By Osehobo Victor
There is no other state in Nigeria that can compare with Edo the heartbeat of Nigeria, my Edo, our Edo. In short, Edo is a planet.
Edo is up there without a comparison in intrigues, mystery, wonders, magic, opportunity and surprise. In politics, once Edo coughs, all of Nigeria quakes.
For instance, the wonder that the regimes of Sam Ogbemudia, Ambrose Alli, Adams Oshiomhole worked on Edo belongs with the Cinderella story when it comes to astonishment.
Benin City that used to be an ancient city wears the look of a model city in the making. Many things that people thought were impossible were re-engineered in such a way that made Edo look new and quite attractive. Oshiomhole was the magician.
But that is all history for whci Edo is popular, we like our past! Yes it tells us how our future will look like!.
As a new election is on the wings and the ruling party, APC, decides to pick flagbearer who will graduate to become the new and better helmsman as GOVERNOR; one who can be trusted! One the people can vouch for; not a backstabber or a betrayer, who gears up to fly the victorious APC flag in Edo state, I hereby revisit a dream my friend, a Professor of Public Administration, told me in 2016.
He saw a tall man, humble, godfearing, calculating but determined Man , ready to serve, being ushered into Osadebey Avenue. For the man, the route was kind of familiar. The only differences were the color of the paints.
Professor heard the man say to his tour guide: “Edo will be a model! We must redefine governance. We must focus on the people.
We can make Edo the Dubai of Africa! through enduring infrastructure, investor friendly tax policies and tourism potentials and a transparent government that respects the rule of law and believes in advocacy for attitudinal change.”
The man being shown around as it turned out was Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu or POI, the new Edo State governor. The date was no longer 2016 but 2020! And it was November!
In time, under POI Edo would become some kind of magnet, attracting all and sundry from all corners and crannies of the country and the world such that the population is now well past the 5 million mark.
For POI, the communal spirit of Edo inspirits the ennobling culture of respect, to wit, respect for oneself, respect for elders and leaders, respect for the law and mores, respect for the environment, and respect for authority.
The meat of the matter is POI’s SIMPLE AGENDA.
But before the agenda, some relevant facts and figures are detailed out, such as the creation of the state in 1991, the vision of the promoters, among whom is the Oba Akenzua 11 and Chief Osayande Ize-Iyamu, the father of the NEW governor, who donated the first Storey building in Benin City, Egedege N’Okao to the cause of the Edo state movement.
It’s the featured articles of the Agenda that hold aloft the eagle’s feather. The simplicity of the intentions and the tools to actualise them disarms a reader because they are so real and realistically practicable to achieve.
And the Professor says the new helmsman at Edo government house declares, “Any government that intends to bring real development and prosperity to its citizens must focus on comprehensive and sustainable development that
encompasses several aspects including improvement of infrastructure, health, education, human resource development, job creation, industrialization, agriculture, security and improvement of municipal services such as the provision of water and electricity.
Unfortunately, over the past three years, Edo State has been denied this best practice approach to sustainable development. Rather, the outgoing state government has been obsessed with a single theme – wake and see!
It completely neglected all other important areas of the developmental continuum crying for attention. What is more, the focus was merely on “maintenance”, not the construction of new roads in new but old communities and residential areas even within the city, that would have added to the social capital stock and development opportunities available to Edo people”.
I like dreams! Accordingly for me, Edo is a national aspiration. We love being in the mainstream. We are in the mainstream and cannot allow the mistake of one deprive us of that splendour.
‘Nigerians love Edo people” Why not? Enahoro, Ogbemudia, Alli, Anenih, Ikimi, Oyegun, Oshiomhole! All came from Edo! APC, we all in Edo, cannot and will not fail you with POI on the ballot.
No one can confidently and actually replace the old metaphor, ‘bees to honey’. Edo can make love to you. It can make a mess of you. It can make a giant of you. It can chew you up and spit you out.
And sometimes, it can do all of these to you in a jiffy. Edo is a style, a lifestyle. Only homeboys know the terrain and the alleys!
POI on the APC flag will show that nothing is impossible in Edo. He will restore public confidence in government. He will rebuild public trust and carry the governed along! The new kid on the block cannot “fall our hands”, as we say in good old adage. He is the one Edo APC can trust!