Edo APC makes major inroad into Edo Central, winning National Assembly seats 24 years after

By DADA AYOKHAI

The last general elections may have been won and lost but the fallout of the acrimony and the bitter rivalry it created among the political class and their legion of cult followers will remain the subject of national discourse for a long time

Likewise, the same election broke old myths and created new ones.

Though fingers are still crossed as to what the final verdict may look like by the time the Tribunals dispense with the deluge of petitions before them.

Meanwhile, the citizens wait with bated breath to know whether or not some of the “strange outcomes” will withstand the judicial test.

The majority of the party candidates who believe they were shortchanged during the process have run to the Tribunals for salvation

However, one of the major talking points of the last general elections in Edo State was the startling results recorded by the Labour Party and the APC in the perceived strongholds of the ruling PDP

In doing so, the political career of some people hitherto touted as the “untouchables” was not only dented but also bruised, battered, and buried.

For instance, while the APC refused to yield grounds in its stronghold in the Edo North district, it also had the strength to make a major road into Edo Central, also known in the local parlance as Esan.

The APC won the coveted Edo Central senatorial election and as a bonus, the party nicked one of the two House of Reps seats in contention, leaving one for the PDP.

The two men who made the APC feat possible in the Edo Central district are Hon. Monday Okpebholo and Prince Odianosen Okojie.

Since the inception of the Fourth Republic in 1999, this is the first time any other party other than the PDP would be sharing the bounty of the spoils of the political war with the PDP. The district has been the exclusive preserve of the PDP.

In the Edo Central senatorial results as declared by the INEC Returning Officer, Prof. Ray Ozuolua, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics) of the Delta State University, Hon. Okpebholo of the APC scored 41, 334 votes to defeat the LP candidate who scored 32, 574 votes. The PDP candidate came a distant third with 25, 225 votes.

Similarly, Prince Okojie, the husband of the popular Nollywood actress, Mercy Johnson, dusted his rivals to emerge as the winner of the Esan South East/Esan North East federal constituency election. The APC candidate garnered 21, 764 votes while the PDP and the LP candidates scored 10, 007 votes and 11, 528 votes respectively. The results were announced by INEC Returning Officer, Dr. Victor Imade.

Hitherto, the Edo Central had been under the firm control of the PDP since the days of the man popularly called Mr. Fix It, the late Chief Tony Anenih. His image and sway loomed like a colossus even beyond the district.

The fiercest threat to the PDP dominance came in 2015 during the Comrade Adams Oshiomole political tsunami which swept across other parts of the state but somehow got stuck in the Edo Central

Many factors may be adduced for the poor showing of the ruling PDP as well as the party’s shocking loss in Edo Central.

Chief among these factors is the existing cold war between two of the leading lights of the party in the state, Gov. Godwin Obaseki and Chief Dan Orbih. Both men lead different factions of the party. All attempts to unite them ahead of the elections failed. Thus, the PDP, like in other parts of the state, went into that particular election as a divided house

All in all, it is a case of different strokes for different folks. The loss of the PDP is a major gain for the APC.

In the APC camp, there are jubilations that the feat recorded during the presidential and national assembly elections will serve as a pedestal for an Esan candidate to fly the banner of the APC in the 2024 guber poll.

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