As political gladiators in Edo State warm up for the governorship election later this year, an umbrella body of elders and political leaders in Benin Kingdom, yesterday, warned the leadership of All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state against imposing any candidate as successor to Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
The elders under the aegis of Benin Leaders of Thought, led by the younger brother of the Oba of Benin and Enogie of Obazuwa, Prince Edun Akenzua, stressed the need for the leadership of the APC to ensure free and fair primaries so as to produce a popular candidate that will be generally acceptable to the people of the state.
The warning came on the heels of speculations that Governor Oshiomhole, whose tenure comes to an end on 12 November, 2016, has endorsed the chairman of the Edo State Economic Team, Mr Godwin Obaseki, as his successor.
In a communique by Prince Akenzua and Secretary of the BLT, Tosa Ovonranwe, the group stated that anointing a particular candidate as governor as it was being rumoured in the state, may amount to re-introducing god-fatherism in the state, which according to them, must be discouraged.
“BLT believes that god-fatherism in Edo politics was detrimental to the social, economic and political development of the state. God-fatherism is not acceptable to BLT and the good people of Edo State. It should not be reintroduced under any guise.
“The people of Edo State should be given free hand to determine their next governor. Popular participation bestows responsibility for governing one’s own conduct, develops one’s character, self-reliance, intelligence and moral judgment.
“In a democracy, there is no substitute for popular participation. Even a benevolent despot who could govern in the public interest, would be rejected by the classic democrat. Man can only know the truth by discovering it himself”, the group said.