Edo 2020: Why Governor Obaseki Should Never Be Trusted Again (1)

By Ogochukwu Isioma

On Wednesday, October 2, 2019, Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, announced the termination of appointment of all his Special Assistants and Senior Special Assistants, declaring readiness to appoint replacement in 30 days.

A statement issued by the Secretary to the State Government, Barr Osarodion Ogie, claimed the move was in line with government’s efforts to reorganize governance in the state, even though there has never been any at the first instance.

“This development is in line with efforts to reorganise the governance structure to enhance efficiency in service delivery to Edo people”, he said, adding, “fresh appointments will be announced within the next 30 days”.

48 days after, the state government is yet to announce “fresh appointments”, failing, yet again, on its promise, just as the governor is fond of reneging on his promises but rather takes to media governance in showcasing audio achievements coupled with signing of MoUs, mulling and harping daily on the pages of newspaper. If Obaseki could not keep to his promise of making fresh appointments within 30 days, what then should he be trusted with? Why should we trust him again with our mandate? Better put, a governor who does trust Edo people whom he has sacked is alien to the masses, and, therefore, cannot be trusted with our mandate again lest he makes another unfulfillable million and one promises.

The about 220 affected appointees with no specific job description since 2016, have since become full-time social media activists and are all worn out in defending the glaring incompetency of the MoU governor, with the hope of being considered for reappointment. That is evident from the incoherent and acerbic posts on social media platforms to launder the diminishing image of a man who personally supervised the nocturnal inauguration of the Edo Assembly that gave birth to the puppet (mid)night speaker, Frank Okiye.

Under Obaseki’s sleeping eyes, unemployment in Edo state has soared and investments have waned. Democratic values and supremacy of the law are being tested by the despotic governor. What else is left to be said about a man who does not respect the rule of law but takes his own party and party men to court, and supervises anti-party activities and inflammatory government house releases? Your guess is as good as mine.

Obaseki is yet to deliver on good governance to the people since he came on board in 2016. We all campaigned for CONTINUITY but he came and abandoned all projects initiated by his predecessor and took to crude politics. In fact, the only “service” Obaseki has successfully rendered to the people include, debt services, substandard roads, MoUs and audio jobs.

The Edo populace have since rejected the governor over his incompetence and non-performance. He has shown to lack what it takes to lead a state as peaceful as ours. Under his nose, insecurity has increased, schools are under lock and key with no bursary for students, yet, he is spending millions on everyday media governance. Once confronted to showcase his achievements, the governor’s handlers are quick to pen lengthy epistles as if achievements ought not to speak for itself. No wonder someone once said Obaseki’s achievements are audio-like, they can only be heard but cannot be seen. The only known achievements of the governor are on papers which include failed MoUs and his annual ‘Alaghodaro’ summit were tax payers money are wasted, claiming he had provided over 170,000 jobs. Truth is the governor remains unpopular, incompetent and undefendable.

These are interesting times for Edo people and the governor, who in all ramifications appears embattled and paranoid about his vaunting ambition to govern the state for another four years. He has deployed all the arsenals in his armoury to deal with those opposed to his second term and employed intimidation to cow the fearful and gullible into submitting to his second term ambition whether they are convinced or not.

Truth is, support for a political ambition is not obtained by coercion, demolition of properties, sacking of appointees and democratically elected council chairmen, breaching parliamentary traditions etc…,but through dialogues, negotiations and collaboration. But Obaseki lacks the humility, interpersonal skills, compassion, pragmatic approach to governance, quality infrastructures, guided utterances, respect for party leaders and members needed for such a venture. Power is transient, it is negotiated through interaction and constructive engagement of all the forces in a democratic setting. One wonders, therefore, the desperation that is attending his second term bid.

It is time to count our losses and move on…but not before we send him packing. Enough is enough! Let’s rescue Edo from the Lagos emigrant, tyranny and incompetency.

Ogochukwu, a social media influencer and political commentator, writes from Benin City.

He can be best reached on ogochukwuisioma@gmail.com, +234(0)8133881166