Oshiomole: We Must End Tradition of Electing Celebrated Politicians

  •   Asks FG to stop lamenting, proffer solutions to economic recession

Gboyega Akinsanmi

Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, wednesday asked Nigerians to move away a tradition in which a candidate seeking an elective office “has to be a celebrated politician to become eligible for such an office.”

Oshiomhole, who will complete his eight-year tenure November 11, challenged the federal government to stop lamenting over the parlous state of the nation’s economy and put machinery in motion towards taking the country out of recession.

He rejected the prevailing tradition of electing celebrated politicians into political offices at the end of the 16th National Women Conference held at the Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The conference, which was tagged Strong Families; Strong Nation, was organised by the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO) under the chairmanship of the wife of the state governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode.

At the conference, Oshiomhole commended Mrs. Ambode, particularly for sustaining COWLSO since its establishment, adding that the theme for the 2016 conference was quite instructive.
Beyond the theme of the conference, however, Oshiomhole confessed that he had cause to learn and borrow from the template Lagos was running, which he said, had been of great assistance to him.

He therefore, expressed optimism that the Edo State Governor-elect, Mr. Godwin Obaseki “will be willing to borrow a leaf from the COWLSO Conference and the traffic management strategy of Lagos.
“We borrowed what is happening in Lagos to make the case for Obaseki in Edo. Nigeria must move away from a tradition in which you have to be a celebrated politician to become eligible to contest for a political office.

“What we actually need in times like this is skills and people with managerial acumen and competence. We readily referred to Lagos as an example of what works with a seasoned and indisputable leader like Bola Ahmed Tinubu laying the foundation and dreaming big for Lagos State.
“Tinubu dreamt clearly, set the vision objectively and identified capable young men and women to translate those vision in a manner that is unprecedented in the history of our country,” he said.

He explained that the unity of Nigeria “is important to all regardless of its diversity. The strength of the country lies in its diversity and the challenge of the political leadership is how to service the diversity.”

With what happened in Lagos under 18 months, Oshiomhole said Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had shown that the only poverty “to address is the poverty of ideas. Once the brain is creative and imaginative with a governor that is ready to apply himself, there is no problem that will defy solution.

“Ambode have shown that our task as leaders is not to lament what does not work but to think through how to make it work and that you are doing; that you have done. I know that you will continue to do.”

At the conference, he shared his journey “from airport to Victoria Island. I noticed something I think is worth celebrating because of its impact in helping family unity and family union. Why will you wake up at 5 a.m. or 4 a.m. just to be at work at 8 a.m. devoting all the time to traffic?

“The reason was because of the huge traffic challenges. But when I received the invitation for this conference, I was advised that it was 10 a.m. I know my brother, Ambode keeps to time.

“I said we had to get up early. I told my wife that we were going to spend about two hours from Ikeja Airport to get to Victoria Island. But I was very pleasantly surprised that coming from Ikeja to this place, it was like flying a first class aircraft from Alausa to the heart of Ikoyi.”

In her message, Mrs. Ambode described the state of family in the country as a time bomb waiting to explode, positing that the leaders should recognise the need “to run and address the issue immediately by firming up the building blocks of our individual families.

“If we do not firm up the fundamental building blocks of the society, it may crumble. This is because the family makes a society. Nigerians must speak out against domestic violence in the country.”