Upcoming Edo State Governor Elections in Nigeria

In Nigeria, the spotlight is on the 2024 gubernatorial elections, particularly the Edo State governorship election scheduled for September 21. Gubernatorial elections occur at regular intervals, typically every four years and their outcomes can profoundly impact the state’s climate policies. The length of the term of office, once elected, is crucial to understanding the duration of potential policy shifts and continuity.

Governor Godwin Obaseki has led Edo State to become a shining example of dedication to environmental sustainability. The ‘Clean & Green’ initiative spearheaded by the state goes beyond routine waste reduction, encapsulating a holistic strategy to combat climate change. This ambitious program, emphasizing tree planting, green spaces, and beautification, showcases Edo State’s multifaceted dedication to environmental responsibility. Concrete actions, such as training programs for environmental personnel and engagement with international climate finance, underscore the state’s recognition of global climate challenges and the importance of collaborative efforts. As the 2024 gubernatorial election approaches, the candidates will be evaluated against this robust commitment, signaling a pivotal moment for Edo State’s journey toward a greener, healthier, and more sustainable future.

Three prominent candidates representing distinct political parties will vie to lead the state. Dennis Idahosa, a member of the House of Representatives, represents the All Progressives Congress (APC) as their candidate.  Asue Ighodalo, a Lagos-based lawyer and former chairperson of Sterling Bank, represents the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Olumide Akpata, a Nigerian lawyer and legal practitioner, rose to prominence as the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), representing the Labour Party (LP). This trio presents diverse perspectives that will shape the discourse on governance and environmental policies in Edo State.

As the PDP candidate, Asue Ighodalo has promised to continue the work started by Governor Obaseki, who is backing him during the election. This commitment holds significant implications for the party’s broader environmental stance. While the specific details of the foundation Ighodalo aims to build upon are undisclosed, the general dedication to continuity indicates a shared vision within the PDP concerning ongoing policies and programs, including Governor Obaseki’s impactful Clean & Green initiative. These collective efforts suggest potential implications for environmental sustainability, even if the specifics are not explicitly outlined.

In the Labour Party, Olumide Akpata’s stance on climate change remains less defined, allowing room for interpretation. However, a potential link to the party’s environmental stance can be drawn from the 2023 Nigeria election. Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, demonstrated a robust stance on climate change, emphasizing addressing vulnerability through mechanizing arable land, promoting agriculture, and transitioning to renewable energy. His vision, including establishing a “Green Army” for tree planting and leveraging international climate finance, aligns with the 4th industrial revolution’s push for clean energy investments. Connecting Obi’s vision with the Labour Party’s potential influence on Olumide Akpata suggests a party-wide commitment to environmental sustainability, even if not explicitly stated.

Dennis Idahosa of the APC brings a distinct perspective to the contest with a pronounced stance on climate-conscious economic policies. As a member of the House of Representatives, Idahosa has consistently urged the Nigerian government to explore alternative sources of revenue beyond the oil and gas sector, emphasizing the potentially disastrous consequences of over-reliance on fossil fuels. His advocacy aligns with global efforts to address climate change by reducing dependence on environmentally taxing energy sources.

The Edo State gubernatorial election 2024 presents a diverse landscape of candidates and parties with varying perspectives on climate change and environmental sustainability.  To make informed decisions in the upcoming election, voters need to understand each candidate’s environmental beliefs and positions and their respective parties. The election’s outcome may shape the trajectory of Edo State’s climate policies and influence broader discussions on sustainable governance in Nigeria. The interplay of individual promises, party positions, and historical legacies creates a dynamic political landscape where the commitment to environmental sustainability is critical for voters navigating their choices. In essence, the 2024 Edo State gubernatorial election becomes a pivotal moment in determining the state’s approach to climate change and fostering a sustainable future.

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Nigeria Country Manager Michael Johnson.


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