All three Edo senators who aligned with the Governor Godwin Obaseki led faction of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP have lost the bid for re-election following the affirmation of the candidates’ list presented by the Chief Dan Orbih led mainstream of the party by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The three incumbent senators lost out just as those paraded by the Obaseki faction for the House of Representatives and the State House of Assembly.
The defeat of the governor’s faction according to sources in Benin was fueling reports of imminent defection by the faction to Labour Party. However, the governor who travelled out of the country as his punches in the battle with Orbih progressively weakened in recent weeks is yet to give a direction.
One source, however, disclosed that a list of allies of the governor had been presented to Labour, a fact that could not be immediately confirmed.
Senators Clifford Ordia representing Edo Central and Francis Alimekhena representing Edo North had won tickets of the primaries won in their respective constituencies by the governor’s faction.
Remarkably, Senator Matthew Urhoghide representing the governor’s constituency had lost out in the primary in the governor’s faction conducted on May 23, 2022. Urhoghide lost to Hon Matthew Iduoriyekemwen, former House of Assembly member and ex-Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) commissioner.
The loss by Urhoghide was particularly ironic for many stakeholders given his leading role in wooing Obaseki to the PDP even before the storm with the Adams Oshiomhole led tendency of the All Progressives Congress, APC came to full steam.
In the place of the three incumbent Edo senators who are all PDP, INEC recognized Hon Pascal Ugbome (Edo North) Dr. Mike Onolememen (Edo Central) and Hon Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama (Edo South).
The submission of Ogbeide-Ihama as candidate to represent Edo South will particularly delight some in the mainstream of the party as he was the leading aspirant for the governorship ticket before Governor Obaseki joined the party in June 2020.
Following the division that emerged following the election of the governor, a move was made by some stakeholders aligned to Obaseki to suspend Ogbeide-Ihama and Orbih from the party. That move was rejected both by the local chapter of the party and the national headquarters.
An INEC source who confirmed the triumph of the Orbih led mainstream of the party said that the commission simply obeyed the court order to only accept the list of candidates that emerged from the Edo PDP primaries monitored by INEC which led to the non-recognition of the incumbent senators.