At some major motor parks in Lagos state, bus conductors and their drivers are not to beckon at travelers by laying claim to facilities their vehicles are not equipped with. For instance, it is not unusual to see a conductor screaming “Benin by A/C (meaning that intending travelers to Benin-city would be transported by an Air-conditioned equipped vehicle). But alas! Having fallen into the lap of the transporter, the traveler would even before getting to Mowe in Ogun state become unbearably uncomfortable as a result of heat and a foul smell emanating from the vehicle contrary to the claim made before he or she boarded the vehicle. The traveler, without option, would frustratingly travel the long
distance without experiencing the cool and soothing breeze that an Air conditioner is
characterized by.

In a similar vein, they are not to also beckon to intending travelers by screaming “Benin by air” to the disbelief of many who already know their stock-in-trade at Lagos motor parks. However, since passengers never took them seriously over their claims, they are usually not surprised when they travel through the pot-hole riddled and sometimes, circuitous Lagos-Benin-Ore Road, and not by air as deceptively announced by the bus conductor and his driver. Ostensibly as a way of making intending travelers believe that the buses that were originally manufactured to ply the roads can also fly in the air.

Road transport operators are not to seemingly engage in the monkey business of issuing branded tickets to passengers, enter their names in the manifest book, and allocate seats to them totally with the serial numbers on the manifest.

Some of the established transporters even go as far as offering take-away foods in which the payment for the ticket has already taken care of to each of the passengers.

Without any iota of exaggeration, you will agree with this writer that the foregoing services are reminiscent of the services obtainable from virtually all airline operators. As service delivery is by each passing day getting better, road transporters are no doubt emulating their counterparts in the airline sector of the transport industry. Unfortunately, no matter the level of deceit or packaging, buses do not fly in the air.

Interestingly, as road transporters are not to promise passengers what they do not have, so also will some of the political parties that would participate in September 2020 governorship election in Edo state begin to tell white lies to the people by making promises they quite know they would not be able to fulfill.

To many political observers, telling white lies during an electioneering campaign is normal. The erroneous belief is in agreement with Lucy Hale’s quote that says “But little white lies here and there is human nature. Everybody does that.” However, just like Margaret Keane in her postulation said, “Don’t tell lies, ever. No matter – not even little lies, “so also is Dr. Pius Odubu who is known to be a leader that does make promises he cannot achieve. At this juncture, it is not misguided to vouch for Odubu by saying that he has over the years taken a position on the same philosophical pedestal with Matshona Dhliwayo says “Never make a promise you can’t keep. Never take someone you love for granted. Never underestimate the power of trust.”

Still, in the same nexus, it is germane to opine that members of the campaign committees of most political parties in the state are by now becoming nervously and anxiously expectant while the literary drivers and conductors of their respective campaign train is already scheming on how they would tell the electorates lies about unachievable projects by the time the political umpire will blow the whistle for proper politicking and campaign to commence. The desperation and illusion they have towards political power, no doubt, are somewhat forcing most of them to make the promises they are likely not capable of fulfilling.

I must confess that I was compelled to openly express this view through this medium to allay the fear of those who are of the view that the ship of state in the next political dispensation will aimlessly navigate around the same vicious cycle that has usually being characterized by wasted four years of poverty, excuses, blames, lies, deceits, abuses, hypocrisy, backstabbing, name-calling, intrigue, nepotism, stealing, laundering, cultism, threats and violence.

Against the foregoing backdrop, it suffices to say that the leader Edo people need for now is the one that will set achievable goals and achieve such goals with a high sense of exigency, tenacity, and accountability, in the same manner, Nehemiah did in the biblical days. Recall that Nehemiah, whose role changed from that of royal cupbearer to governor of Judah, utilized multiple leadership strategies in accomplishing his goal of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. His work was accomplished through an active prayer life, providing a vision to his followers, using his closeness to King Artaxerxes to receive help, role modeling, adaptability, and foresight. Furthermore, Nehemiah paid close attention to his followers’ needs and was dogged in accomplishing his goals.

To me, Odubu is not a brand of politician that will see the occupation of the state government house on Osadebay Avenue as a do or die affair. He is a politician that promises what he is capable of achieving in no time. He exemplified this leadership trait when he was the deputy governor to Oshiomhole, so going there to him is not what will make him become power drunk. The shout of joy that literarily greeted their joint feat in the state is still reverberating. Reiteratively put, Odubu is not a leader that would make unachievable promises. He is not a leader whose condition is characterized by delusional fantasies of wealth, power, or omnipotence, or rather an obsession with grandiose or extravagant things or actions. Simply put, he is not a megalomaniac.

He understands that Edo state and the 18 local government areas in the state should be seen as the bigger picture.

Isaac Asabor, a Journalist, writes from Benin-City.