By IFEOMA IKEM
A professional group, Esan Journalists Forum (EJF) has challenged a former minister and two-time senator representing Edo Central Senatorial District, Odion Ugbesia to name the leaders from Esan land, Edo Central that sat to zone the 2016 governorship slot to the Binis of Edo South, which he alluded to at a recent event.
The group in a release signed by its President, Timothy OKojie-Ave wondered how Ugbesia could make such a pronouncement on such a very sensitive issue without proper consultation among critical stakeholders in the zone.
It will be recalled that Ugbesia was quoted to have said during the inauguration of the new Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) secretariat in Benin City, the Edo State capital that Esan leaders had ceded the governorship slot to the Binis.
Describing the statement as unfortunate, the group said that it was difficult for it to believe that a man who has benefitted so much from the slot of Edo Central, having been senator twice representing the zone could so easily turn his back against his people at such a critical time and become a sell-out, advising him to immediately speak up to debunk the said story, if indeed he was misquoted.
The EJF wondered the rationale behind the thinking of Ugbesia and his sponsors to even suggest that Edo South that have had the governorship slot of Edo State in the present dispensation and held sway for eight years under Chief Lucky Igbinedion before handing over to the present governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole from Edo North who is about rounding off his second term of four years will still be in the best position to have the governorship slot again possibly for another eight years without the Central having the opportunity to take its turn.
They also queried the rationale of awarding the seat to the South that currently holds the slot of the minister from Edo State, the national chairmanship of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the position of the Inspector General of Police, when the Central is currently left to live with next to nothing.
Challenging Ugbesia to name the leaders of the zone that sat to decide to cede the position to the Binis and where the meeting was held, the group pleaded with him not to pitch the South against the Central, especially at a time when most well meaning persons from the South have not only backed the call from the Central to be allowed to exclusively field candidates for the next governorship election as of right in the spirit of fairness and justice, but have also spoken up for it.
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