There is a frenzy of activities among the various political parties jostling to take over the Osadebey Avenue Government House, Benin City from out-going Governor Godwin Obaseki and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP
For now, there are three leading political parties out of which one is expected to win the 2024 governorship election in Edo State: PDP which wants to retain the seat, the main opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) and Labour Party (LP).
Interestingly, the three parties are battling internal wrangling which could lead to the parties going into the election divided.
While some aspirants in LP are quarrelling with the National Working Committee (NWC) over the cost of the sale of forms and the national leadership crisis which also has its factional following in the state, PDP is battling for its unity with a fear of parallel primary election if the national leadership does not intervene.
For the PDP, the party is badly divided with some leaders on the side of the governor whereas some are siding with the deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, and the Legacy Coalition Group, which is made up of the members loyal to the former state chairman of the party and now the Vice Chairman, South-South of the party, Chief Dan Orbih. The Orbih group also has some members who defected with Obaseki in 2020 from the APC.
Meanwhile, if observers feel the APC would cash-in on the divisions in the other parties, its own internal crisis is threatening its unity which could lead to the party going into the election fragmented.
Firstly, the number of those who have indicated interest to contest in the APC is very large as about 35 people have shown interest to contest.
One of the dicey developments in the APC is that there are so many of the aspirants who are strong men financially and the fear has always been how the party would manage its post-primary election crisis.
Will anyone step down for another or could there be consensus among the aspirants? These were some of the questions that led to the leadership of the party in the state setting up a committee headed by the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Professor Julius Ihonvbere, with five other members picking two from each of the senatorial districts to prune down the number of aspirants.