-By Donald Inwalomhe
Terminally ill and gasping for breath, the godfathers and their collaborators, who nearly grounded Edo State, are trying to stage a comeback in order to continue to dehumanise and pauperise the Edo people. Governor Adams Oshiomhole has however showed them how the business of politics should be conducted with the June 18, 2016, governorship primaries of the APC. The governor saw the need to support Edo people to produce the governor that will take them to the next level and he worked with them. For the avoidance of doubts, Oshiomhole did not say he would impose a governor on Edo people. What the governor said was that fairness, equity, justice and good conscience demand that Edo people should be supported to produce the next governor.
This is a sentiment whose time has come and Edo people should commend our governor for having the presence of mind to situate the true position of the socio-political challenges facing our dear state. The fact that the September 10, 2016, Edo State governorship election presents a viable opportunity to begin this novel and peaceable system should be welcomed by all and sundry. The fact that Oshiomhole carries the cross and the crown of Edo State at this point in time should also make his depositions sacrosanct. For this important reason, the governor cannot be frightened away from this path of sanity to address the periodic schisms and recriminations that play out whenever we want to elect a governor.
Oshiomhole’s declaration is without prejudice to political platforms. Interestingly, the governor did not at anytime say the democratic process of nomination by political parties and voting by the people of Edo should not be observed in the election of Edo Governor in 2016. As he said, the challenge for every true Edo son and daughter is to search for credible, patriotic and honest citizens from Edo State to support the APC agenda to put Edo State on the path of sustainable development.
The good thing is that the winner of the primary election, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, does not need introduction in Edo politics. Obaseki currently serves as the chairman of the Edo State Economic and Strategy Team. He served as founding secretary for a New York based US Africa Chamber of Commerce as far back as 1992. Obaseki as chairman of the Edo State Economic Team has advised Governor Oshiomhole to take upon himself some seemingly impossible but ambitious tasks that are about to turn the economy of Edo State around.
The Azura/Edo Independent Power Project and Edo Water Storm project are two examples. The former is a $1 billion project and the first Nigerian power project to benefit from the World Bank’s risk guarantee status that was covered by the global bank’s Partial Risk Guarantee structure for developing needs of emerging global markets. It is an evidence that the state is a viable centre for global investment. Obaseki was also instrumental to the setting up of the 450MW Azura-Edo gas power project, BUA Cement Okpella, Dangote Cement Okpella and others.
Our people are tired of the incessant fight by our big political businessmen for power. Narrowing the search for a competent person to succeed Adams Oshiomhole has made the whole thing easier. Oshiomhole’s pronouncement represents the view of the generality of Edo people because it would help to avert bitter struggles, entrench peace, brotherly love and unity. There can be no going back from this determination if the search is for enduring peace, unity and greater prosperity of Edo State. We should support Oshiomhole to produce the next governor in 2016 and demonstrate to Nigerians that he has done well.
Inwalomhe, a public affairs analyst, writes from Benin City, Edo State.