Ofure Osehobo, Benin City
Palpable tension grips Edo North as the former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomole declares to contest against his kinsman for the senatorial seat.
Comrade Oshiomhole’s opponent, also an Etsako, is his protege and the incumbent Senator representing the district, General Francis Alimikhena, who is seeking a third term after two consecutive terms in the red chamber. .
Oshiomhole made his intentions known during his 70th birthday bash on Monday at his Iyamho country home , barely 24 hours after Senator Alimikhena declared sor same seat with a mammoth crowd at his Igiode community.
Those who spoke with our correspondent, said Oshiomole ‘s decision has thrown spanners into the wheels of the once knitted political family, as loyalists of the former governor that have been working with the Senator are at daggers drawn vowing to stick with the Senator.
A two-term Commissioner under Oshiomhole, Chief Lucky Jame, that took over as the Director General of the Senator Alimikhena’s campaign organization, said, “Senator Alimikhena deserves a third term based on performance.
“We fault the rationale behind an Etsako person replacing another Etsako as a senator, whereas there are other stakeholders like Owan and AkokoEdo.
“Oshiomhole’s ambition cannot force Senator Alimikhena to drop his aspiration, rather the two should meet at the party primaries to test their political strength”.
Oshiomhole had while declaring his intentions said: “It is true that for sometime now, many of our people have asked me, why don’t you contest for the Senate seat? I answered that first, APC has crisis, let us fix the crisis and let there be convention.
“You can’t begin to discuss what kind of baby you are going to have when you are not married and we have done what we need to do and I am inspired by the position of the new leadership as it relates to retaining power in 2023.”
He further said he was convinced that, “it is time for me to join the race to represent Edo North in the Senate. I have also been examining myself because I do not want to go to the senate and sit down, listen to motions and collect salary at the end of the month”.
He also stressed that he does not believe in going to the senate to take a sabbatical, it is an important institution where men and women are elected by their people to contribute to affairs that affect their them, adding that it has to do with how funds are allocated and ensure that the people of Nigeria get value for their resources and money.
His words: “We lay more emphasis on the rotation of people but I am more concerned about even development.
” I have made it clear before as president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) that democracy means that the leaders must listen to the people and if he deviates from what the people wants, they have the right to interrogate the leader”
” If I did that as ordinary Nigerian, I believe that as a Senator, your interest cannot be ignored in the red chamber in Abuja.
“By my antecedent, I am a believer that this country has come to stay and our business is not to lament the imperfections, but dedicate ourselves to the challenge of fixing the nation so that we can create a nation where every citizen will have a basis to be proud that he is a Nigerian. With your mandate, if I get to the senate I will do better “.
Alimikhena was elected into the senate in 2015 when Oshiomhole was governor.