The forthcoming Edo governorship elections slated for September 19, 2020, has been characterized with so many dramas even before the incumbent Governor, Godwin Obaseki declared his intention to go for the second term in office.
There have been allegations and counter-allegations from both the camp of Governor Obaseki, former governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomole and the governorship candidate of the All progressives Congress, APC, Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu.
You will recall that Iyamu had earlier contested under the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP during the 2016 Edo elections before he decamped to the APC and finally emerged as its flagbearer.
Also, the incumbent governor, Obaseki contested and won the governorship elections in 2016 under the platform of the APC before he decamped to the PDP in 2020 when it became obvious that he might not be considered as the flagbearer of the APC.
Edo Elections: Godfatherism And Other Matters Arising
One of the many topics that have dominated the matters arising over the forthcoming Edo elections is the issue of godfatherism and pre-election violence which has raised concerns in many quarters over the possible outcome of the elections.
The Amnesty International Nigeria among other organizations has raised concerns on the need to pay attention to the pocket of politically related violence in Edo state and the need to ensure the safety of lives and property before, during and after the elections.
While calling on the Federal government and other stakeholders to provide security ahead of the election, one cannot but remember how the 2019 governorship elections in Kogi State resulted to the loss of lives and property, while some people have also fallen victims of political violence during elections in other states of the federation.
Electorates in both Ondo and Edo states are gearing up to either elect a new governor or return the incumbent as both Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of the APC and Godwin Obaseki of the PDP had declared their intention to re-contest.
However, the Edo elections seem to raise more concern given the fact that the election would determine so much about the relevance of Comrade Oshiomole in the Nigerian political space.
There are chances that the former NLC leader would want to do everything possible to redeem his image after his removal as the National Chairman of the APC.
Though Oshiomhole publicly declared that he sold a bad product to Edo State people in 2016 as he further stated that he supported the governorship aspiration of Obaseki in 2016 to ensure the continuity of his projects and programmes.
He also described Ize-Iyamu as a man of God, who will ensure good governance in Edo State as he further agreed that he has made honest mistakes and apologised for the error of supporting Obaseki in 2016.
Many people have noted that the former governor did not walk his talk about godfatherism as he tried to play the role of a godfather in the administration of Obaseki.
Unfortunately, his inability to decide so much about the Obaseki-led administration seems to be one of the reasons he is not finding Obaseki interesting anymore.
Also, it appears that Comrade Oshiomole was quick to forget how he de-marketed pastor Ize Iyamu and levelled various allegations against him with the sole aim of ensuring that he sale Obaseki to the people of Edo State before their relationship turned sour.
Even when some of the allegations might be considered a political utterance, others sound so disturbing than to be swept under the carpet if indeed he raised those allegations in the interest of good governance and out of concern to ensure that credible governorship candidate emerges winner of the 2016 governorship poll.
However, while Pastor Iyamu seems to be more concerned about politics than critically defending himself and proofing Oshiomole wrong, Obaseki too is not addressing critical issues that needed to be addressed and selling his candidature by stating his achievements, rather, he appears to be more concerned about non-issue based campaigns.
In a saner clime, Ize Iyamu should have been made to answer questions as regards the disturbing allegations raised against him before he gets cleared to secure the governorship ticket to participate in the 2020 governorship elections under the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
If indeed the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government is serious about fighting corruption, Ize Iyamu ought to be made to answer the questions about the corruption-related allegations levelled against him by his newly found political leader, Oshiomole, who nailed him to the cross before he decamped to the APC.
Moreover, it is imperative to look a bit beyond the 2020 governorship elections and look into the harm godfatherism has done to politics, electoral process and governance as a whole in Nigeria and Edo State in particular.
One of the questions begging for answer is that does godfatherism has any good thing or benefit to offer in promoting democracy and good governance in the country?
Without going back and forth, it is very obvious that godfatherism have done more harm than good to the nation’s politics and governance which in turn have negative effects on the livelihood of the Nigerian masses.
With the different dramas playing out between Obaseki, Oshiomole and Iyamu, one very important thing is for the people of Edo state to be able to elect the candidate of their choice by the virtue of a free, fair and violence-free elections.
Also, it is important for politicians within and outside the state to note that their ambition is not worth the life of any citizen of the state.
As a government that parade itself as an agent of change, it is imperative for the President Buhari-led government to see to ensure that the needed security measures are put in place to make the forthcoming Edo elections violence-free.