The Edo gubernatorial election was, no doubt, a victory for the masses. Does this mean the parties didn’t do what they are best at, politicking? Nay! They did as much as they could, but na God win laslas. 2016 was expensive, but the APC even upped the ante this time. They ensured PDP would stand no chance in the spending department with Ankaras and N5000 wads exchanging hands like worthless paper. Naija get money o! Though not half as aggressive as the opposing party, the PDP were no saints either. Maybe this was so because there was no Federal Money available; maybe because they feared Federal Power could upturn things even if they spent waywardly and foolishly.
The people were wiser this time. Since politicians now save for elections rather than fix and construct new roads; since money that could have been better spent on recruiting and paying teachers, health workers and other vital professionals’ salaries are now expended on glamorous campaigns, the people decided to attend campaigns across board. In fact, while some parties were boasting of massive figures in their campaign grounds and posting pictures to that effect all over the web, the people rejoiced at the crispy wads entering their pockets. But they had a clear mission at hand: #NotoGodfatherism.
And they were helped at achieving this. The embarrassing visa ban issued on some Nigerian political gladiators by the USA couldn’t have come at a better time. This move, though decried by the Federal Government, laid it out in clear terms that her previous hypocritical oratory on standing for free and fair elections wasn’t deceiving EVERYONE anymore. The US was watching, The UK was watching and even the EU was too. They were forced to sit up this time before the names will be updated.
However, some independent videos showed that the people couldn’t rely on the institutions alone to defend their suffrage. They sometimes had to clamp down on desperate elements sponsored by desperate gladiators themselves. Funny enough, most of those videos pointed the accusing finger at ONE party.
Having said all of these, even with pending litigations underway, the victory though for the people, is anchored upon the duo of Godwin Obaseki and Philip Shaibu. While celebrations are in order, the people didn’t vote them in to celebrate, they were voted in to work. This time to work is now.
There are issues which can’t be wished away. Godwin Obaseki must justify our trust in him THIS TIME. The schools are massively and shamefully understaffed. He could, and rightly so, claim the rot didn’t start under him (Oshiomhole employed no teachers in 8years too), but the people didn’t queue behind him to analyse the problems; they expect him to proffer solutions. The roads are bad, at least many are. He must do more than he did in his first term or the people will regret queuing to vote for him. Oshiomhole did well, by Edo standards, on the roads in his first term. But it appears like the condition of a couple of those roads had been worsening since his second term. Obaseki must identify these and work on them. Street lights and traffic lights should work too.
Our hospitals are understaffed! We want to see a massive upgrade in health infrastructure. Let me specifically mention the Women and Children Hospital in Otuo. This is a low hanging fruit fixed about 58% by Lucky Igbinedion and abandoned, refixed by Oshiomhole to about 85%, only to be abandoned too, with Pally Iriase attracting some equipment from the Fed Government (constituency project), yet still abandoned. Obaseki can leave his footprints on the Sands of time by completing this and a couple of such.
The power issue is another worrisome problem. BEDC has been a pain in the arse. This time, with the completion of multiple power plants across the state, the government must seek out alternative means of providing adequate power to her citizens.
We are not unmindful of the giant strides taken in power infrastructure, the upgrading of the state Polytechnic, the College of Agriculture, the Ogbe stadium, the modular refineries and sanitising of governance and revenue generation, amongst others. But we desire to see much more. We want to see the results of more MOUs, we want to see more employment opportunities either from government or the private sector, we want to see MORE. And we want to see the RETIREMENT OF MORE GODFATHERS.