Title: Edo Poll: Who Will Lead the State Towards Progress?
As the Edo State gears up for the next gubernatorial election, a critical question looms large: Who will succeed Governor Godwin Obaseki and guide the state towards prosperity? The upcoming election presents a crucial opportunity for the people of Edo to align with the central ruling party, a decision that could pave the way for much-needed federal support and infrastructural development, reminiscent of the era of the late General (Dr.) Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia.
General Ogbemudia’s belief that a state aligned with the party in power at the center stands to benefit from more development remains a potent lesson. It’s a lesson that some have embraced, recognizing the importance of securing federal patronage for Edo State, which has long suffered from a lack of substantial federal presence.
The recent efforts of Governor Obaseki and his deputy to reconcile within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should be observed cautiously. It is essential not to let Edo State slip into opposition again. This is a new dawn, marked by the emergence of leaders like President Tinubu, who is committed to accelerating development in the country. Edo State should seize this opportunity by having an All Progressive Congress (APC) government that can foster political harmony and usher in rapid development.
To capitalize on this opportunity, the APC must earnestly search for a credible gubernatorial candidate capable of garnering the support and votes of the electorate. Currently, it appears that only figures like Comrade Senator Adams Oshiomhole and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu have the potential to deliver favorable electoral outcomes. These two seasoned politicians have left indelible marks in grassroots politics.
Comrade Oshiomhole’s rise to prominence began during his tenure as the Secretary of the NLC when he issued press releases from his Agidingbi, Ikeja office. His leadership eventually earned him the presidency of the NLC, where he vigorously advocated for Nigerian workers. Friends like former Governor Lucky Igbinedion and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu played pivotal roles in shaping his political journey. Today, he stands as a formidable force capable of winning any election.
Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is another political gem in Edo State, having spent years laying a solid foundation for the APC. He initiated the Grace Group, which later evolved into the Action Congress (AC) and then the All Progressives Congress (APC). With a massive following across all age groups, Ize-Iyamu is well-positioned to return Edo State to the APC. He is regarded as a gentleman and a goodwill ambassador who has shaped the APC’s presence in the state.
While there are other credible figures within the APC, the names Oshiomhole and Ize-Iyamu are widely recognized in the public electoral domain. Edo State has been yearning for meaningful development, and the current infrastructural projects only serve to remind us of Oshiomhole and Ogbemudia’s administrations.
The recent trends in the state, characterized by government manipulation and a backward slide in federal presence, demand democratic checks and balances. In a free and fair election, the PDP will encounter strong resistance from Edo citizens who have learned from past experiences. The federal government may need to consider overseeing all elections in the country to ensure fairness, especially in light of the questionable conduct of the last local government election in Edo State.
Some argue that it’s time for a gubernatorial candidate from Edo Central to emerge for political fairness and representation. However, the paramount concern for the APC should be identifying a candidate capable of delivering the state to the party.
As President Tinubu wisely puts it, “government should endeavor to provide the greatest good for the greatest number of people.” This should be the APC’s primary focus, along with all well-meaning indigenes of the state.
Edo State, with its rich history as the capital of the Old Midwest, Bendel, and now Edo, deserves more infrastructure development. The current state of affairs, with Benin City often referred to as a city of civil servants and petty traders, calls for change.
The renewed call for a party not in opposition is a reflection of the people’s desire for a better life and opportunities for youth and investors. Edo urgently needs federal attention and should not endure further neglect. Roads leading to the state remain in deplorable conditions, and excuses of “federal roads” no longer suffice. Governance requires experienced leaders who understand the importance of cooperation with the federal government for the sake of the people.
In conclusion, as Edo State searches for its next leader, it is imperative to choose candidates who can navigate the complexities of governance and work harmoniously with the center. The opportunity is ripe to elect leaders who can usher in a new era of development and prosperity. Therefore, it is time for Edo State to consider figures like Comrade Oshiomhole and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who have demonstrated their capabilities and commitment to the state’s progress. The APC leadership must carefully assess this opportunity and make a wise decision for the benefit of the people of Edo State. This is a chance the APC cannot afford to miss.