EDO State readily crosses the mind each time the failure and success of governance at state level in Nigeria are discussed.
Having had its share of both scenarios since the dawn of the Fourth Republic in 1999, the state qualifies to be used as the yardstick to measure the performance of government in key areas.
The years of former Lucky Igbinedion within the context of this analogy could indisputably pass for wasted years following its awful performance indicators.
Without dwelling much on those years of the locust, those wasted two terms left damaging consequences on the naturally vibrant state.
Nostalgically, we recall that those eight years of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration was a colossal waste, as billions of allocation accruing to the state from the Federation Account were not used to improve the life of the Edo man.
Sadly, the state that was a model even under military leaders like George Innih, Samuel Ogbemudia, and Tunde Ogbeha, among others, was turned into a lame duck with the legacies of the past wasted through visionless governance.
The result was infrastructural collapse, hunger, unemployment and utter hopelessness.
It was in this precarious condition that Oshiomhole commenced his stewardship in 2008, bracing the odds to ensure that Edo was rescued.
However, through purposeful political leadership, Oshiomhole’s team transformed Benin from an abandoned ancient city to a 21st century city with the full complements of road networks adorned with street lights, walk ways and drainage; beautiful city centre with state of the art facilities; and improved traffic monitoring systems that work.
The urban renewal project, which cuts across the three senatorial districts with much focus on Benin City, Auchi, Ekpoma, Uromi and Abudu and impressive impact in all the 18 Local Government Areas of the State, show queue behind the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr Godwin Obaseki, who can sustain these legacies and as well improve upon them.
His ability to do that is not doubt considering that he had been a key player in the mainstream decision-making architecture of the Oshiomhole administration.
The achievements, must not only be sustained by Obaseki, they should also be protected, and imbibed by all for the peace and development of Edo.
The fact that the APC candidate is very passionate about transparency and accountability in governance, insisting that state funds belong to the people and must, therefore, be used to provide for their good, is quite gratifying.
His commendable and exemplary contribution to the prudent management of state resources, prompt payment of workers’ salaries, including state pension obligations; the massive infrastructural development in education, health, road, water, urban renewal and beautification, electricity as well as the ingenious tax administration and collection regime are indicators that the gains of this administration would be maximised.
Our people must look at the contenders, sift the focused from the pretenders, shun sentimental and primordial interests and focus on the serious issues of passion for the development of our state and the ability and capacity to harness and utilise most creatively the resources available to Edo.
This is where Obaseki, who shares same vision and mission with Oshiomhole, stands the best chance of keeping hope alive that the legacies of the Oshiomhole administration of which he has been a significant part will be sustained.
Not minding what some may think, there couldn’t have been any better successor than Obaseki considering his prime contributions to the Edo success story in nearly eight years.
We must all now begin our work in our different ways as indigenes to give Obaseki total victory.
Inegbedion, a pastor writes from Ubiaja