Edo Election: “Awalokan” and “Our Edo” – Edo Obidients Say

By Adejumo David Adebayo

History belongs to those willing to fight for what they desire.

Either you have an agenda you’re assiduously working towards or others will use you to achieve theirsA Story for Yorùbá But

Any ideology is only as useful as the utility it has for a people, culture and society in achieving civilisational success and prosperity.

Background: In Edo State there are three senatorial zones: North, Central and South.

Lucky Igbinedion from Edo South had eight years as Governor,

Oserheimen Osunbor from Edo Central had eighteen months,

Adams Oshiomhole from the North had eight years and

the incumbent Andrew Obaseki from Edo South is rounding up his eight years.

The Labour Party is fielding Olumide Akpata to succeed the incumbent Gov. Obaseki from the same Edo South and even the same LGA touting “zoning principle” that birthed their entire movement.

Imo and Edo Versus “LP Top to Bottom”

The slogan “Labour Party-Top to Bottom,” which advocates for voting for the Labour Party at all levels irrespective of race, religion, or sectarianism, has gained popularity among party members, sometimes known as “Obidients.”

This campaign was primarily led by Edo Obidients and South East Obidients.

“Our Imo”

Later, South East Obidients breached the campaign by not casting their votes for the Imo State Labour Party’s candidate for governor.

Consequently, they reelected Hope Uzodinma, the APC candidate, whose candidature and party were despised.Imo natives had written comments on social media pleading with non-Imo citizens and indigenes to stay out of the Imo election.

“Our Edo” and “Awalokan”

Once more, in the upcoming Edo Governorship Election, a number of well-known and prominent members of the Obidient Movement of Edo State Origin have called on non-Edo Citizens to refrain from interfering in the election.

They have also abandoned their support of the “Labour Party Top to Bottom,” which they had previously advocated for, and they have begun chanting “Awalokan,” which is a popular slogan coined by President Bola Tinubu during his campaign and means “It’s our Turn.”

A similar chant is being emitted by Obidients from the Edo South Senatorial Zone, rejecting the Labour Party Candidate, Olumide Akpata.

In addition to the fact that many Obidients of Edo State Origin are rejecting Olumide Akpata, the Labour Party candidate, he is being rejected because of his “Yorùbá Names” as opposed to Edo/Edoid names.

If Olumide Akpata is truly of Yorùbá descent, then why would a “Yorùbá man be Governor of Edo State,” as many of them have questioned.

Since Edo Descents with Yorubá names have faced prejudice, marginalisation, and exclusion for many years, the reaction is not absurd.

Interestingly, the same Obidients who had campaigned on the platform of rejecting ethnicity—which they called bigotry, religion, and sectarianism—that many of their Yorubá Obidient counterparts had bought into and which was the foundation for the outcomes of the presidential and subsequent Lagos gubernatorial elections are now saying, “Awalokan.

Could you find it noteworthy that the same Obidients who considered Lagos to be a state in Nigeria, with complete jurisdiction to meddle in its subnational politics and elections, are now arguing that non-Edo Citizens or Indigenous people should not have any voice in Edo politics or elections?

The same Edo Obidients who, with their Eastern Overlords, justified meddling in the Lagos Gubernatorial Election to control its result by citing tax payments as justification is now warning Yorùbá Obidients and all other non-Edo Citizens/Indigenes to avoid meddling in the Edo State Election. Found this to be interesting?

Aren’t they the same Obidients who considered the phraseOur Lagos” to be xenophobic and discriminatory, now chanting “Our Edo”?

Will Yorùbá Obidients Ronu?

I just feel sorry for the Yorubá Obidients who fell victim to the De-ethnization programme and avoided Identity Politics, while those who had been advising them were turning back on them.

The same Yorùbá Obidients deny and denigrate their yorubaness for Bola Tinubu’s election; they hate their parents and curse the wombs that gave birth to them on the altar of Obidient Solidarity, De-ethnization, and the fight against identity politics.

I wonder how they would feel now that they witness their fellow Obidients of Igbo and Edo Origins participating in high-level identity politics, xenophobia, and prejudice against those who are not Igbo or Edo.

If Edo State believed to be Obidient Headquarters could be rejecting Olumide Akpata based solely on his identity, then the Yorùbá Obidients have nothing to fear.

There is a question that demands an answer: Will Yorùbá wing of Obidient Group Ronu?