They can either re-elect Governor Godwin Obaseki for a second term in office, or elect a new governor from a pool of thirteen other candidates on the ballot.
The most likely challenger to be elected over Obaseki is Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
If elected, Ize-Iyamu would join the list of less than a dozen governors that have led the state since it became independent in 1991.
Below is a list of all the other governors that have been administrators of the south-south state:
Table of Contents
1. Colonel John Ewerekumoh Yeri
When Bendel State was split into Edo and Delta States in 1991, Yeri was military governor and technically became the first governor of the state.
He became governor just the previous year in 1990, and remained in his position until January 1992, serving only five months as Edo’s military administrator.
He handed over to a civilian government.
2. John Odigie Oyegun
Oyegun is Edo’s first civilian governor, elected when the military federal government of General Ibrahim Babangida attempted a transition back to a democratic system.
He was elected on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in December 1991 and took the reins from Yeri in January 1992.
He remained in office till November 1993 when he was removed by the military government of General Sani Abacha, a coup leader who aborted the Third Republic after the ill-fated annulment of the 1993 presidential election.
Oyegun, 81, later went on to serve as the first national chairman of the APC between 2013 and 2018.
3. Colonel Mohammed Abul-Salam Onuka
Onuka deposed Oyegun and served as Edo’s military administrator for less than a year between December 1993 and September 1994.
His tenure was cut short by the Abacha administration.
4. Colonel Bassey Asuquo
Asuquo served as the military administrator of Edo State between September 1994 and December 1996 during Abacha’s regime.
He had previously served in the same role for Delta State, and retired from the Nigerian Army as a brigadier general.
5. Group Captain Baba Adamu Iyam
Iyam served as Edo’s military administrator between August 1996 and August 1998.
He was the last of the state under the administration of General Abacha who died in June 1998.
He reportedly sacked thousands of civil servants during his regime, a trademark of military administrators of the time.
He had previously served as military administrator of Kwara State.
Onyearugbulem was Edo’s military administrator between August 1998 and May 1999.
He controversially attempted to make the chairmanship of the Edo Council of Obas rotational, an attempt considered a disregard for the highly-esteemed Oba of Benin.
He had previously served as administrator in Ondo before he took over in Edo after Abacha’s death.
The Imo State native became Edo’s last military administrator when he handed over to a civilian government in 1999.
He died three years later at the age of 47 while he was contesting to be elected Imo governor in a democratic election.
7. Chief Lucky Igbinedion
Igbinedion was elected the state’s civilian governor during the return of democracy to Nigeria.
He served two terms as governor between 1999 and 2007.
8. Professor Oserheimen Osunbor
Osunbor’s reign as Igbinedion’s successor was short-lived after his electoral victory was declared invalid by the election tribunal and Court of Appeal based on voting irregularities.
He was governor between May 2007 and November 2008.
He previously served as the representative of the Edo Central Senatorial District in the Nigerian Senate.
9. Adams Oshiomhole
Oshiomhole took over as Edo governor after Osunbor’s victory over him was annulled in 2008.
The former president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) went on to serve two terms until 2016.
He was elected national chairman of the APC, replacing Oyegun in 2018.
The 68-year-old was unceremoniously sacked in 2020 after a tumultuous reign that led to the dissolution of the party’s national working committee.
10. Godwin Obaseki
Obaseki replaced Oshiomhole with the latter’s full backing in 2016, but the two later fell out and have been at each other’s throats.
The incumbent governor dumped the APC three months ago to join the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a bid to secure a second term in office.
If he doesn’t win on Saturday, Edo will be set to inaugurate an 11th governor.
Source: Pulse Nigeria.