Ikpoba Okha ticket into the House of Representatives revealed that the people and the aspirants were well behaved. This is the new PDP. Forget what the opposition has to say but seeing is believing. Winning a primary election does not mean winning a general election. We will start the second phase by going into the general elections to see how the member representing Egor/Ikpoba Okha constituency will come from the PDP.
The beauty of patience
Chief Ken Owie speaking on the PDP ticket to represent the party in the forthcoming general elections at the senate by Pharmacist Mathew Urhoghide stated that the aspirant had been in the race since 1992. The campaign was started during the tenure of Chief John Odigie Oyegun as governor of Edo State. Victory was lost narrowly due to some minor misunderstandings hence the present need to work as a family, to make PDP come back to power in Edo State, he revealed.
With the present ousting of some political bigwigs in the primaries denying them a place in the forthcoming elections, it becomes clear that the race to clinch public office will be herculean this time around. The electorates incidentally are now more enlightened and assert their rights. The need to become the political party of choice in the state is a source of worry for the PDP which is doing all within its power to reclaim the state while the incumbent APC is doing its best to retain its clutch at the helm of affairs.
No candidate can lay claim to victory at the stakes the way things are presently hence parties are fast to state that the result of the primaries are different from the main election. They need to put in more effort into the electioneering process. The chance of winning or loosing is peaked at a 50% ratio.
Females have become reticent, they feel beaten into the back seat yet they smilingly assert their intent to work with the candidates of choice of their parties. Predominantly, the conduct of the aspirants and their parties at the primaries was quite encouraging devoid of hooliganism.
The presence of security operatives was a plus for immediate interventions.

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