A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Martins Osakue, has said the party does not know the rumoured successor of the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, insisting that he must consult with leaders of the party to bring an acceptable person.
Osakue, in a chat with Vanguard in Benin City, said it is morally wrong for governors to determine their successors as it blocks significant ingredients of democracy.
Speaking on the rumour that Obaseki already has a technocrat, Asue Ighodalo, as his successor, Osakue said being a founding member of PDP in the state, he is unaware of the man’s pedigree and what he has done for his constituency.
He said, “I don’t know him. We don’t know him. I have played politics here for more than forty years since 1978. I was in UPN (Unity Party of Nigeria). I was a founding member of PDP. It is when you know people that you know their pedigree. I look at this man, what has he done for my constituency which is education?
“Morally, it is even wrong for governors to determine their successors. Why? It blocks a major ingredient of democracy – accountability and transparency. Why are you picking this person?
“Look at the difference with Oshiomhole, because he goes to his place Iyamu regularly, he could not afford to allow the Benin –Auchi road to be in a state of disrepair. That was the advantage we got from a local person.”
On the kind of governor the state deserves, Osakue said the issue of zoning that seemed to be taking the front seat has never been part of the PDP, but the leaders would consider someone who is a homeboy and compassionate.
He said, “That experience has taught the PDP leadership that being a technocrat or international consultant is not a prerequisite for governance or leadership.
“What we need is what I have called a ‘politnocrat’. He has experience in politics, is home with the culture of the people and has experience in human and economic resource management. That’s a ‘politnocrat. Somebody has called the person a home boy.
“Our next governor will be a home boy. The person who will be governor will combine the qualities of Samuel Ogbemudia and Ambrose Alli.
“When we are looking for a governor we are looking for somebody who grew up amongst us. Who knows the value of Edo State being a transportation hub in the country. Who knows the value of Edo State being a link between the West, the East and the North.
“A governor who is compassionate and empathetic enough to make sure that the Benin – Auchi Road is never bad.
A governor who will make sure that whether it is federal or state the people who live here are the voters. That your first priority is the welfare of these voters.”