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POI Sir, Ighodalo Doesn’t Need To Be Constantly Spoon-fed – By Thompson Eferakeya

The late British fiction writer, Edward Morgan Forster, once stated that “spoon-feeding in the long-run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.” In other words, a person who is being constantly spoon-fed, in the long run, will never be capable of doing anything on his own.

Indeed, in a seminal article titled “Spoon-feeding is bad for students – and their countries” in 2022, jointly authored by Michael Antwi and Eric Fredua-Kwarteng, they argued that spoon-feeding has many negative consequences for students’ present and future learning and job performance. Hear them:

“Since the lecturer does everything, a sense of intellectual dependency is perpetuated among students. Eventually, such students develop a culture of intellectual laziness, making them vulnerable to manipulation, deception and media propaganda.

This situation is very serious in this era of digital technology, with the multiplicity of information sources and information overload.

“Students who grow up in a spoon-feeding environment lack problem-solving, problem-identifying and problem-posing skills.”

“This is in sharp contrast to students who are allowed to learn how to solve different problems, real or imagined, and to experience the intricacies of decision-making, analysis and synthesis of information and to engage in critical reflection.”

The above brings us to what happened few days ago when Pastor Osagie Ize-iyamu, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, in a bid to portray his party as having an edge in the run up to the September 21 governorship election in the state, argued on a television programme that while leaders and elders of his party are always with their candidate, Monday Okpebholo, the case is different for the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Asue Ighodalo, because the State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has not been seen campaigning with him.

Unfortunately, it was an own goal for Pastor Osagie Ize- Iyamu, popularly called POI, because he only succeeded in exposing the soft underbelly of his candidate, Okpebholo.

The truth of the matter is that Governor Obaseki has performed well and everybody knows this.

The problem is with POI’s candidate, who is not equipped with the requisite capacity or competence or the ordinary general knowledge needed to be able to stand alone.

And the good people of Edo State know this for a fact that Okpebholo is not a governorship material.

What are we talking about? Call Okpebholo to address a gathering or a Town Hall meeting? Honour an invitation for interactive sessions physically or virtually? C’mmon, are you kidding me?

How many of such public addresses has he engaged in as a sitting senator in the last 12 months representing Edo Central Senatorial District? Nil.

Nobody gives what he doesn’t have. So, it’s no wonder leaders and elders of APC in Edo are strapping him to their back everywhere like a mother would do a toddler so that he wouldn’t fall and be fatally injured. It’s no wonder his contact with the microphone in any public engagement is jealously guided and regulated to avoid those involuntary gaffes and regrettable performances. But be that as it may, he still manages to disgrace himself and the party elders nearly always.

His recent USA Diaspora engagement which ended in a spectacular fiasco is a case in point.

He was tightly policed that day. But the only few minutes the microphone was in his hand, he did what he knows how to do best – displaying so much ignorance in everything. In this instance, he failed to differentiate between a Museum and a Zoo. It was such a disaster!

Let it be said, and in very clear and unambiguous terms that it is not for lack of popularity or due to poor performance that Governor Obaseki hasn’t been seen campaigning with Ighodalo as claimed by POI. No.

The demand of state duties may not have allowed the governor the luxury of time to feature in the kind of hectic and extensive engagements Ighodalo has been involved in recently.

In anyway, if Governor Obaseki has been everywhere with Ighodalo, POI would be the first to shout on mountain tops that Obaseki has abandoned governance for campaigns.

The truth is that Ighodalo’s competence and capacity for this office is beyond doubt. He doesn’t need to be constantly spoon-fed.

He doesn’t need to be guided or tutored at critical moments on what to say and what not to say.

His ability to articulate, process and clearly communicate his thoughts and ideas is top notch and guaranteed.

This has tremendously endeared him to Edo people across party lines. He doesn’t need to be policed to avoid committing blunders, no.

That’s the difference between Ighodalo and Okpebholo. Whereas Ighodalo is unquestionably a gubernatorial material fit for purpose; Okpebholo is simply not ready and doesn’t have what it takes to aspire for this position.

That Obaseki hasn’t been seen publicly campaigning for Ighodalo also establishes the fact that Ighodalo is his own man.

It is instructive to note that APC keeps crying that Governor Obaseki is Ighodalo’s godfather, a claim that Ighodalo has debunked times without number.

They keep shouting Governor Obaseki is working towards a Third Term, how can that be? Is he on the ballot. Must everything be the subject of lies, manipulation and propaganda?

The happy thing is that there’s nothing that is hidden to the good people of Edo State.

They know that all these frenzied engagements by APC leaders and chieftains are designed to cover Okpebholo’s massive inadequacies and shortcomings.

The aim is to impose a puppet on the people while they go back and play the puppeteer. If they succeed, which Edo people will never allow, they would certainly become the de facto governor.

And in a situation where you have several people calling the shots, the ship of state will probably forever remain in the doldrums because of the pursuit of individual interests, personal agendas and different tendencies.

Edo state, however, cannot afford that situation because it would mean an unmitigated disaster and retrogression.

Edo people are rather poised and determined to move forward and progress with Ighodalo from November 12, God willing.

Eferakeya writes from Benin City, Edo State.

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