A Successor Like Oshiomhole
It is almost eight years down the line since Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, labour activist extra ordinaire, took on a new role when he became the executive governor of Edo state.
By every standard of the imagination, it was a role that is quite different from the one many would regard as his usual stuff. Not many expected him to be as successor as he was herding the country’s over harassed work force against insensitive governments. As fate would have it, he turned out to be a success.
By November however, he will have to bid bye-bye to the Osadebey House by November, having completed his mandatory two terms in office. In earnest, the battle over who succeeds him has since commenced as the candidate for ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, will emerge and hope that whoever emerges as the armour bearer for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, will not be a difficult nut to crack.
Meanwhile, as the battle for who emerges on Saturday reaches a crescendo, the real issue before the delegates is finding the aspirant that will fit the bill from the eminently qualified list. Among them are Osarhiemien Osunbor, a law professor, Dr Pius Odubu, who is the incumbent deputy governor, Dr Chris Ogienwonyi, a consummate businessman, Mr Godwin Obaseki, an accomplished stock broker and investment expert, Charles Airhiavbere, a retired army general with outstanding academic background and of course, the irrepressible Kenneth Imasuagbon, a lawyer and businessman.
Even then, the more pressing concern will be finding a successor that can keep up with or better Oshiomhole’s overall creative resourcefulness, managerial and fiscal ingenuity.
Differently, these concerns gave a number of political pundits sleepless nights following speculations that the governor himself anointed a particular candidate and has been working tirelessly towards ensuring that he emerges.
Thank goodness, the hoopla will largely be over on Saturday.
As it were, a number of party faithfuls will smile from ear to ear and almost reach orgasm celebrating the victory of their candidate of choice, there will be others will taste bile in their tongue and possibly be victims of nightmares that may linger a little longer.
Whichever it goes however, winners and losers alike must learn to live by the outcome without forgetting that like all games the real winner is the one that displays equanimity-no bad belle. In any case, no one should forget that the party is greater than any individual.
The importance of a united party was recently driven home when progressive governors’ forum comprising Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state, Simon Lalong of Plateau State and Arigbesola of Osun State, came calling.
Among others, their mission was to ensure that sanity prevailed before, during and after the primaries. One can only hope that aspirants, their supporters and delegates took the advice very seriously and be part of the team history will record as being responsible for building a truly popular, progressive and development-driven party.
For the love of the state and its people, the choice before the delegates is that from which a successor that combines the governor’s astute vision and uncanny managerial skills-the same he employed effectively to change the state for the better, must emerge.
They must conduct themselves in a manner that will not compromise the emergence of a successor with those qualities that produced the energy and vision with which Oshiomhole continued his development pace at a time available resources kept reducing by the day.
They must never forget that it is important to have a successor that will continue to work the same way the comrade governor is doing instead of playing politics in the remaining few months of his tenure.
They should never forget that the successor needed by the people of Edo state must come with a mind that understands prudent fiscal management, take “blocking all leakages” or “plugging all loopholes” beyond political rhetoric and have no difficulty scaling all development-impediments hurdles the same Oshiomhole did in spite of the ever dwindling resources.
We need a successor who must live by example by removing all overheads even from his office as Oshiomhole did.
If they forget to do all these, Edo will join the over 20 of the nation’s other federating states reported to be bankrupt and national and international economic minders will no longer fall, almost literally, over themselves in the quest to adopt the state as a study point for its peers. The chance to make it happen will come on Saturday.
Therefore, our delegates must endeavour to go beyond parochial limitation so that they can choose a successor that will be as creative as Oshiomhole.