Two years to the governorship election that will decide the successor to Mr. Godwin Obaseki, Governor of Edo State, the Esan people of Edo Central, will flag-off the process that will battle for the illusive seat since Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor was sacked by the Appeal Court on November 11, 2008.
A group known as Esan Okpa Group, an umbrella body for three legacy organisations, Ikolo Esan, Esan 30 and the Association of Esan Professionals has concluded plans to push the Esan political interest forward, through concerted effort by all interest groups, including the traditional institution, professionals and politicians.
According to the leader of the group, Hon. Mathew Egbadon, former Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly in 1993 and 2000, Esan Okpa is set to produce Governor of Edo State in 2024.
“The up-coming gathering is also meant to prepare the groundwork on how to ensure that the next Governor of Edo State is of Esan extraction.” Egbadon disclosed at a press conference to unfold a proposed “crucial hybrid maiden assembly to discuss burning issues affecting the people of the Central Senatorial District of Edo State” on May 6th and 7th, 2022, which is slated to hold in Uromi, Esan North East Local Government headquarters.
The architects of Esan Okpa group have lined up professionals of Esan extraction to chart the path for their goal. They include, human rights activist, Prof Sylvester Odion Akhaine of the Political Science Department, Lagos State University, Prof Joseph Donatus Okoh, former Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt, Prof Mike Obadan, Economics Scholar and Mr. Emmanuel Ijewere, former President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).
Others are Mr. Tony Iyare, Prof Philomena Ibhade Ozo Eson and Dr. Pascal Ebhohimen, a former director at the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Gen Cecil Esekhaigbe rtd, as well as Mr Mike Osime, former President, Association of Esan Professionals.
Political pundits are quick to dismiss the big plan by Egbadon and Esan heavyweights. In their words, the gathering can best produce ombudsman report which will have little or no effect on Edo State political pendulum in 2024.