Two persons who had served as commissioners in Edo State when Adams Oshiomhole was the governor of the state have kicked against his senatorial ambition.
The 70-year-old Mr Oshiomhole, early this month, declared his intention to contest for the Edo North District in the 2023 election under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Mr Oshiomhole is also a former national chairman of the APC.
The two former commissioners opposing his Senate ambition are Lucky James and Inumidun Idehen.
Mr James was the commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, while Mrs Idehen was in charge of Women Affairs.
The two issued a joint statement in Benin, on Thursday, pitching their tent with the incumbent Senator, Francis Alimikhena.
They pledged their support for Mr Alimikhena’s re-election.
Mr Oshiomhole sacked Messrs James and Idehen from his cabinet in June 2012, one month to the governorship election in Edo.
The re-election of Mr Alimikhena, instead of replacing him with Mr Oshiomhole, would “guarantee a bigger deal” for the senatorial district, the two of them said in the press statement.
“Edo North APC youths should work in synergy with their respective leaders to ensure victory for Senator Alimikhena,” the statement said.
The statement said Senator Alimikhena, besides being the first to get the Expression of Interest and Nomination forms, has strengthened his campaign organisation, as a sign of his seriousness towards his re-election.
It quoted Mrs Idehen as saying, “At my age and with my pedigree, I cannot deceive my people. I owe it a duty to lead rightly, and Alimikhena is the right person for the 2023 Senate.”
She urged the people to do the right thing by nominating and supporting the senator for another term of office.
Reacting to the statement, a chieftain of the APC in Akoko-Edo, Ayo Olowojoba, said support for Oshiomhole would drag the senatorial district backward.
“We cannot be dragging Afemai backward by allowing a new person to go to the Senate. We will deliver Alimikhena with our unity, especially the Owan and Akoko-Edos,” he said.