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Revisiting the Issues Around Edo 2024 Governorship Election: It Is Edo First! (2)

By Daniel A. Noah Osa-Ogbegie, Esq., FCAI, PNM.

Around ten days ago, I started this essay on the above topic. As I woke up this morning, I thought a day like this, being democracy day in Nigeria, would be appropriate to write the sequel in what promises to be a long essay, winding up on the eve of the governorship election.

I have raised some of the issues Edo people must contend with in choosing the next Governor to lead us into a future that appears bright.

I raised the issue of the appropriate senatorial district the next Governor should emerge from. I said Edo people are united at this time in calling for an Esan to be Governor. That any attempt by a Benin candidate or an Afemai candidate to usurp this opportunity for an Esan to be Governor, would unsettle what bind us as a people and break the bond we have had for centuries. That a push for a Benin candidate at this time would be callous and show the candidate as selfish, if not dubious.

I also stated that character, competence and personality must be major criteria for choosing the next Governor, while lampooning the APC ticket where the candidates are serving National Assembly members and have had no time to represent their people before distracting themselves with their various governorship campaigns, thereby disrespecting the mandates they were given by their people and showing unseriousness.

If we are to consolidate on the gains of the last seven years, we must elect a person that can help Institutionalise the various reforms in governance of the present Governor.

No matter how the opposition labour to downplay the works of Godwin Obaseki, they can not deny the massive reforms in the Edo civil service culiminating in the ease of service delivery by Edo state government parastatals and institutions.Their professionalism and dedication to work are amazing testimony of when government set out to work for the people and not godfathers.

Talking about godfathers, Edo people must as much as possible banish all vestiges of godfatherism with this election.

It was disgusting to watch the APC candidate, Monday Okpebholo, swearing in a video last week, that God should punish him if he failed to take care of his APC leaders ( euphemism for godfathers) if they help him to become Governor of Edo state. It is this knowledge, that Okpebholo would take care of them, that motivates the support APC members are giving to his annoying ambition to be Governor. They have been cut off from accessing easy public funds by Godwin Obaseki, who chose instead, to put Edo money to work for the general good of Edo people, not for few selfish party members. It is why the career politicians, who were spoilt by the kleptomanic government of Adams Oshiomhole, hate Godwin Obaseki and fail to see his giant strides that others elsewhere see and acknowledge. It is why some of them, like Charles Idahosa, who find it hard to live outside government patronages, have now joined forces with their kindred spirits in APC to attempt to frustrate the coming of Asue Ighodalo, who they think would be frugal and parsimonious like Obaseki and not share public funds like the public bazaar Oshiomhole did with Edo state public funds for eight years.

Career politicians are far less than ten percent of the voting population in Edo state. I hereby call on all people of goodwill in Edo state to resist them, and ensure they don’t succeed to railroad a man who swore to serve his APC godfathers to the detriment of the people on us. If they succeed, God forbid, then it would be a return of inability of government to pay salary and pensions and to meet other basic needs of Edo people.

Apparently, the payment of Obaseki’s 70 thousand Naira minimum wage will not be their priority, as they have already stated that it was not possible to pay 70 thousand Naira as minimum wage to Edo workers, as they would rather spend public funds to attend to their implacable hedonistic lifestyles like their leaders running the federal government are doing. Their priority would be how to take care of their numerous contending godfathers, lions and tigers, unfortunately.

The APC is not interested in contesting for this election. They know they stand no chance. All they keep saying is that the results for an election fixed for september, later this year, is ready, just awaiting announcement by INEC. I always tell them they live in delusion of grandeur when they boast that Tinubu promised to give Edo state to them. First of all, is this no more a democracy? Does Tinubu have proprietary interest in Edo state to gift to anyone?

Now to burst their bubble, I was in that Hall at Homeville when Tinubu actually made that infamous promise, but Edo APC members, especially their underlines, didn’t note that Tinubu attached a condition to the promise. Tinubu said and I quote “… do you want Edo back??? Then vote for me, and I will give Edo back to you”

The condition was that Edo APC should ensure Tinubu won Edo state. In that election, Tinubu failed to score 25 percent of the total votes in Edo state, thereby vitiating whatever promise Tinubu made to Edo APC.

For clarity, Tinubu loathes Edo APC and barely tolerates their leaders. Little wonder that Godswill Akpabio from Akwa Ibom was the one who produced the APC Governorship candidate, Senator Monday Okpebholo.

Nyesom Wike was about producing the running mate in the person of Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama before the Presidency took pity on Oshiomhole and allowed his candidate, Dennis Idahosa to be nominated as running mate, after said Oshiomhole almost had his kneels peeled off from the numerous beggings of party leaders in Abuja to allow his god son be running mate.

Edo people must rise up to protect their future and the future of their children. We must insist that our votes must count and our voices heard. Government must work for Edo people and not the marauding godfathers. A man who does not have the competence to start his own campaign, who could not put together a simple campaign council almost four months after nomination and who cannot understand basic questions around electricity, administrative division and the difference between museum and zoo cannot be trusted to superintend over our affairs in this century.

TO BE CONTD.

DAN Osa-Ogbegie, lawyer and spokesman to Asue Ighodalo and Osarodion Ogie, writes from Ehor, Uhunmwode Local Government Area, Edo state.

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