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Ringing Endorsement For The Asue/Ogie Ticket

By Michael Ovienmhada

Once every 70-80 years approximately, the periodic Halley’s Comet blazes a truly spectacular trail across the heavens in a majestic confluence of power and glory that portends uncommon brilliance.

Just such a confluence can be personified in one person, with duty, on a mission to shape and change things beyond seasons in timeless, fundamental ways.

Over 70 years ago, we had all these qualities come together in one man, Chief Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo.

He was a man on a mission to tell and to show us that possibilities existed which most others could not wrap their heads around. He looked at the Western Region, and he saw the wealth of extensive arable land and flowing waters where others simply saw bush.

He looked at the teeming population as far as his eyes could see. In his boundless imagination, he thought to himself—-“if only I could put these men and women to work, nothing would be beyond our reach as a people.” He did. Western Region was first in everything. As the world went at the time, if the Western Region were a country, it would have been rated a First World nation. Awo’s work was a gift—one that keeps on giving.

In Edo State today as things stand, a candidate in the image of Awo may be here with us. I had a one-hour meeting with him in December 2023, as a friend of mine for 30 years introduced me to Asue Ighodalo, his friend of 50 years. Our paths had never crossed even though his younger brother, Ituah, had also been my friend for 38 years.

It was quite easy to immediately recognize that we would be fortunate as a State to have Asue Ighodalo as our horse in the race for Governor. Beyond great upbringing, great education, and great leadership skills, this man brings a certain level of camaraderie to the room, an attribute which is rarely found in people like him whose work has been crowned with outstanding achievements.

I found myself sitting in a meeting with the Comet Haley of our time as we finished each other’s sentences. There was hardly any daylight in our ideas and concepts and possibilities of what could be done with the vast arable land in Edo State that stands at 19,000 sq km, an expectant population of 5.2 million people, and 3 million thick vibrant youth population who yearn for jobs, and a safe and secure State where they can express themselves and reach for the moon.

Asue Ighodalo had no doubt in his mind that the best way to grow our IGR from a paltry N48 Billion a year to N1Trillion a year would be in the ability of the State to establish a connection between man, machinery and land.

When I heard him speak, at one point, I stopped him and I said—“Man, you are almost as smart as I am!” He replied, “That’s arrogant.”
We had a good laugh as our mutual friend interjected—- “I told you, you would love his brilliance. You both think alike.”

I left the meeting saying to myself, “Hey Meekey, you made a promise to ‘Esan Okpa,’ an Esan Cultural Group. You told them that if you found a candidate of superior quality, intelligence and firepower, you would gracefully bow out of the race and work to ensure that the candidate makes it to the finish line.”

In fulfillment of that promise, I am today making a happy decision to shine a spotlight on a candidate of very high quality, great pedigree, and first class education, in the Edo Gubernatorial race for 2024.

In assessing the three major candidates in the Edo Governorship race, it is clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that—Heads and Shoulders, he is without peer.

At a time like this, when we are fortunate to be presented with a candidate of transcendental credentials, what would be ground-breaking is—-great minds coming together to create a grand coalition across parties. It is my proposition that 2024 should be a negotiated compromise. Let all the major parties come together. Let them bring their best men and women for consideration into the different commissionerships and parastatals and let us speak with one voice and shoo in this uncommon aspirant at the top of the ticket.

Add to that the selection of a gentleman, loyal Party man, a man focused and knowledgeable in administration with an unbroken stint in government since the beginning of the current political dispensation in Osarodion Ogie, and Edo State will undoubtedly emerge as the State with the greatest potential to be an insurmountable number one as history has ever assembled.

Oshiomhole needs to huddle with Igbinedion, Dan Orbih and Obaseki in a mini conference of Edo elders for the sake of the future of Edo peoples.

It’s time to make a deal.

Let’s put our best foot forward. Our State is bigger than any combination of parties, personal grudges or interests.

Politics aside, grudges aside, Obaseki nailed this.

Without equivocation therefore, I am today endorsing the candidacy of Asue Ighodalo, (Batman) and Osarodion Ogie, (Robin) to be our Pilots for the next four years.

From one Edo man to another, my friends, I wish you both God speed. God bless Edo State, and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Michael Ovienmhada
Author, Poet, Playwright,
and Public Affairs Commentator.
omeekey@hotmail.com. Former aspirant for Governor.

Culled from theconclaveng, June 6, 2024.

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