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HomeOpinionThe Primacy of Truth (Part 2) By Crusoe Osagie

The Primacy of Truth (Part 2) By Crusoe Osagie


He is wicked. He does not forgive. He lacks empathy; and a few more phrases that would not be appropriate in print are often deployed as cryptic language to express their frustration with Governor Godwin Obaseki who has refused to fleece the masses to fete the politically privileged.

They prefer a free rein, a culture of impunity where there are absolutely no consequences for bad behavior because that culture serves the interest of a few with political access and relationship with power.

But Rigoberta Menchú, the Guatemalan Indian human rights activist and 1992 Nobel Peace Prize winner who has spent most of her life fighting for Guatemala’s indigenous people warned that “If impunity is not demolished, all efforts to bring an end to corruption are in vain.”

Unfortunately, most of Obaseki’s crimes against the exclusive elite club of the politically powerful centre around his audacity to demand that bad behavior and impunity are fairly retributed with sanctions to prevent a reinforcement of moral vacuum.

A good example is some politically connected big farmers, who got loans from the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS) and somehow expected Governor Obaseki to write off the loans just because they have political access.

About two or three of these big political farmers who are angry with Obaseki for insisting that they pay back their loans, because even smaller farmers who don’t have access to political power were paying, lead the cacophony of voices screaming to the high-heavens that Obaseki is a wicked and ungrateful man. What an irony.

For us ordinary people, empathy is when you identify the less fortunate in society and take steps to make their lives easier. Empathy is to identify the exclusion of youths and minorities from positions of authority and pick a 37-year-old Marvellous Omobayo Godwins from the oldest but very sidelined Akoko-Edo Local Government Area (LGA) to be Deputy Governor.

Empathy is when you move to ensure that a Blessing Agbebaku from Owan West Local Government Area, one of the most marginalized LGAs in Edo State emerges as Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA) and leader of an arm of government for the first time in the history of the State.

Empathy is when you identify that there are three senatorial districts in Edo State- Edo North, Edo Central and Edo South, and insist that each should have a fair shot at the governorship seat thereby forcing most of the other political parties to abandon their intention to perpetuate the total dominance of Edo South and Edo North just because they are more in number.

Empathy is when you identify and take concrete steps to address the sufferings and pains of the people caused by the fuel subsidy removal by the Federal Government as well as the floating of the naira which negatively impacted exchange rate with spillover effect on inflation. Governor Obaseki provided safety nets to cushion the impact of these national policies on the people of Edo State, including provision of a free bus scheme, which has benefitted millions of residents in the State.

Empathy is when you rightly identify that the N18,000 minimum wage is a scandal and against all odds raise it to N70,000 monthly even when the richer Federal Government and other richer States are stalling.

For these special politicians, however, the definition of empathy is more ambiguous and they have resolved to deal with Obaseki and destroy his ideals as well as anything he holds dear for attempting to redefine empathy.

Will the people who share the common man’s definition of empathy rise in defense of Obaseki for daring to contend with the powers that be?

The jury is out and the battleground is the gubernatorial election in September 21, 2024.

Sadly, not many will read this. Our people are inundated by a deluge of tall tales and they can hardly find space to accommodate the primacy of truth.

Watch out for Part 3.

Osagie, a journalist, is the Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Media Projects

I'm Israel, a creative writer, poet, photographer, videographer and news correspondent.


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