THE CANDIDATE TO BEAT

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Osagie Ize-Iyamu

Osagie Ize-Iyamu’s simple agenda offers insightful recommendations for tackling Edo State’s pressing problems, writes Dan Amor

One thing that easily gives away Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the candidate to beat in the September 19, 2020 governorship election in Edo State is preparation. For anybody to succeed in all battles, preparation takes 80 per cent. Leadership is about preparation and preparation is vision. No one is a leader unless someone is following. Therefore, leadership is the ability to mobilise others to accomplish a common goal. Successful leadership is vision combined with the resolve, courage and endurance that it takes to accomplish the goal, to press the job until it is finished. But when those who follow a leader begin to leave their leader in droves like what has happened to the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Godwin Obaseki, especially the resignation of three commissioners and a special adviser in one fell swoop, such a leader should ask himself questions.

There will always be leadership. Whenever there is an absence of leadership, it will quickly be filled by someone who is prepared. If the noble could not rule, the profane will. The best men and women in history, as well as the most evil, have used the same principles of leadership. If evil prevails in a place or time, it is because the initiative was seized by the evil while the good wavered. When good prevails, it is because the good seize the initiative and lead. Leaders are made from those who know what is happening and are not content to sit on the sidelines of life and watch others determine their affairs. They recognise opportunities and seize them with boldness. Leaders are the ones who make things happen. Obaseki, a man with so much ambition but without vision, was put on the captain’s seat. And for four years, Edo State has been sailing without compass because the captain does not know where he is going since he had no plan of where to lead the state to. It is against this backdrop that we examine Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu’s Simple Agenda as a document of consequence.

The Simple Agenda, is therefore a guide to the progressive ideas and themes that are energising him to win the election. These innovative, non-bureaucratic approaches to governance are central to the new thinking that is changing the basic contours of modern politics all over the world. The policy templates in this Agenda are inspired by a new wave of progressive innovation sweeping across the world. From public school choice to tenant management, public housing to security management, Edolites are going to experience new ways of solving their problems. The themes and ideas in The Simple Agenda cannot be easily categorised in conventional political terms. Some may assail them as too liberal, others as too conservative. This does not mean, however, that Ize-Iyamu’s proposals lie at some mythical midpoint on the political continuum. On the contrary, they call for a radical departure from the status quo. They are set to upset the comfortable arrangements of politics as usual. The Simple Agenda is not a comprehensive, agency-by-agency guide for managing Edo State. Instead, it offers highly specific recommendations for tackling the state’s most pressing problems.

The Simple Agenda calls for reinvigorating Edo’s anaemic economy by breaking the fiscal impasse, opening markets and forging a new compact of economic security with Edo workers , harnessing market forces to control health care costs and combat unemployment, revolutionalise Edo’s ailing education system, making Edolites more secure in their homes and on their streets, bolstering families with children, reinventing government to make the public sector a catalyst for innovation rather than an obstacle to it. Taken together, Pastor Ize-Iyamu’s progressive agenda constitutes a new governing philosophy for a new era in Edo politics. This Agenda is sending jitters down the spines of his opponents. It is a new dawn for our people.