It has become obvious that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State may not know peace before the scheduled September 10 gubernatorial election as the governorship ambition of the Deputy Governor, Dr. Pius Odubu has pitted him against the desire and wish of his boss and the outgoing governor, Adams Oshiomhole.
While supporters of Odubu continue to soar by the day, with an increasing number of political gladiators, party faithful, youth group among other stakeholders declaring their interest for his candidacy ahead of the party’s primary scheduled for June18, Oshiomhole’s focus is believed to be practically somewhere else.
Odubu who has been the ‘whipping bell’ appeared to have suddenly become a force to reckon with as several members of the Edo APC now sings his praises and support his governorship ambition above that of other aspirants in the party.
However, the fear in the mind of the electorate is whether Odubu would spring up surprise by defecting to another party or design a new strategy to seek a fresh platform following the intrigues and intricate infighting within the APC, especially the alleged insistence of Governor Oshiomhole to oppose every opportunity to have his deputy succeed him.
For now, Odubu as well as Gen. Charles Airhiavbere, Chris Ogiewmonyi, Blessing Agbomhere, and Tina Agbara, have all obtained their intent and nomination forms for the governorship ticket.
The relationship between Oshiomhole and Odubu became strained when the latter declared his intention to run for the governorship election.
Meanwhile traditional rulers from Edo North were said to have intervened in the crisis by appealing to Odubu on his ambition. They maintained that the growth and development of the state was tied to the unity of purpose between him and his boss.
Leading the traditional rulers from Edo North during a visit to the deputy governor recently, the Otaru of Auchi, Haliru Momoh, Ikelebe III, extolled the cordial relationship that existed between Governor Oshiomhole and Odubu in the past Seven and a half year, noting that the recent happenings in the state’s polity over who succeeds the governor should not tear the duo apart.
It would be recalled that Odubu escaped death by the whiskers in Auchi, the administrative Headquarter of Etsako West Local Government, as gunmen allegedly shot at him inside the APC’s Secretariat in Auchi when delegates of the council were receiving him.
But with the growing number of the party faithful rallying support for the deputy governor, it was alleged that Oshiomhole was not relenting in discouraging every move of those loyal to his deputy as the party’s primary drew closer.
This is evident in the gale of sack of top government functionaries, party loyalists and state commissioners perceived to be sympathetic to Odubu’s ambition.
Oshiomhole currently spoiling for war with those suspected to be opposing his alleged choice of a preferred aspirant in the APC, according to sources has not spared anyone with a dissenting view with him on who succeeds him.
For now those considered to be against the governor’s alleged preferred aspirant have been told to thread with caution or risked being sacked whether from the cabinet or not.
A party source alleged: “An open declaration of support for Odubu or the mere thought of conceiving such, is an invitation to trouble as it is evident as those who openly differed with Oshiomhole on the ground of his successor, particularly members of the state executive council have had their own fare share of the governor’s brutality.”