MY FEARS FOR EDO AND OSHIOMHOLE
I am afraid for Edo State. I am also afraid for Governor, Adams Oshiomhole. I thank God for the role of the opposition party in a democracy which is the role of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its Chieftains in the state.
There is no fear in my mind for my Leader, Chief Tony Anenih because of the intra-party crisis that has bedeviled our party. No, he that is down need fear no fall.For the role of my party; PDP, I cannot but mention the script being acted by my leader, Chief Anenih, Chief Dan Orbih, and Imansuangbon among others.
Their roles show that when God places you in a position of leadership or power, it is meant to impact positively on the ordinary people. My party and its Chieftains did not make good use of that opportunity. Now they are being derided like political neophytes.
The result, therefore, is the puerile criticism and pull-him-down mechanism we have all employed in the guise of checking Oshiomhole's government. So, I have no fear for him (Anenih) because, he that is down need fear no fall. And for our party Chieftains, they must do the bidding of the leader and see nothing good in the Oshiomhole led administration. My party's vitriolic attack on Oshiomhole-led government and not the Action Congress undermines the interest of the state and its citizenry.
Am particularly not happy about this development because, in other democracies, the driver of the process of governance is not as important as the party programmes and policies, and how they affect ordinary people.Sincerely, I must quickly say that if we must take-over power from a focused and determined government like that of Oshiomhole in Edo State, we must also be ready to take the blame of the past and confess publicly that we (including all the leaders of the party) squandered and plundered the state's treasury. Besides, we must be ready to support possible areas the present government is affecting our people, learn from their strong and weak points and then appeal to the generality of Edo people to give us a chance.
I speak without fear of contradiction or expulsion from the party. I am not the first to speak the truth; past National Chairman of our party, Chief Vincent Ogbulafor and the present, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo had in separate instances warned of the dangers of confronting an Oshiomhole with a tattered house and thereby describing him as a hard bone to crack. Just now, our sincere party Chairman, Dr. Nwodo confirmed that Edo and Lagos have slipped off our hands because of the performing records of those driving the affairs of governance in those states; Oshiomhole and Raji Fashola. What else can I tell our leaders in Edo State than to face the reality of governance that Oshiomhole has brought about in Edo State?
Lest I divert from the point of my discussion, my initial fear for Oshiomhole and Edo State was that the gargantuan and elephant projects embarked upon by the Governor might turn out to become white-elephant projects, unrealistic and unsustainable. One of such examples that easily and immediately run down my mind was the white-elephant projects of former Governor Lucky Igbinedion when he sunk a large chunk of the states' budget on the dredging of Ikpoba River under the leadership of my 'Leader' who pronounced the lack of vacancy in the Edo government House during the second coming of that government.Across Edo State, Oshiomhole, in the face of dwindling resources from the Federation Account, flagged off over 45 Road projects, rehabilitation of schools and hospitals. An undeterred Oshiomhole, in the face of global economic crunch is busy engaging Edo youths in gainful job opportunities instead of retrenching those already employed. And, in the face of scarce economics means, Oshiomhole is building Benin City Roads amid and other infrastructure.
In my estimation, what I think government committed is restoring the state to its original master plan. I do not also think that the Oshiomhole-led government has any business deceiving the people. We should be patient with government to take their time to do proper planning in a holistic manner such that the Roads can stand the test of time with the desired quality and durability that can compare with any one in the world.What matters most now is how we can encourage, and muster support for a government that is expanding, beautifying and electrifying Sokponba Road, Airport Road, Sapele Road, Costain Isornorho Road among others and tackling the age-long drainage problems .Not just that, I was ashamed recently, when I saw 'the Oshiomhole magic' in Ring Road; not the beautification now or the streetlights but the musical water fountain. I was not ashamed of myself but my party. In fact, am very careful these days, the way I defend my party because, I had no face any longer in public to declare myself as a member of that party. The Oshiomhole magic had gathered thousands of passer-bys, commuters, and those residing around the King Square to the Museum ground where the water fountain is located for test running.
However, I have my fear for Oshiomhole and for Edo people; the first is sustainability and the second is if my party would be able to rescue power from them?Am afraid of the avalanche of energy deplored to achieving the on-going infrastructural rejuvenation permeating Edo State. The man has not only gone round the state to personally flag off the Road projects, he was seeing inspecting them and commissioning ready ones simultaneously. We now see a governor whose daily assignment was to move round the nooks and crannies of the city to ascertain the work done and time spent in doing an amount of work. If you must do business in Edo as a contractor, you have to watch it and be double sure of your sincerity, capability and experience otherwise, a determined Oshiomhole may disappoint you after the contract award.
There comes my fear again for Edo and Oshiomhole; can we ever find another Oshiomhole who is a workaholic to maintain the pace of development in Edo state?Where do you find a governor trekking kilometres to firstly, assess the damages and infrastructural decay in the state? Or where do you see that governor in our clime, who defies rain to ascertain the level of damage in our drainage system? Again, I have also not seen one, who jumps into the drain (gutter) to properly inspect the level or quality of work done.
Though not an engineer, with his native intelligence, this governor can in a jiffy, tell a Road contractor or team of engineers of obvious and glaring deficiency on site and would prefer to deplore quality materials for either drainages, schools, roads or streetlights among others.For those of us who feel a little uncomfortable then, it's beginning to dawn on us that the benefits are more than the way we left the state before. I agree that whatever inconveniences we might have suffered, its nothing compared to the benefits that will arise from the beautification agenda embarked upon by government. However, most importantly, I fear for Edo, Oshiomhole, and not he that is down already.
Omo-Osunde is a chieftain of the Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and writes from Benin City