Trust be told, the battle for the soul of Edo State has been fierce, the road leading to Osadebey Avenue is rough and narrow as it has witness political riot and the narrowness seems not to contain all interested parties. Edo decides is on the lips of every interested persons and hired propagandist are at their best to sell their candidates to the citizens of the state as the Joshua of today.
Edo 2016 election has been coloured by the political actors as to who will deliver most when it comes to good governance and dividends of democracy to the people. The raging battle between the two leading political parties- Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Peoples Congress (APC) is more than who will deliver most but who assumes the position of the godfather of the state.
A critical research at the two leading candidates- Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and Godwin Obaseki shows that both candidates had the opportunity directly or indirectly to make and/or influence good policies that will affect positively the masses but they denied the people that chance. How and when?
Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu was Chief of Staff and Secretary to the State Government, which by executive hierarchy, the third person in command and a kitchen cabinet member apart from being a right hand man of the governor. But Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) left Edo in shambles and in sorry state; no infrastructure, no manageable roads, nothing left behind to build on. They were doing festivals and carnivals with the state commonwealth. The cabals had issue on the sharing formula and not on the developmental blue-print. Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu could not sponsor any meaningful bill via the executive council to better the lot of the good people of Edo State.
He cannot deny out rightly that he does not have any level of influence on the governor then, to encourage him to think about the people and have the fear of God as a pastor. I will not be tempted at this point to go into detail of the rot of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration.
Godwin Obaseki until now was the Chief Economic Adviser to All Progressives Congress (APC) government led by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. The economic adviser that designed the blue-print for government not to build industries, the economic adviser that designed the blue-print for government not to employ eligible graduates for eight years, the economic adviser that designed the blue-print to over tax the already tired Edo people, the economic adviser that designed the blue-print to empower and patronize thugs and handover juicy state agencies to them when you have capable graduates who can do the job, the economic adviser that designed the blue-print that encourages the government to bring contractors from outside the state; a country case example, the contractor handing school desks are from outside Edo State when Edo State has the best furniture makers in Nigeria. He was an economic sabotage to the people of the state.
Now Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is talking about “The Future is Now”, the future he denied Edo people many years ago when he was with the pen? Godwin Obaseki is talking about industries and creating job, the opportunity he denied the people when he was in the thinking room?
Let the truth not be padded just like the padded budget, the battle is all about who becomes the newest godfather in Edo State politics. The outgoing governor is fighting hard to replace the old order, to assume the status he once kicked against while the old order wants to retain their position. The political circle has been overcharged with insinuations and they have been able to colour the mind of the voters away from the real contest.
The postpone of Edo gubernatorial election by some days is a test of force by power brokers both within and without the state to send strong signal to the old order that the new order has taken charge of the political village. The postponement was a horse show, simply put.
These two candidates are being force down the throat of Edo voters literarily because they have what it takes politically. Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu formed the “Grace Group” that brought Comrade Adam Oshiomhole to power and the man chaired the campaign organization that gave Comrade Adams Oshiomhole 18 over 18 in 2012 gubernatorial election; first of its kind in the history of Edo State for a governor to win convincingly in all eighteen local governments of the state. Meanwhile, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has been the only governor that has enjoyed the full support of the masses both in his first and second election. 2016 election is more or less the class of the geniuses.
The youth should know the sudden call for youth engagement by the two leading candidate and parties are gimmicks, a Greek Gift; to use them as thugs, shield against the opponents bullets, as the first casualty and dump them after they clinch to power. Come to think of it; when last for the past eight years did you ever see Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu on air aggressively agitating for youth empowerment and employment and using his influence to draw attention and favour to the youths? If at all he ever did, if you are not politically useful, you will not benefit. Godwin Obaseki chaired the economic team that sacked ten thousand Youth Employment Scheme (YES) workers engaged by the government base on his promise to create jobs. The self-acclaim economic guru has no company here in Edo State to empower and employ the youth, yet he claimed he has been creating jobs for the past 30 years. He has never agitated for the welfare of the youths, yet he claimed to be a home boy. Lagos home boy!
Critical issues has been raised here and the decision is for Edo voters to make their. Our youths should learn from the past and not be caught in the middle of this battle of who becomes the newest godfather in the state because they are not part of the new order trying to take control nor the old order tying to remain relevant. Youths, Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.
Comrade Idahosa Samuel
Human rights activist/ political analyst