Why the Odds Favour Obaseki


Monday Ugonoba
Irrespective of the campaign of calumny being executed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Edo State against the peoples’ choice, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, things keep looking up.

This comes very astonishingly because rather than distracting the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate, he gets more enabled by the war of attrition employed by the opposition.
Of note is the super-silence with which every political dart is met with, making it clearer that all that matter to Obaseki is how to finish strong.

Whereas everyone in a contest aims at coming tops of any competitive exercise, but the Edo State chapter of PDP is engrossed in making issues out of where there is none.
For Edo people, who crave for good governance, the deliberate disregard for issues as being displayed by the opposition is akin to a disservice.

Therefore, the growing consensus, that the PDP prefers the creation of imaginary enemies to engaging in an issue-based campaign that would afford the indigenes the opportunity to evaluate their would-be leaders.
Our findings in this regard, suggest that the opposition’s apathetic disposition to issues affecting the average Edo man seems to be deeming whatever chances the PDP think it possesses.

The mood of state when placed side by side with the robustness of the APC campaign, indicate that party holds all the aces in this race.
Specifically, the selling points identified to give the APC edge are but not limited to the following: the choice of its candidate, Obaseki’s vision, his experience, Oshiomhole’s performance, APC’s wide support base in the state and incumbency.

It is still considered that there couldn’t have been any better choice of successor than Obaseki, whose origin and disposition align with the people’s expectations. One thing we cannot take away from any governorship race in Edo is the Benin factor in addition to the fact that Edo South Senatorial District has numeric edge over others.

These identified selling points, would be overwhelmingly influential in the race to produce Oshiomhole’s successor. As an informed commentator and participant in Edo politics, Obaseki is poised to benefit from these factors.

On the incumbent’s performance index, every follower of Edo politics knows that it will be a key determinant feature in Obaseki’s victory.
Th reason for this prognosis could be found in the maxim that the performance of a political party, determines its longevity in power.

On performance, even the blind, deaf and dumb can see, hear and talk about the performance of Oshiomole. It is common knowledge that preceding Oshiomole’s emergence, Edo State was governed like a medieval kingdom of the dark ages.
There was pervasive disparagement in the land and total lack of confidence in governments that served then. This was as government officials became more corrupt and insensitive to the plight of the Edo people, whose only offense was that they elected Lucky Igbenedion as their governor.

Like a reformer bursting with humongous zeal, Oshiomole began to address a number of issues affecting the people. Roads were attended to, schools were constructed and old ones rehabilitated. The health sector was given enormous attention as a large number of hospitals in the state were adequately staffed and equipped to meet the health outcomes of a modern society. The urban renewal project which cut across the three senatorial districts with much focus on Benin City, Auchi, Ekpoma, Uromi and Abudu did have meaningful impact on the people of the state as it opened up these areas and facilitated the ease of transporting items, particularly food produce from the rural to the urban areas.

Water, which was largely a scarce commodity in a number of areas owing to the sorry state of its waterboard service became accessible to the people as Oshiomole revived the service by injecting a capable management as well as injecting fresh ideas into the service.
On the education frontier, Oshiomole bore the burden as his own cross. This saw the transformation of all public schools in the state from its dilapidated states into model colleges.

On taxes, the idea that some were above the law was also challenged and brought to a close by the Oshiomole administration. Oshiomole insisted that if the small man could pay taxes so also the big shot. Though this earned him the wrath of the tin gods, Oshiomole soldiered on, winning the battles of course.

While we commend the governor for these, it amounts to a disservice if we fail to credit the governor’s team which Obaseki is a primary member. His membership of such a remarkable team, makes his candidacy more endeared to people and as well increases public confidence about him. In an election where the electorate had made it obvious, that only issues could influence their voting pattern, these performances stand Obaseki out.
On the other hand, Obaseki’s manifesto dwarfs the Ize-Iyamu’s widely criticised Simple Agenda.

With agriculture, development of industries, job creation, infrastructure expansion and tax reforms topping his agenda, one is encouraged to mobilise support for the APC.
An excerpt from the manifesto which encapsulates this doubtless commitment to the greatness of Edo State reads: ‘’Through the provision of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Loans at single digit interest rates, we will encourage micro and small businesses to grow, medium enterprises will become large companies in the long run. This will create over 50,000 jobs as we intend to support over 20,000 MSMEs in the next 4 years.’’