As the 2019 general elections draw close, the battle for Oredo and Ovia Federal Constituencies has now narrowed down to two main opposing parties. First is the incumbent, Dr. Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, of the Peoples Democratic party (PDP), who is seeking a return for a second time.
Ogbeide-Ihama has distinguished himself in the last four years, as the representative from the local government. He is an easy-going gentleman and very accessible, hence he is the candidate to beat.
Before now, no representative has been able to break the jinx of winning a second term in Oredo Federal Constituency since the beginning of democratic governance in 1999 till date. But all that is set to change as Ogbeide-Ihama’s works and projects have made him very popular in his party and across all other political parties, which seem to have given up the fight even before the whistle is blown.
His works span from provision of empowerment for youths and women, scholarship for students in university, provision of solar lights to all markets in the constituency, and building of a junior secondary school fully equipped at Okhuromi Village in Ward II. Others are the promotion of Edo’s rich arts and culture in all the schools in the local government as well as provision of employment for Oredo indigenes, who are qualified. All these achievements are working in his favour, and he is set to break the jinx of an elusive second term in the constituency.
His major opponent is Osaigbovo Iyoha, who is presently the Chief Whip for Edo State House of Assembly. Iyoha, the APC candidate in the constituency, is banking on the state governor to deliver his election victory for him. The choice of the latter by APC is said to have put the party at crossroads, as to how to sell him to the electorates for acceptance. He is not known to be associated with any tangible achievement for his constituency, which is Oredo East during his tenure in the last four years as a lawmaker in Edo State House of Assembly. People of Oredo East can hardly point to any tangible project he executed for them.
The third candidate is Efosa Omo Osagie of Action Democratic Congress (ADC). He is not a political force to reckon with. As a result, political analysts see him as a push over. Also, Action Democratic Party (ADC) is not a popular party in the area. Osagie was a former member of APC and a councilor representing Ward 3 before he joined ADC last year when he discovered that he was not going to get the ticket of his party during the primary election.
As it stands today and baring any last minute changes, the coast appears clear for Ogbeide-Ihama to make history as the first person to win a second term in Oredo Federal Constituency.
In Ovia Federal Constituency, where Omosede Igbinedion, the incumbent member of House of Representative, is seeking re-election on the platform of PDP, and Dennis Idahosa, her rival, is also going for the same position from the same constituency flying the APC flag. Igbinedion is a while her rival, Idahosa is a self-acclaimed businessman also known to be a moneybag.
Omosede, the daughter of the famous and wealthy business mogul, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, may easily win the day as she has the popularity and goodwill as the incumbent. Idahosa, who is from a humble background, is popular for his affluence, which many believe may pave the way for him as the ruling party’s flag bearer. However, his sojourn into politics has become a subject of controversy following his multiple cross-carpeting, first in APC and back to PDP under questionable circumstances and his subsequent defection back to APC again after the exit of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as the then governor of Edo State.
While the PDP is canvassing massive support for Igbinedion to return to the house as a ranking member, the support for the lawmaker representing Ovia Federal Constituency is soaring by the day as elders and leaders of her ancestral home have endorsed her, throwing their support behind her to return as the member representing the constituency in next month’s election.
Igbinedion has promised that if reelected she would attract more projects to Ovia. She said her reelection would give her the opportunity to become a ranking member of the House and urged her constituency to defend their votes and reject any attempt to buy their voters card. Igbinedion’s fears may not be unconnected with the fact that her rival, who is deeply connected at the grassroots, is operating underground particularly with a huge financial muscle to get the support of voters across the two Ovia local government areas, namely Ovia South West and Ovia North East.
APC candidate for Ovia Federal Constituency, Idahosa, has energised his campaign and is likely to win the contest, as many believe he has the charisma and resources, with the backing of the ruling party. Also, he is believed to have the financial resources to push for his election at the February 16 election.
No doubt, Idahosa’s campaign is on the ascendancy as he has his presence on social media and on every available billboard in Ovia South West and Ovia North East council areas, as he is determined to unseat the incumbent representative.