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Friday, 19 August 2016

EDO 2016 GOVERNORSHIP: PROGRESSIVE CONTINUITY OR RETROGRESSION?

By: Oteghe Adams
It seems that the Edo PDP governorship candidate Osagie Ize-Iyamu wants to destroy the lineage of logic in his desperate bid for power; Ize-Iyamu is corroding and insulting the intelligence of the Edo State electorate by engaging in retrograde history and prescribing poisonous potions of amnesia for some innocent voters in the 2016 governorship elections. The PDP candidate who claims to be running on the mantra of ‘’ experience’’ is simultaneously fleeing from his own history; he does not want to be judged on the chronicles of his (non) performance in the government of Lucky Igbinedion where he served in two major capacities. First as a Chief of Staff between 1999 – 2003 and later as the Secretary to the State Government between 2003 – 2007.Unfortunately, these years of service constitute the major basis of the’’ experience’’ that Ize-Iyamu is trumpeting in his campaign propaganda.

Indeed, Lucky Igbinedion directly referred to Ize-Iyamu as the ‘’ clearing house’’ of government while being sworn in as Secretary to State Government (SSG), other knowledgeable persons referred to Ize-Iyamu as the de facto governor in view of the almost permanent absence of Lucky Igbinedion from office. The indestructible narrative is that Ize-Iyamu was effectively the “captain in the engine room” of the (plundering) ship that was PDP’s government. Why then does Ize-Iyamu want the electorate of Edo State to down play this section of his curriculum vitae? , and if they do, his entire resume especially the ‘’experience’’ part, will be hauntingly empty. It must be recalled that under the ‘’captainship’’ and mastermind of Ize-Iyamu, the office of the then Deputy Governor Ogiadomen was rendered useless, Ogiadomen was reduced to laughing stock in the Government House. The infallible truth is that whenever the Governor travelled, the commissioners and big conspiring contractors were instructed to report directly to the diabolical “Capo’’. And so the control of some substantial resources and the shaping of the economic destiny of the people of Edo State were frequently under the control of Ize-Iyamu.

But the former ‘’Captain’’ now seem to be telling the people of Edo State that he was a mere errand boy in the kitchen beneath the luxurious ship’s deck. So scandalous it is that the PDP candidate has almost degenerated to the point of invoking the equivalent of the infamous Nuremburg War Crime plea by the Nazis: the hollow excuse of ‘I was only carrying out the orders of my superiors’, Edo electorate could not dare ask Ize-Iyamu questions when he wallowed in the tower of power. Now in this 2016 election, from the teachers to the civil servants and students who suffered undue hardships under Ize-Iyamu, this is the time for them to regain their voices. It’s time for the vegetating pensioners and all the citizens whose lives were traumatized by Ize-Iyamu to constitute a public jury at the campaign grounds and try the ‘’co-governor’’ for his economic crimes against the people of Edo land. I hope that Ize-Iyamu will show the same courage he had as SSG and step forward to render full account of his stewardship in the years under reference.

History must have consequence. There must come a time in the lives of individuals as well as communities when they must courageously confront some unchangeable truths as they construct dependable channels for their forward march in history. Oddly here in Edo State, Ize-Iyamu’s campaign is advocating a return to PDP failed years; the former SSG is trying to bully his way back to the Government House without adequate response to the several troubling questions still lingering from his previous years in power.

This issue is far beyond propaganda, it’s a matter centrally germane to the economic and political survival of Edo people. The two major candidates must submit themselves for intense scrutiny. Godwin Obaseki of APC has persuasively articulated the essence of progressive continuity: that the people of Edo State will see the consolidation and expansion in the gains established during Governor Oshionmhole’s tenure in essential spheres of the lives of the people - that the legacy of regular payment of salaries will continue, that the construction and maintenance of roads will remain a priority, that the welfare of teachers and building of schools will be accelerated and that the state-of-the art hospitals established by the Comrade-Governor will be well equipped and kept at international standards. In addition to all of these, the APC candidate has solidly pledged to make Edo a national pride in agro-industrialization and to stimulate the creation of 200,000 jobs within the first four years of his administration. This is the reality of the future that Edo people yearn for.

While the APC candidate stands proudly with Comrade Oshionmhole at rallies and other public places, Ize-Iyamu hardly mentions the name of the Governor under whom he served as Chief of Staff and SSG for an aggregate of eight years. The PDP candidate fails woefully to point to any concrete achievements while he held sway at the government house. Observers have listened and watched Ize-Iyamu at public lectures and rallies where he conducts reviews of the achievements of governors that preceded Lucky Igbinedion and those after, but he would “miraculously’’ skip the Lucky Igbinedion years. If there are records of some achievements of that period, why won’t Ize-Iyamu lay them out instead of engaging in diversionary campaigns. Edo people will not surrender to political skullduggery.

In the topography of Comrade Oshionmhole’s iconic achievements, we see the footprints of Godwin Obaseki following closely as the chairman of the State’s Economic Advisory team. In mournful contrast, to Oshionmhole’s inspiring landscape, we can still perceive dark smokes rising from the piles of burning files of Ize-Iyamu last days as SSG as he tried to conceal the crimes of their government , we hear the blood- cuddling cries of Edo grand mothers whose children’s career dreams were turned to nightmares under Ize-Iyamu era of mismanagement. Edo was plagued with the imageries of the biblical pestilence in the years of 1999 - 2007. “Pastor” Ize-Iyamu as a clergy must understand that a group of people who have crossed the “red sea’ ’will not wish to return to Egypt. The educated electorate of Edo State will not embrace a retrogressive paradigm; rather they will follow the lineage of logic and massively vote for progressive continuity as epitomized by the APC. The Edo electorate will send a clear message to the rest of the nation that Edo is not the political theatre for the glorification of impunity; the peoples’ verdict will be accordingly resounding

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