That Edo State may be liberated
On Wednesday, September 28, 2016, most indigenes of Edo State from all works of life are expected to have arrived in the state to exercise their civic rights. They are all expected to vote for a new governor who will preside over the affairs of the state, for another four years.
This particular election to the general belief of the people outside Edo State is neither about the All Progressives Congress (APC) under Governor Adams Oshiomhole nor about the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP’s) lack of performance in the past years. On the contrary, it is also not about Godwin Obaseki’s acclaimed economic expertise/wizardry, which is yet to be proved nor is it about his presumed ability to hit the ground running once he is elected governor.
This election is about the soul and the betterment of Edo State. It is also a calculated attempt to reclaim our state from the grips of a political despot. Available evidence so far, has shown that there are two front runners in the forthcoming election, out of which one is most outstanding and ready for the job. Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, no doubt, is far more prepared as a candidate for the office of Edo State governor and if given the chance, he could turn the fortune of the state around and make Edo State great once again. The September 28 election is simply a fight to rescue Edo State from the grip of some evil persons in the corridors of power in Benin City. From the moves made so far in Abuja and Benin, Edo people are not unaware that the fight ahead is going to be a tough one. Interestingly, majority of Edo people are determined to fight for the liberation of the state from the self-acclaimed Emperor of misbehaviour, Oshiomhole. Majority of the Edo people have long made up their minds and are prepared to face the odds. With the Sword of Truth as their weapon.
Now, some people are worried about the less than noble motive behind the security report which led to the election postponement till 28th September. The thesis goes that it is the APC Federal Government that is attempting to use the concocted security report as subterfuge to rig the election.
Dr. Sylvester Odion Akhaine, a political science lecturer at the Lagos State University, reacted thus to the postponement: “I am surprised about the political situation in Edo State and extremely worried that democracy in Nigeria is heading for the rock. Therefore, I wish to make the following remarks:- That since 1999 when Nigeria returned to liberal democratic order, it has not made any major democratic gain and democracy has been largely observed more in the deficit than in its essentiality. That the optimism of the Nigerian people has kept Nigerian democracy alive despite its asphyxiation by self-serving political elite. That Edo State has been particularly unlucky by being the dumping ground of imposed state executives bereft of any idea of how to turn the civil-service state around in the last 17 years of civil dispensation. That the Edo people should be given the unhindered opportunity to express their franchise and choose from among those vying for their mandate. That on the question of who governs the state, the Edo people retain the veto.”
Anyway, the D-day is almost here. Hear lies the crux of the matter. The right of the people to choose whosoever governs them is what Oshiomhole deliberately wants to remove. Now that Oshiomhole has done his beat and he is about to quit office after eight years as governor of Edo State, must he impose a candidate on the Edo people, in the name of continuity? Especially now, that the principles upon which Edo State was created have been eroded by his administration? For the benefits of those people who are not too familiar with the principles that led to the creation of the state, it was created in order to unify the various elements to crystalise the natural aspirations of our people, to express in concrete form the trend of public opinion, and to liberate our states from the manacles of political bondage. If one may ask, how much, did Oshiomhole’s government helped in the realisation of these aims and objectives? The political, cultural and other tribal gulfs that today exist between the Etsako, Esan and the Binis more than ever before are there for all to see. The details of this matter are already in public glare. At this critical period of our humiliation due to the poor handling of the nation’s economy by the APC government at the centre, the determination of the Edo people to achieve victory in the September 28th election is being threatened by enemies within and outside. Happily, the Edo people have also resolved, to ensure that victory at the polls is attained come September 28th.
As far as I know, Oshiomhole never took any concrete steps to create a spirit of oneness among our heterogeneous people. Instead, he deliberately expanded the gap just to achieve his political ends. Oshiomhole’s eight years in the state has been characterised by arrogance. The “go and die” case of the Benin widow is still very fresh in our memory. The policy of the outgoing government in the state is a reliable index of the prospects for the future if an APC candidate retains power. Now is the time to give another person and another party the opportunity to direct the affairs of our state. The days of political brigandage are over for good. Edo State is ours and we must reclaim it for a new direction.
• Omonhinmin is a media consultant based in Lagos.