Home Op-Ed As Edo indigenes take to the polls

As Edo indigenes take to the polls

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Edo indigenes
Edo indigenes, Obaseki, Ize Iyamu

It’s no longer news that the gubernatorial elections in Edo state is already upon us. In fact it is conceived to be a battle royale between His Excellency Godwin .N. Obaseki and Pastor Ize Iyamu. Which is slated for the 19th day of September 2020.

The masses again are expected to choose one among these two prominent sons of the soil who have long begun their political campaigns and gimmicks, and their names have virtually been on the lips of the people of Edo state in recent times.

Obaseki says he wants to continue the good work of enlightenment, exposure and transparency he had started while Ize Iyamu on the other hand, is proposing a new era perhaps different from the approach perceived to be employed by Obaseki.

No matter what will eventually transpire, it is pertinent for the masses to better understand what they are getting themselves into if they decide to make a wrong choice, or are convinced and coopted into making a wrong decision in their bid to exercise their franchise.

What I’m yet to fully comprehend is that how can a candidate who was initially presented as good and trustworthy, become suddenly bad and no longer suitable for the party he once belonged to. Meanwhile, the candidate once perceived to be deceptive and dubious has now become a renowned saint all in the space of four years.

It beats my imagination and comprehension how these political juggernauts play on the masses intelligence and take them for granted with unreserved impunity.

Indeed the time has come for us to open our eyes as a people and look beyond what is been offered to us by these political aspirants.

The masses should weigh their options critically and carefully so as not to be like Esau, who was guilty of selling out his birthright. Infact we ought to be convinced as individuals, what we want and hope for ourselves as a state rather than bask in the euphoria of utopic promises and scam that will never see the light of day from self centered politicians.

We have witnessed the adminstration of Governor Obaseki’s tenure for almost four years now. While various individuals are of different opinions with regards to his polices, it is not out of place to review perhaps what he has done so far.

A lot of persons are of the opinion that the Godwin Obaseki led administration in the last three and a half years had defined governance in a unique perspective that does not fit the need and demand of those who wants “Rome to be built in one day” but rather careful and patient planning with realistic and achievable projects at a time.

The PDP camp, while making a strong case for the need to have Obaseki back at the helm of governance, asserts that taking a look at his administration, it is imperative for all to note that he has not just performed only in Infrastructures, but also in human capacity.

In fact they are of the strong belief that Infrastructures like we all understand in governance has to do with building of schools, roads, healthcare industries, institutes public facilities etc, which in their opinion, has been promptly delivered by their candidate.

They went further to say that the records are there for all to see that, it was in the administration of Governor Godwin Obaseki that over 230 schools were renovated. Roads, drainages and bridges were constructed across the 18 Local Governments in Edo state. Health care centers received necessary attention in terms of facilities for training health care workers, providing health insurance, equipment of hospitals and employment of Doctors.

In Agriculture, production centers and programs were established and lots of farmers were been provided lands, loans and fertilizers which is a total plus to massive food production in our State and possible Nationwide. Examples includes the SOBE farms, which now harvest rice, Urhonigbe Rubber estate which has grown and to be ready in few years for tapping for indigenous industry.

Still on infrastructures, there is the Ossiomo power project that has been completed and ready for commissioning. The Edo refinery which is 70%ready for completion and the ongoing construction of the industrial park, the Gelegele seaports.

Also, we have the Benin Technical College, Edo Innovation Hub which has created employment through the Edojobs. We have the Edo Production Centre where a lot of persons are defining their skills by producing and selling.

We have the housing scheme provided for those who wish to own houses at cheaper rates, which is the Emotan Garden. Also there is training and employment of youths in Edstma and Puwov. These are what we call human capacity building.

While ruminating on the above achievements of Governor Obaseki, as promoted by members of the PDP camp, expectations are also high on the APC campaign team and supporters as well as on the minds of indigenes, with regards to the plans of Pastor Ize Iyamu. Is he going to continue from the foundation laid down by Obaseki or will he come up with a different approach entirely? Are the campaign manifestos and promises he is putting out there going to be fulfilled or not?

Answers to the above questions will be laid bare obviously if he eventually get to win the elections.

The masses however, on their part must understand that for a society to grow, we must develop the ability to be patient, understanding and supportive of whoever gets to the seat of governance. The beautiful Rome we know today, wasn’t built a day, but someone started a foundation that made it one of the most beautiful places in the world. It is better we put aside our selfish interests and “stomach infrastructure” politicking because they’ve really posed more dangers to the growth we clamour for in our society over the years.

Gift Joseph Okpakorese
Staff Writer
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