The race for Edo government House is getting hotter and hotter. The aspirants vying for office have been going round jostling for delegates and seeking support of anyone that cares to listen to their ambition. Aspirants have been enumerating, wooing and lobbying delegates and party faithfuls why they should be the one to get the ticket. It has become very tense and in such tensed and very competitive race, only the focused, cool and measured aspirants are able to keep their eyes on the ball.

I believe that our system of politicking and electioneering campaigns should be based purely on the issues, no matter how keenly contested. Aspirants should be more concerned about telling the people why they should earn their votes, what they have achieved in their respective fields/careers, why they are aspiring to be in that position, their ideals and principles, what they are going to do, how they are going to do it and the the time in which such plans and policies shall be executed.

From closely monitoring the events in Edo, the only aspirant who has managed to run a model campaign is Godwin Obaseki. He has successfully maintained a focussed, issues based campaign that commands respect and great deal of professionalism. It is no wonder that most Edolites and delegates have thrown their weight behind him because of what he has to offer. Those who were expecting the old culture have been left stranded. Gone are the days when people can just rely on being around the block and the “it is my turn culture” mentality, “loyalty to party leaders” amongst others. As a candidate, you cannot expect automatic backing or support just because of loyalty and being around the block for some time. That thinking archaic, off putting and simply does not cut it anymore.

What has happened is that the “entitlement” culture has been replaced with what ability and the capacity to deliver for the people. That clear cut vision about how Edo State can be taken to the next level is now the determining factor of who shall succeed Governor Adams Oshiomhole come September 10, 2016.

It is on this premise that Obaseki has drawn star status in the race for Osadebe Avenue. For those who are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that APC fields their best candidate, their job have been made a lot easier. The distance between the APC aspirants is clear cut. Obaseki stands out and has given them a clear gap in terms of the unprecedented innovative acumen and drive to move Edo forward.

You may ask why? Dr Obaski is a technocrat and also a clean politician to the core; seasoned with great vision of service delivery. He thinks outside box, he is a round peg in a round hole. Laced with new thinking and e-governance, Obaseki not only has the ability to drive economic growth and development, he innovated and ushered in new ideas in order that Edo state can become an efficiency driven economy.

As the Chairman of the Edo State Economic Committee, Obaseki ensured the state finances are in pretty good shape. How? Edo state have become an investment hub because of Obaseki. Investment drives economic growth which gave Edo state a better balance sheet because when many states are struggling to pay salaries, Edo is different and miles apart. Little wonder, Governor Oshiomhole was the only governor that was able to increase minimum wage from N18 thousand to N25 thousand.

With the serious economic challenges arising from the global downturn and sharp fall in crude oil prices, innovative ways raising of revenues have never been so critical. As a result, the federal government have moved for the diversification of the economy to boost economic growth. At state level, we must ensure that we elect a governor who can also lead the diversification of the state’s revenue and drive forward the creative pathways to boost economic growth.

With diversification of the economy, agriculture is the new oil and Obaseki’s vision and plans to diversify and promote activities to generate revenue is impressive. This is the only way that we can achieve viability and break the culture of running to Abuja with cap in hand begging for bailouts. Obaseki has said when he becomes governor, he will invest in agriculture, create industries and provide an enabling environment for small businesses to thrive.

“The other area that government is working is on and the area I believe we will grow when I become governor is agriculture, but because there is foreign exchange, we always want to import. We spend almost $500 million to import chicken annually to this country; we spend almost $2billion dollars to import rice and even milk we spend $500 million to import. Can’t we grow rice in Edo; can’t we rear chicken and fish in Edo? But now those things we used to import are no longer possible because of foreign exchange.” Obaseki said while unveiling his plans on power.

He further added “It is an opportunity for us to begin to create industries and, when I take over government, the first thing I will do is to help people invest. “When I become governor, I need not to worry because I have the capacity to bring work and investment to Edo. I know two years is a long time, but how are we going to survive before then? If we say things are bad in the state, we should go to some other states, some states have not paid salaries for over three months. We should make sure we provide micro finance for small businesses.”

Obaseki is now the man to beat and this have unsettled some political heavy weights in many quarters. Unsurprisingly, tension have set in some camps while others are clearly rattled by the passion, style and delivery of Godwin Obaseki Campaign. Rice have been shifted from the shafts, boys from men and the only thing remaining is for APC delegates to ensure they do the right things and vote Obaseki irrespective of the cajoling, lobbying and money changing hands. They owe it a duty to Edolites, they owe it a duty to their conscience, they owe it a duty to ensure they elect Obaski because he is the only one that can give PDP a run for their money.

As previously stated in my article, “Why Obaseki should emerge flag-bearer,” Edo APC must ensure they put their best foot forward. Obaseki remains the best opportunity for APC continuity agenda in Edo state.

Published by Abusidiqu on May 7, 2016