Gov Godwin Obaseki of Edo State

By John Ewah, William Shakespeare wrote, “As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods, they kill us for their sport”. In the Nigerian context, it would read, “As flies to wanton boys are we to most politicians, they kill us for their sport”.

Edo State for some time has been a stage with diverse machinations and varying political plots. The calculated and money-induced resignations noticed of recent, do not come as a surprise to anyone who has keenly followed the political developments in the State. They clearly give credence to the egoistic, egoleptic and self centered disposition of professional politicians who would trade the general interest of those they are supposed to serve, for self gratification.

Should any politician try to digress from such unwholesome tendency, he would, like an individual struggling to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe, face a wall of resistance. This is the challenge currently staring Governor Godwin Obaseki in the face; it is never an easy one. Change comes with a lot of resistance from both within and without. Like Frederick Nietzsche rightly opined, “if you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself”. I am certain Godwin Obaseki got that memo.

The unforgivable mistake however, would be for these political actors to erroneously believe that this whole drama, political permutations and spontaneous revolution that have overtaken the political space in Edo State, are about them, as they have deliberately refused to come to terms with the truth of their own triviality and insignificance in the scheme of things, as far as the people of Edo State are concerned.

The struggle has never been about them or the political class wrestling the Governor for the control of our Commonwealth. It has never been about the thugs who now see Obaseki as a threat to their financial and material existence. It is never about Adams Oshiomhole currently fighting to retain his political relevance at the centre, since his mighty fall from the lofty political height of visibility into the social wilderness of obscurity.

The quest is not about Mr. Osagie Ize-Iyamu tenaciously being driven by a political ambition geared at attaining victory at ALL COST – I do not ask to be pardoned for omitting the title ‘Pastor’ from his full nomenclature, as the current political happenings under his supervision, question the collocational accuracy between his personality and the sacred religious title he professes.

The battle is not even about Governor Godwin Obaseki, currently battling aspiring godfathers and political vultures who are bent on nothing, than to prevent things from being as the good people of Edo wish them. The Edo 2020 election is a power-play between the political class and the people and the outcome would shape the future of the Nigerian democracy for generations to come. It is not just a battle for the survival of the Edo race, but also about the enthronement of true democracy where minorities can have their say even when the majority have their way.

It is about the complete eradication of thuggery and its related activities which have been perpetuated by an age long practice of a violence-inclined governance approach; a practice which has held us captive for so long as a people; and a narrative being vehemently changed by the Governor Godwin Obaseki administration.

This whole play is about our lives and livelihood as a people. How would Edo people survive with Buhari as President and Ize-Iyamu as Governor? The combination is a receipt and recipe for disaster! Edo people would be doomed! The people of Edo State have only been able to cope with the Buhari administration at the centre, due to the cushioning effects of the developmental policies and administrative capacity of Governor Godwin Obaseki at the State level.

Even in a COVID-19 era where workers are owed 4 to 7 months salaries in some States of the Federation, Godwin Obaseki has consistently paid Edo workers before the 26th day of every month. Pensioners are revelling in the euphoria of the prompt payment of their pensions.

What would have been the situation with Edo State workers if Ize-Iyamu were the Governor at these economically trying times? Would he have had the wherewithal, the economic and administrative sagacity to meander his way through a drop in federal allocations and IGR due to the COVID-19? Have we considered the maltreatment, traders and mothers in our markets would have been subjected to in the hands of thugs, in the midst of a raging COVID-19 pandemic that has brought economic activities to its knees? Can we turn a blind eye to Obaseki’s intervention in the relaxation of taxes and levies for various businesses during this COVID-19 period?

These should be the issues of concern rather than the resignation of a few political elements whose vision for the State does not go beyond the next farthing in their pockets. The photograph of the latest project executed by the Obaseki administration should show us more concern than the political and money-induced resignation of some immaterial, belly-driven and egocentric political characters.

We expect more of these moles and unreliable comedians to embrace the financial inducements of their overlords, which rumour has to be spearheaded by a certain Benin Billionaire; we expect them to completely exit and take their necks off the Obaseki administration, so Edo people may breathe in peace.

Never have I seen a crop of politicians who are so good at being bad and very bad at being good. Adams Oshiomhole and his cronies are on the last lap of overwhelming defeat, after their previous enterprises were successfully frustrated. They would do anything now to stay afloat like a drowning man clutching at a straw.

In all of these, they have learnt a very cardinal lesson with the ‘dethronement’ of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole by the Appeal Court. Yet again, another valuable lesson which upholds the sacrosanctity of competence, performance and character over monetary proclivities is brewing. Like it is said, if you hang around the barbershop long enough, sooner or later, you may get a haircut. The good people of Edo State are ready to give them a clean shave of defeat come Sept 19th!

Lola Seriki Idahosa /News

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