Three aspirants will today participate in the Edo State governorship primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a bid to secure the party’s ticket for the September governorship election.
They were initially four before one of the aspirants, Gideon Ikhine, stepped down for Godwin Obaseki, the Edo State Governor who recently joined the party.
The party had initially screened Mr Ikhine alongside Kenneth Imasuagbon and Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama.
With the entry of Mr Obaseki into the PDP, the party after concluding its screening for aspirants extended its timetable to accommodate the governor.
There has been pressure on the two other aspirants to step down for Mr Obaseki.
The two aspirants who have refused to step down for Mr Obaseki have also protested against the party’s decision to reopen its screening process to accommodate him.
Mr Imasuagbon has insisted that the governor should step down for him since he has been in the governorship contest for 16 years and would therefore not give it up for Mr Obaseki.
On the other hand, Mr Ogbeide-Ihama approached a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, to bar Mr Obaseki from participating in the primaries.
Here is a profile of the aspirants for the primaries that holds today.
Godwin Obaseki, the incumbent governor of Edo State, was first elected in 2016 under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He was anointed by the then outgoing governor, Adams Oshiomhole, who later became the national chairman of the APC.
Mr Obaseki later fell out with his erstwhile ‘godfather’ which led to his exit from the APC to the PDP.
Mr Obaseki was born on July 1, 1959 in Benin City, Edo State to the families of Obaseki and Gbinigie of Owina Street, Ogbelaka Quarters. He is the third child of his parents.
He had his primary education at St. Matthews Anglican Primary School Benin City and attended Eghosa Anglican Grammar School, Benin City before he proceeded to the University of Ibadan, where he bagged a Bachelor of Arts degree in Classics.
Mr Obaseki thereafter did his National Youths Service Corps primary assignment in Jos, Plateau State.
He then proceeded to Columbia University and Pace University both in New York and bagged an MBA in Finance and International Business respectively.
He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, Nigeria and an Alumnus of the Lagos Business School Chief Executive Program.
Popularly known as ‘rice mill’ in Edo State, Kenneth Imasuagbon was born on May 4, 1966. He hails from Ewohimi community in Edo State.
He has been a governorship aspirant in Edo State in six consecutive election cycles.
He Obtained a degree in Law from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University).
He is a lawyer, politician, businessman, philanthropist and the chairman of Abuja based Pace Setters Group of Schools.
He is a principal partner at Imansuangbon and Co. Company, a legal firm he founded.
He worked as a technical assistant in training at the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) in the early 1980s.
Mr Imasuagbon is popularly known as the rice man in Edo State due to his annual philanthropic act of distributing rice to the indigent in the state.
He has vowed never to step down from the governorship race.
Unarguably the youngest aspirant, Mr Ogbeide-Ihama is a 44 years old serving member of the House of Representatives.
He represents Oredo Federal Constituency at the Federal House of Representatives and is currently the chairman of the house committee on culture and tourism.
He hails from the Jackson Ogbeide-Ihama dynasty in Benin (Umogun n’Ihogbe royal family) and the Eboigbe n’Etebite (Egbe Latose family).
An engineer by profession, he graduated from the University of Benin, where he studied and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering bagging a Second Class Honours (Upper Division) in 1999.
In 2009, he obtained an MBA in Oil and Gas Management from the Robert Gordon University Aberdeen, Scotland.
He was first elected into the House of Representatives in 2015.