Edo 2024: Absurdity of Homeboy

Edo 2024: Absurdity of Homeboy

By Austin Isikhuemen

It is absolutely absurd to hear politicians and their hirelings mouth this pedestrian argument that only a homeboy deserves to be Edo State Governor in November 2024. By this what they are saying is that the very best candidate with demonstrated capacity, competence, track record, integrity and capability should not be voted for because his mother is Yoruba!

They want someone, who, though is bereft of the required attributes, character and track record for such a high office, would do their bidding. A very crude, intellectual-bereft argument and a tribal-line thinking with possibilities of ethnic-based retaliatory consequences in the future.

A friend who was in the political trenches with us for Obaseki in 2020 who happens to be from Edo South is suddenly propounding this facile ethnic bigot-coloured argument, conveniently forgetting that a man born of Edo State mother is the current Governor of Oyo State! His Excellency, Governor Makinde was born by a Benin woman who departed mother earth a couple of years ago – may her soul rest in peace.

The Yorubas never referred to his mother’s origin when he was voted twice as Governor of the Yoruba heartland! This ethnic bating must stop!

It was worse that the same person referred to the respected late Ezomon of Ewohimi who fought for the creation of the Mid-West and even contested for governorshop of the then Bendel State with Prof. Ambrose Alli for the gubernatorial ticket as an Esan in Diaspora!

These insults on a respected late elder statesman by someone who could never reach the heights this late sage attained just because his illustrious son aspires to lead Edo State and give it good governance is bemusing. Would the proponent of this absurdity and hateful treatise accept the same if directed at his father? I doubt it! To make the absurdity even more pernicious, he added that Asue cannot speak Esan language.


For people who these days make sending their kids abroad a sign of achievement, even fulfillment, and sometimes package their pregnant spouses abroad just to give birth and acquire foreign nationalities to be peddling these absurdities is baffling. The sheer hypocrisy of it rankles.


It gets even more bizarre when the peddler gave his beloved daughter in marriage to a Yoruba man this year! So, how would he feel in the future if Yorubas were to tell his grandson he is not a homeboy in Yoruba land and therefore should not contest elections there all because his mother is from Edo State! I think we need to be careful what we plant. We may harvest the unpalatable fruits if we do.

Anthony Cardinal Olubunmi Okojie was a Bishop, later Arch-Bishop and finally a Cardinal for decades in Lagos. He is of Edo origin – Uromi to be precise. He was not rejected there. What would the ace female footballer who has done us proud several time – Ashleigh Plumpter – be thinking when she reads that inability to speak our vernacular trumps your impeccable credentials to perform for your country?



What of the many diaspora children we have born? They are no more our children? Meaning Senator Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan could not have contested here in Edo State? She is a brilliant Senator representing Kogi today despite having a Russian mother.

The one with both mom and dad from Kogi is alleged to have stolen Kogi State blind and is on the run. So much for overhyped homeboy brouhaha!

I do not want to drag this absurd discourse bereft of intellectual rigour further. It is even ungodly. To think the best disqualifying criterion for governorship position in Edo State should be whether your mother cooks pounded yam or relishes amala is laughable. Or preferably, that your father never left the boundaries of Edo State rather than sojourn across other lands to bring laurels home.

It even means by marrying your neighbour you call through the side window guarantees your child more chance at becoming governor than the child of a brilliant young man who has the ability to convince a well-trained knowledgeable damsel from a faraway land to marry him.

No sir. That you married five houses away from your own should not mean that those of us who had the guts to go far and win a bride should have our kids disadvantaged.

How can a Nigerian who attended primary and secondary schools in Nigeria and graduated in flying colours from Nigeria’s premier University not be a homeboy? But the one that grew up in Kaduna and spent all almost all his working life there was considered a homeboy! Haba!! This sounds silly really.

I do not think Edo State citizens and voters have descended to this ridiculous level of unthinking choice making. They will not do so this year, or ever. Because there are critical issues of governance involved in the coming elections and the choices we make can mar the state or propel the state forward to prosperity and growth. We cannot afford to toy with the future of our children by focusing on inanities.