Former governorship candidate and top politician, Earl Osaro Onaiwu, has waded into the controversy over the zone to produce the next governor of Edo State.
Onaiwu in a statement he issued on Monday in Abuja, said Edo State, will not consider zoning in producing Gov. Godwin Obaseki’s successor in 2024.
According to Onaiwu, “gone are the days when power was zoned to this and that. Right now, the only considerations for who become the next governor of our dear state, must be based on capacity and competence. It does not matter where we get a person with the competence and capacity.”
According to the top politician and former Director General of the Nigerian Governors Forum, “I find it preposterous that some people are going about and instead of marketing their competence to do the job, they are marketing their zones.”
“We have always ‘zoned’ ministerial appointments and boards to the Esan people or people from the northern part of the state and what did we get?
“Just a few days ago, the revered Oba of Benin roasted a former minister from the state for non performance. The Oba roasted the former minister for his not uplifting Edo while in office, especially after he(the minister), benefited due to letter written by the Oba of Benin to former president Buhari. That one will soon buy form and people will be shouting ‘zone’ for him. Is that what Edo wants in governance in the 21st century?
“I am from Edo South and I make bold to say we have the numbers when it comes to election in the state. I am also saying that if someone from Edo South has the competence and capacity, he should succeed Obaseki and not you giving us a mediocre because you are zoning. In fact, I insist Edo south will produce the next governor in 2024. We can’t throw out numbers away.”
Onaiwu, a renowned businessman stated that 2024 governorship must be intensely fought by technocrats and politicians who have the capacity to move Edo to the next level. “We can’t continue to play zonal politics while Edo continues to remain as a glorified village. No, we can’t allow that,” he said.