Chief Tony “Mr. Fix It” Anenih has reportedly accused Adams Oshiomhole of massive rigging; vows to challenge the results in the court of law.
According to many observers, today’s governorship poll will represent the grande finale of the bitter confrontation between Chief Anenih and Comrade Oshiomhole.
The governor had been attacking the PDP leader, alleging that Anenih is responsible misfortunes that had befallen ACN recently, including the death of his principal secretary, Olaitan Oyerinde and the tipper that ran into his convoy killing three journalists.
In one instance, Oshiomhole wrote off Anenih as dead politically and irredeemable, not even by Abuja. Reacting to Anenih’s speech in Yenagoa that his party would win the July 14 poll in Edo state, Oshiomhole said, “The godfather can never resurrect from his political death. Abuja cannot revive him. “Abuja will not define votes in Edo.
Edo people will decide the votes. When an old man decides to live on fraud, cheating, manipulation, he is poised for a bigger place in hell. “Let him come to Benin and make the statement he made in Yenogoa.”
Not to be outdone, the PDP leader fired back. According to Anenih, “PDP is ready to democratically and legally take over Edo State. We would go from ward to ward, from unit to unit, from house to house and on July 14, Adams Oshiomhole will be voted out.We are ready to get him out through the ballot. We’ll not hire tipper or truck to kill him. We will not kill him by accident because it is of no use killing him. Politically, he has no value”.
With the virtual militarization of Edo political space and considerable tension dominating on day, many are concerned whether what will hold today will be a fair electoral exercise or an outright war by other means.
To scale up the level of desperation to retain or retrieve political power in the state, a victory or defeat for either party, especially for their arrowheads, will translate to loss of face, influence and political relevance. Some equate this scenario, rightly or wrongly as death.
Unquestionably, for the ageing Anenih, a loss will almost certainly represent and eclipse, the end of an illustrious political odyssey; a victory will translate to the re-sparking of a waning political story.
For the much younger Oshiomhole, a victory will equate the firming up of a political career on an impressive ascendancy. A loss will mean return to the drawing board to re-strategize for a future come-back.