There are about 13 gubernatorial aspirants in the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Edo State. Of the lot one is from Edo North, Mr Blessing Agbonmere, five from Edo Central namely Peter Esele, Casely Omo-Irabor, Austyn Emuan, Oserhiemen Osunbor and Ken Imansuagbon, while the rest Ebegue Amadasun, Don Pedro Obaseki, Chris Iyare, Godwin Obaseki, Pius Odubu, Chris Ogiewomnyi and Charles Airhiavbere are from Edo South.
Edo Central with 15 percent of the state population and in the interest of equity and justice deserve to be given the governorship since Edo South in Lucky Igbinedion and Edo North in Adams Oshiomhole have occupied the seat of power for eight years each since 1999.
Agbonmere at 37 is the youngest governorship aspirant on the platform of the APC in Edo State. Agbonmere, who is the only aspirant from Edo North, is a public relations consultant. According to him, “The change we have been waiting for has come. Giving the youth a chance is the change we have been waiting for in Edo. Bringing back the people who led us before, some of them led us astray, they did not contribute to the development of our young people while they were in government would be a monumental failure. We don’t want Edo to be in chain. I am the new face of that change. We are going to rearrange and reprogramme Edo according to what it was known for. This state is known as a tourist destination. Edo prides itself in culture. We have solid minerals and thrive in trade because of our location.”
Airhiavbere is from Edo South. He rose through the ranks to become a Major-General and Commander, Corps of Army Finance and Accounts at the Nigerian Army Headquarter. He was the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2012 governorship election. He graduated from Auchi Polytechnic were he obtained a Higher National Diploma (Upper Class) in accountancy in 1981, he enlisted into the Nigeria Defence Academy for the Direct Short Service Course in 1981 and was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Nigeria Army Finance Corps. He has a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Ibadan (1987) with specialisation in finance. Airhiavbere, who has never held any elective or appointive public office, said he is the real change and the aspirant to beat in the APC. He opposes endorsement of aspirants and does not believe that Edo has attained the best in terms of development.
Ogiemwonyi from Edo South was a former PDP minister of state for works having retired as Group Executive Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC. After defecting from the PDP to the APC, he declared his intention to contest for the governorship on the platform of the party. Ogiemwonyi obtained B Sc. (Hons) in Applied Physics from the University of Benin in 1974 and a post graduate diploma in petroleum engineering from the University of Ibadan in 1976. He has been honoured with two doctorate degrees; Doctor of Engineering Ph.D. (Honoris Causa) and Doctor of Science Ph.D. (Honoris Causa) respectively.
Odubu also from Edo South is the current Deputy Governor. He was a two-term PDP member of the National Assembly for Orhionmwon/Uhunmwode Federal Constituency from 1999-2007. A Barrister and Solicitor at Law of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, having been called to the bar in October 1986, he holds a B.A. (Hons) in Political Science, Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree in Law, Master of Law in International and Comparative Law. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in October 1986. Odubu has been at logger heads with Governor Adams Oshiomhole who accused him of planning to eliminate him using charms. On a campaign trip to Edo North, Oshiomhole’s power base, gunmen attacked the deputy governor under controversial circumstances.
Amadasun from Edo South is a Professor of Anaesthesiology, Consultant Anesthesiologist at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, UBTH, and Chairman of the Edo State Hospital Management Board. A former president of the Students’ Union, University of Benin, councilor of Ugboko Ward 8, in Orhionmwon LGA, Amadasun said he has trustworthiness, accountability, selfless service, commitment to duty, indefatigability, incorruptibility, firmness and great leadership qualities in his favour and as a grassroots person, it is clear that he has what it takes to build on the gains and achievements of Oshiomhole’s administration,
Don Pedro Obaseki is a Nollywood film maker and ace broadcaster. He said his intention to seek nomination as the flagbearer of the All Progressives Congress was done after due and serial consultations. “I envision myself as the proverbial little David in the clustered House of Jesse. Let us write a brand new chapter in the chequered history of our race. I beg you to join me to chart a new course for our children and their children’s children. We can do this.”
Godwin Obaseki also from Edo South attended the University of Ibadan were he obtained BA in Classics. He also attended Columbia and Pace Universities in New York and has an MBA in Finance and International Business. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Stock Brokers, Nigeria, and an alumnus of the Lagos Business School Chief Executive Programme. He is the chairman, Edo State Economic Team and Oshiomhole’s adopted successor. According to him, “Ours shall be a government committed to empowering all citizens not just a few, giving everyone a fair chance of success, to live to the fullest their potentials. Growing Edo’s IGR by significantly improving our business environment, particularly as it relates to ‘doing business in Edo’.
Osunbor was a two term PDP senator representing Edo Central from 1999-2007 and was elected governor. That election was nullified in November 2008 and he was dropped from office. A professor of Law, he defected with his supporters to the APC on Tuesday, March 7, 2015 hoping to continue from where he was stopped by the court.
Imansuagbon is a former PDP governorship aspirant. An educationist, lawyer and philanthropist, he is from Edo Central like Osunbor and owns Pacesetters Group of Schools. Imansuagbon, popularly known as Rice Man due to his annual rice sharing ritual to the poor in the state, was a member of the defunct Action Congress before Oshiomhole became its flagbearer in 2006. Angry that the labour leader was favoured over him, he left for the PDP. He again left the PDP last year returning to the APC where he hopes that his philanthropy will get him the party’s flag.
Esele from Edo Central is a unionist and politician and was president of the Trade Union Congress, TUC, for two terms from March 2007- June 2013. He was president, Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, from April 2006-2008. He was a member of the Subsidy Re-investment Programme Committee, SURE-P, member of the Constitutional Review Committee, director at Trust Fund Pensions Plc, member of the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, NEITI, member of National Stakeholder Working Group, NSWG, and board member, Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA. He is a native of Ohordua in Esan South East Local Government Area and believes that he deserves the ticket since Oshiomhole has carved a niche as an excellent administrator.
Emuan from Edo Central is an architect, who wants to build the future of Edo through innovative corporate governance and entrepreneurial creativity that will create wealth and jobs that pay living wages.
Omo-Iraboh, a lawyer and rights activist from Edo Central said his plan is “for an Edo State where people can take care of the stomach. When you have not eaten, you cannot talk of clothes or school. Do not give me fish, teach me how to fish. That is what I want to do. I am going to work. I will create industries that will engage over 2,000 unemployed youths. Edo is the highest timber-producing state. Why can’t we produce tables and chairs from it? We have engineers who are seeking employment daily when we can produce things and engage our youths here. We are too lazy because we have oil in this country. I am not going to be a lazy governor waiting for state allocation from Abuja.”
Iyare, a pharmacist from Edo South, pledged qualitative leadership devoid of sentiments. He said his dream of becoming the governor of Edo State started in 2012 and was borne out of passion for service. According to him, governance is a collective responsibility of the people.

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