Congratulations to you, Mr. Godwin Obaseki on your re-election as the Governor of Edo state. Moment of truth: Your problem is no longer Adams Oshiomhole, the diminutive battleship that you vanquished in the just concluded election. Your problem today is how to fix Edo State. Period!
In my reckoning, Edo State has not seen first class governance since the days of Brig. Samuel Ogbemudia. All we’ve had since were mere tokenism; space constraints won’t allow me to list the achievements of the great, late son of Edo State.
But it would suffice just to mention Ogbemudia’s major landmarks in sports, like the Afuze camp where athletes of the state prepared for the National Sports Festival which Edo state won all through his tenure. I remember the Ogbe hard court, Uniben, Bendel Insurance not to talk of first class infrastructures in every part of the state.
There has been no Governor like Ogbemudia since the creation of the old Midwest; only Brig. Mobolaji Johnson of Lagos state and Police Comm. Audu Bako of Kano state rivaled Ogbemudia as best performing Governors in the Gowon regime which, itself was the only purposeful military regime we have ever had in this country. No army-led junta has come close to Gen Yakubu Gowon in terms of service delivery. That’s for another day.
What we want to see in Edo state is your imprints all over the landscape of your state. You have some of the most cerebral youth in Nigeria. A young Edo politician, Anthony Enahoro moved the motion in parliament that led to Nigeria’s independence. Chief Enahoro led NADECO that liberated this country from the clutches of military dictators and got rid of soldiers from our polity, otherwise you won’t be Governor today.
Mr. Governor, you have to change the Edo narrative. Beautiful young girls from your state are all over the Red lights districts of Italy and other European capitals because they have no jobs. Your state started to degenerate at the exit of good governance in the’ ‘70s.
A state that was famous for its developmental strides began to produce not just prostitutes, but some of the most fearsome armed robbers like Lawrence Anenih, Monday Osunbor, etc. At a time, it became the 419 headquarters of Nigeria. Governor Obaseki, you must change this narrative.
What Edo state needs today is a great administrator like Lateef Jakande, the greatest Governor Lagos State has ever had; or someone like Ogbemudia and Audu Bako. I mentioned Governors from other states to show that there are men of integrity in every part of Nigeria. Try beat their records.
I want to see all the stinking markets of Benin City rebuilt or modernized. All the decrepit medical facilities and educational infrastructures should be revamped. The rubber plantations and palm oil industries should be restored. Four years is more than enough to do all these and more.
No leader needs all eternity to prove their worth. Even 24 hours is a long time in politics. Age is on your side. Gowon was 32 when he came to power in 1966. He had no experience, but you have experience and more support than the military Governors because you were elected. So, you have no excuse.
Edo people have sacked your nemesis, the godfathers and their cohorts. Therefore, get down to business. Ignore those who are urging you to dust the files and look for ways to incriminate Comrade Adams. These folks are your enemies, they don’t wish you well.
They want you to dissipate all your time, energy and Edo state resources to fight your political foes and then turn around to blame you if, at the end of your tenure, you have nothing tangible to show for your 8 years.
Give no heed to the devil; if you give him an inch, he’d take a mile. Spend your time on productive ventures. Don’t celebrate this victory beyond two hours. Get down to business. I want you to be the best performing Governor after Ogbemudia. You should aim to be a reference point. Leave Comrade Adams alone. He has done his best and worst.
People want you to executive all the projects listed in section 2 of the constitution of Nigeria, under the heading of Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy, because your new party, the PDP, and former, APC, have no programs. Both parties are two sides of the same coin. The last time we had a political party in Nigeria was in 1979, during the second republic. Then, we had the UPN, NPN, NPP, PRP and GNPP.
There’re no genuine political parties in Nigeria today. What we have are political platforms set up by rich gladiators who have succeeded in amassing wealth by dubious means. Don’t be beholden to the PDP. Edo people voted for you, not the PDP. You could have won if you ran as an independent candidate. So, your allegiance shouldn’t be to the PDP, otherwise, you’d replace one godfather with many godfathers and your present condition would be worse than the former. That will not be your portion in Jesus name. Say Amen to that. Long live Edo State!
Weekend Spice: The first method of estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him– Machiavelli.
Ok folks, let’s do it again next Friday. Stay safe. Covid – 19 is real. Stay motivated!
Ladi Ayodeji, Author, Rights Activist, Pastor and Life Coach, can be reached for mentoring and counselling on 09059243004 (sms & whatsapp only)