Governor Godwin Obaseki has established a model of Governance that has made Edo State a signpost for others to follow. He left no one in doubt that he meant business when he assumed office as Governor on the 12th of November, 2016. He articulated a 6-point agenda to drive the socio-economic transformation of Edo State. All the promises he made to Edo people during his campaign are encapsulated in this 6-point agenda which he refers to as the six thematic pillars.
In three years, Governor Obaseki has achieved substantially what he told Edo people he will do in line with the social contract he entered with them. He believes the wealth of a state is not measured by the affluence of those in authority but the industriousness and productivity of the People. For this, the Governor strived to put in place a vibrant economy that generates employment and opportunities for the citizens and even visitors. He obliterated the serious economic distortion that was prevalent in the previous administration such as the involvement of non-state actors in revenue collection and the nefarious activities of the Community Development Associations (CDAs). It takes a courageous man to take this step and so many other disruptive and innovative measures which necessarily created losers and winners in both political arena and economic market place.
This is the real issue which enemies of state and poisoners of goodwill capitalized upon to create what now appears to be without the olive branch. Godwin Obaseki’s only offence is that he turned the fortunes of Edo State around with the overhaul of critical sectors of the Socio-Economic life of the state which includes education, health, job creation, agriculture, sports, arts, culture and tourism and institutional reforms particularly the civil service.
It is the absence of what Obaseki has done in Edo State that makes nations fail. Even with the redroof revolution of the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s administration, Governor Godwin Obaseki discovered he had the education sector to revamp and an obligation to do it. The redroof revolution is just the form and there was need to address the content which Obaseki did. Besides, redroof cannot train teachers and the net effect was the proliferation of parboiled teachers who were not only deficient in the core subjects but lacked the ability and capacity to stimulate creativity in their pupils and students. Governor Obaseki saw the scenario as that of deceit dwelling in a gorgeous palace.
Today, the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (Edo-BEST) programme has attracted the attention of the international community and several states in Nigeria which have sent delegations to understudy the working of the system. Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Liberia etc. have sent representatives as well. After the delegation from Lagos visited to understand the intricacies of Edo-BEST and its workings, they have setup their own called Eko Excel. In Edo State, over 11,000 teachers have be trained in digital tools to aid learning. This has successfully cured the learning poverty the state has suffered over the years. This is just one of the several disparities that exist between Oshiomhole’s administration and the forward-looking one led by Governor Obaseki whose government continues to benefit Edo people.
The training of teachers is replicated in all sectors of the civil service. Through the Edo Health Improvement Programme (Edo-HIP), the governor has taken healthcare to the door step of the ordinary Edo person. In job creation, provision of sporting facilities, fight against human trafficking, art and culture, environment reforms, payment of salaries, pension and gratuity to Edo workers and retirees, infrastructural development and the resuscitation of technical education, Godwin Obaseki has excelled. In fact, all the ailing sectors of the state have been revived. Education and health sectors have dropped crutches and can walk freely. It will be asymmetrical to juxtapose the achievements of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole in eight years and those of Governor Obaseki in just three years.
One can confidently say that Oshiomhole has killed his own one thousand and Obaseki his ten thousand. In spite of these lofty policies, programmes and achievements, some enemies of development are bent on erecting diabolical road blocks to the governor’s second term bid.
It is true that virtue cannot live out of the teeth of emulation. But I urge Edo people to rise up against these predators, scavengers and ultra-reactionaries who are determined to take Edo State back to that period when government was not for governance but for looting.
Godwin Obaseki has shown capacity, ability and intelligence in the art of governance which others lack in great quantum. In terms of knowledge, Godwin Obaseki is a multitude and when men of integrity are counted today in Edo State, Obaseki will be counted twice. We know that everything has alternatives including life, which is death. When death occurs, it extinguishes all things relating to the existence of man. It is a solution without complication.
It is not a solution in search of a problem as is the case of all the elements who want the APC ticket. They include Gen. Charles Airhiavbere who has not cured the moral burden which Adams Oshiomhole placed on him during the 2012 governorship election debate.
Then Chris Ogiemwonyi who was an aspirant in the primaries that brought Governor Godwin Obaseki and no one knew the posture of his blow when it comes to governance.
What a time to vie for this exalted seat of a governor. Comrade Adams Oshiomhole reduced Dr. Pius Odubu to the worst form of human degradation when he said Odubu was not good enough for governorship. Oshiomhole accused Dr.
Pius Odubu of being diabolical and that he planned to kill him (Oshiomhole). He stated further that with Odubu, development and good governance will take a retreat. Above all, Oshiomhole averred that Odubu as governor will be tantamount to mixing Christianity with accretion and syncretism. That is as far as Oshiomhole was concerned. He was applauded for this on the ground that he meant well for Edo State.
Then the latest throw up – Osagie Ize-Iyamu whom Oshiomhole himself accused of holding the bible as a pastor in the day and a gun in the night. He said that while his colleagues were using water, Ize-Iyamu Osagie was using acid to bath people at the University of Benin and above all, Oshiomhole said that he cannot hand over the key of his kitchen to Ize-Iyamu. This was the testimonial Oshiomhole himself wrote about Ize-Iyamu. Considering the antecedent merit of all the four therefore, it is clear that they are negative alternatives. I liken each and every one of them to the 17th Century King Leopold of Belgium who history described as a great King in an insignificant Kingdom or as a Shakespeare would describe their type, “a big man dressed in a little brief authority.” On the whole, Edo people know that Governor Godwin Obaseki may have rivals, but no equals.
This is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I conclude with the words of Patrick Wilmot in his book titled Right to Rebel – “All that have I attempted to do is to put out the mirror so that you can see its reflection. But if you don’t like what you see, breaking the mirror will do nothing, cutting off my hands will not save situation and even killing me will do less, for the truth of man cannot be dissolved in his blood.”
Hon. Ohonbamu is Edo State Commissioner for Communication and Orientation