By Nasamu Jacobson
How are you, Comrade Governor? I am very confident that you are doing quite well but I am concerned about how you are fairing, particularly after the Christmas and new year celebrations during which period so many of the people you govern would have prayed for you.
My concern, however, stems from their intentions. I believe that when people say they are praying for you it is your responsibility to know exactly what their prayer point is. You may not have cared to find out but you do not need to worry as I did on your behalf.
Some have prayed to God to bless you and your family because of the fact that they were able to celebrate the yuletide as well as you did. To enable state civil servants and their families have a nice time, you ensured that December salaries and pension were paid by the 20th.
This is about the earliest in the history of democratic governance in Edo state. More than half the number of states in the country were unable to meet this elementary obligation of government. This feat has received applause from across the state. I am sure that any intercessory supplication on your behalf in this regard would receive a favourable answer and a loud concurrent “amen” in the heavenly realm.
However, a minute number would have thought otherwise and offered prayers for negative impact which, as usual, would receive answer equal in effect to a “return to sender”.
Comrade, you have continued to receive accolade from motorists and the residents of Second East Circular Road in Benin City for the ongoing reconstruction and dualization of that road. Residents say you are their prayer answered as they had long beg God for a governor who would save them from the harrowing experience of plying that road.
According to the people, they have waited thirty years for the road to be reconstructed or even maintained properly. Their joy knows no bounds as they offer prayers for your good health and long life.
As can be expected, Comrade, some people are not happy about this wonderful achievement and have become envious of your popularity and the political mileage this is bound to generate for your party in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state. These ones would think negative thoughts and say negative prayers for you. You do not have to worry as their ranks have been seriously depleted to have any impact.
Comrade, Edo people are also offering prayers to God on your behalf for the successful completion of the structural works of the new ultramodern 200-bed Central Hospital in Benin City.
The magnificent edifice, strategically located along the recently reconstructed Sapele Road, is a sight to behold and no one passes by it without thanking God for giving Edo state a visionary governor in you. The central hospital was built over a hundred years ago. Over the years, the buildings and facilities had experienced severe decline and dilapidation which, in turn, would have affected the quality of services rendered.
Now, confidence has been rekindled in the populace that quality health care services are back in the state with the imminent supply and installation of modern equipment manned by well trained and efficient personnel. Our people would not now require to travel to India and other foreign hospitals for their health care needs.
As the majority of Edo people are offering prayers for your wellbeing, a small percentage are envious of your achievement and would wish it never occurred to you to give our people a modern hospital complex. The good wishes you enjoy make them regret they never had this vision when they ruled the state for several years.
Edo people have several other reasons, other than the few listed, to offer a prayer for your wellbeing. The people have realised and appreciate your love for our state. Notwithstanding the dipping of available resources you have continued to ensure that buldozers are roaring in several areas of the state constructing and reconstructing roads.
It is out of love for your state. With barely ten months to the end of this administration another governor would be now have considered he has no more obligation to discharge especially with election six months away.
It is because of your love for our state and the legacies that your achievements in office have turned out to be that our people expect and pray you to assist, direct and help them find a suitable person to carry on from where you will stop on November 12 this year.
Comrade, this matter of who becomes the next governor of our state is very important for the continued peace and prosperity of our state and wellbeing of the people. It cannot, therefore, be left in the hands of the un-informed, sentimental, myopic and pretentious individuals whose only consideration is self. It has not happened before in the polity that a governor would turn a blind eye on the process of choosing his successor.
We know, like you do, Comrade, that the red roof revolution; the urban renewal and beautification; Benin City storm water project; Queen Ede, Auchi and other erosion control works; free bus ride for students in uniforms; roads, water and electricity projects across the state; aggressive internal revenue generation to replace dependence on allocation from the federation account and encouraging protest as feedback process in governance are legacies which must be protected, sustained and improved upon by the incoming administration.
No, it must not happen lest the man with more money than love for our state emerges to rubbish the legacies of the last eight years and take us back to where we were in 2008 when God heard our prayer for a Messiah.
This is our prayer for you, Comrade, that God grants you wisdom to direct us in our choice of your successor.
Comrade Nasamu Jacobson, a Political Affairs Analyst, wrote from Benin City.