Akpatason’s third term bid tears Akoko Edo apart

Akpatason’s bid is currently being challenged within his All Progressives Congress (APC) by the outgoing Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly; Kabiru Adjoto and Mrs Aanena Jemitola who served as a commissioner in the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole administration. From the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Oladele Bankole-Balogun who served as a commissioner in the Public Complaints Commission (PCC) representing Edo State who also represented the PDP in the 2015 election in the same contest is also in the race. Though he was declared the winner in the election, his victory has overturned the courts. “I will win because I have won before and I will still win again. I will win because the government we have presently is absolute disaster. We cannot have a one-party state in Nigeria,” the PDP aspirant declared shortly after picking his nomination. His assertions nonetheless, a meeting of leaders of the APC in the local government area held in Benin City last week zoned the position of the House of Representatives to Akoko-Edo North (Constituency I) whereas Akpatason is from Akoko-Edo South (Constituency II) same as Jemitola. The meeting presided over by the State Vice Chairman (North) of the APC, Chief Sunny Okomayin and attended by leaders of the party in the local government area, former members of the house of assembly, chief of staff to the Governor, Taiwo Akerele, chairman of the local government area, Don Umoru and other party leaders, unanimously agreed on the zoning. The meeting also endorsed Hon. Emilo Agbaje representing Akoko-Constituency II for a second term into the Edo State House of Assembly and apparently because of his open support for Governor Godwin Obaseki as other aspirants were asked to step down for him. The meeting also resolved that the party should stick to the tradition of rotating political positions between the two state constituencies that make up the local government. It was affirmed that Akpatasson and the current chairman of the council are both from Constituency II as the Chief of Staff to the governor thereby leaving Constituency I with only the local government party chairman. They also argued that since 1999, no member of the House of Representatives had gone more than two times. Although this arrangement has not gone down well with Akpatason and his supporters who are insisting on going for primaries to fight it out insisting that he also fought his way to stop Tunde Akogun from a third term in 2011. “Akoko-Edo has never been known for any zoning arrangement. In 1999, Honourable Tunde Lakoju was in the House of representatives and in 2003, Tunde Akogun became a member and he was there for eight years until Akpatasson defeated him in 2011 when he wanted to return for a third term”  Akpatasson’s media aide, Omotunde Oga told Vanguard.

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