Governor Adams Oshiomhole
He didn’t happen in the political firmament by chance. Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the Governor of Edo State took time and hard work to build his brand equity. As labour leader, he stoically stood against the federal government policies that were considered anti masses to the admiration of Nigerians. He became popular, yes, very popular not just to his home people, but also to the generality of Nigerians who saw him as their saving grace against oppression. Oshiomhole was to test his brand acceptability on the political terrain of his home state, Edo.
That experiment is now history. What is news is that his second bid to lead his people seem to have affirmed and reinforced the need for brands be they product, service or personality to deliver on their promises. By bringing dividends of democracy to the doorsteps of Edo people, a state notorious for bad governance, Oshiomhole seem to have dug a death nail in the coffin of godfatherism and impunity in the state. In its place enthroned accountability and good governance.
Indeed, observers saw the election as a straight battle between the once feared godfather of Edo politics and Oshiomhole. That Mr. Fix It was trounced was a clear indication of a paradigm shift. What was Oshiomhole’s magic wand that delivered such impressive result at the polls? Said a brand analyst “Governor Oshiomhole is an iconic brand. When a brand achieves such status and tops it up with delivering on his promises, it is difficult for competition to upstage him. Oshiomhole has changed the face of governance in Edo State. He is walking the talk that was why the opposition, especially the almighty PDP recorded such abysmal outing. Nigerians are becoming more political conscious. It is no longer amala politics. They are looking for someone that would deliver dividends of democracy and not someone who will sweet talk or intimidate them.”
It is on record that on assumption of office, Oshiomhole set out to work to meet the needs of those who voted him into office. His action is akin to a brand, which delivers on its brand promise. It will be an uphill task to upstage such a performing brand.
Any lesson from Edo State poll for Nigerians? Nigerians are becoming more politically conscious. The actions of Edo State electorates was a clear indication that it is no longer business as usual; that the Nigerian citizens demand good governance; whoever that fails to deliver will have himself voted out in the next election. The result of the poll also signals an end to scientific rigging and enthronement of the will of the people and the final funeral rites of godfatherism in Nigerian politics. It happened in Anambra State. It is spreading fast.