In a surprising development, Reverend Father Andrew Obinyan, the Priest of Saint Francis Catholic Church in Benin, has thrown his hat into the ring for the 2024 Edo State governorship race. Making the announcement at the press center of the Edo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Father Obinyan expressed his commitment to serving the people rather than seeking personal gain.
While addressing journalists, Father Obinyan did not disclose the political party on whose platform he would be contesting but emphasized that he responded to the calls and pressure from various groups urging him to enter the gubernatorial race.
The Catholic priest highlighted that his decision to join the race was based on extensive consultations and consideration of the appeals from well-meaning Edo people and Nigerians across party lines.
“I received a series of calls from well-meaning Edo people and Nigerians across party lines beckoning me to contest the forthcoming governorship election in our state. After very extensive consultations and consideration, I am pleased to inform you that I am giving Edo people and members of the movement an affirmative nod. And that means I have considered it, and I am very much available and ready to serve. As a priest, I am trained and equipped to serve and not to be served,” Father Obinyan stated.
Jude Aigbona, the leader of the Rev. Fr. Obinyan Movement, expressed confidence in the priest’s leadership capabilities, urging Edo people to give him a chance to govern the state. Aigbona emphasized that Father Obinyan is a tested and trusted servant, and the youth in Edo are planning a mass movement in support of his candidacy.
Calling on major political parties to consider Father Obinyan as a viable candidate for the Edo 2024 governorship election, Aigbona predicted a total turnaround for the state, likening it to a new beginning.
Notably, this move follows the trend of Catholic priests venturing into electoral politics, as witnessed in the case of Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue State, who emerged victorious in the 2023 governorship election.