House of Assembly Elections: Agba, Danco, Pathfinders for Ugabi winning Etsako East


The rescheduled state assembly election on March 18, in Edo State, presents an interesting scenario as the two dominant political parties in the state slugs it out to finally decide who holds the ace with the people

It will also serve as a last-ditch effort for Gov Obaseki to redeem his bruised political image. He lost out in the last presidential and national assembly elections where the PDP, for the first time since it was founded in 1999, failed to record a single victory. The APC and the LP cleared the available national assembly seats.

The state assembly election, therefore, presents the governor with the chance to salvage whatever remains of his political reputation.

The opposition APC took virtually everything in sight in Edo North, including the sole senatorial seat and the House of Reps seats, leaving the ruling PDP in the lurch.

A troubled Gov Obaseki, worried about his political future, has woken from slumber and has embarked on a blistering campaign that has taken him to the strangest of places such as spare part markets, worship centers, streets, including roadshows to solicit votes

. Gov Obaseki, never known to engage in such political brinkmanship due to his training as an investment banker, was forced to roll up his sleeve and get dirty, if possible, throw darts as long as the end justifies the means.

As the APC and the PDP slug it out for pre-eminence, the state assembly seat in Etsako East will be a two horse race and a kind of battle royale between the candidates of the two dominant political parties.

The APC candidate, Hon Kingsley Ugabi, from the Weppa- Wanno axis, is favoured going by the results of the last presidential and national assembly elections. Besides, he was among the category of lawmakers who contested and won in 2019 but whose membership of the House was put in abeyance due to the failure of the state governor to swear them in as stipulated by law

On the other hand, the PDP candidate, Hon Emmanuel Akamba, from the Okpella axis, is a first timer in the assembly race.

Several factors may work in the favor of the APC candidate even though the Okpella and Weppa-Wanno both have four political wards and an almost equal number of voting strengths.

The first of these factors is the likelihood of the APC candidate getting the bulk of the Weppa-Wanno votes. Most importantly, Hon Ugabi has a rich pedigree among the people, he is also lucky to have someone like Prince Clem Agba, the minister of state for budget and national planning, in his corner.

Like Comrade Oshiomole, Prince Agba has earned a lot of political gains out of his stellar performance in the office. The people love him and are willing to place their bets on any of the candidates he supports.

Unfortunately for the PDP candidate, Hon Akamba, he is not likely to garner all of the votes from his Okpella axis. The APC will certainly take a sizeable slice of it, if not a 50/50 share

Most hurting to the ambition of the PDP candidate is the fact that the winner of the House of Reps election, Hon Animaro a.k.a. Danco, on the platform of the APC, is also from the Okpella, and the prospect of the Okpella producing both the state assembly and the House of Reps candidates will be a difficult pill to swallow.

In addition, such a prospect will also be at variance with the spirit of zoning used in the allocation of political slots by party leaders.

In the spirit of equity and oneness, the Okpellas may ultimately decide to cast their votes for the Weppa-Wanno candidate for the state assembly election.

This is, however, not to say they dislike their son, Hon Akamba. As the popular cliche goes, one good turn deserves another. Hon Akamba’s time will come later. Right now, the prevailing calculation is to sustain the zoning arrangement and promote equity.

In the North ibie axis which comprises of Okpekpe and 3 ivies of two wards is known to be the strong hold of the APC.

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