A Talking Drum Vs A Working Brain
By Ernest Omoarelojie
Nigerians are stressed almost beyond measure. Some are so affected by the effects that rational reasoning seems to be eluding them.
Certainly, no one can rightly blame anyone in this class because there is always a difference between the level of resistance in even two average individuals.
Right now what is required most is something that can divert attention, a comic relief if you like, to help disperse the effects of prevailing trying economic realities.
The good news is that comic relief is coming in droves from members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Edo state.
For ardent supporters of Pastor Osagie Ize- Iyamu, PDP personified in the September 10 governorship election, talking loudly or nineteen-to-the-dozen, is equal to unassailable knowledge.
So, almost always, they tend to reach organism when discussing the pastor’s pulpit points on both social media and beer parlours. They get so convinced that shouting his voice coarse at every campaign rally is a sure-fire panacea for turning hard times to a one stop dream life that they label Godwin Obaseki as inauspiciously inept in terms of having a hold over what is required to manage our way out of the doldrums. His quiet mien, they assume, is a give-away, beyond-reproach evidence.
I can’t stop laughing at the apparent naïveté of a people grovelling in the assumption that a talking drum is far better than a working brain.
Jokes apart, it is sad that there are still individuals who regard the people of Edo state as a bunch of simpletons.
It is sadder that they do not appreciate the fact that the people know for sure that action speaks louder than words.
It is even more heart-rendering that they still nurse the ill notion that Edo people do not have the capacity to see beyond facade or discern between low-life opportunists and individuals with sterling antecedents that advertised both quality actions and noble intentions.
Sadly for them, the people are familiar with the antecedents of everyone of those aspiring to leaf the state right.
They know the different between a talking drum and a working brain and will express their knowledge via the ballot in September.
However. let me talk about Godwin Enogheghase Obaseki, the man with a past I can relate with for reasons of his noble antecedents.
I am a bona Fide citizen of Edo state, very familiar with its political history. I know about its yesterday when those we elected stole the state blind and kept its wealth in family vaults.
I am equally very familiar with today seeing others helping to redefine how ideally the little resources we have can be creatively redistributed for the general good of the people. I know Obaseki to belong to the latter group. With him in control, I can, with great hope, look forward to a greater future for the state and its people.
Let emphasize that while the contest for who became the face of the All Progressives Congress, APC, lasted, my sentiments were for someone else. I actually said this much to him in a chance meeting I had with him. But looking back now, I know for sure that my position then was based, in the main, on what I did not know about him.
I have since made the discovery that the relationship between Obaseki and Edo state is basically the same between a parent and love child. For the sake of the child, the parent is ever willing and ready to do just about any thing necessary to put the child on a sure but firm footing. That includes reaching out to those with all the requisite materials needed to give the child a steady and sure path to real growth.
Thus far, Obaseki has proven that his love for the growth and development of the state and its people is worth every sacrifice he can make. Quietly too, he made more sacrifices for the state than most people can imagine.
For starters, let it be said, even for the umpteenth time, that he has been an invisible but prime player in the Oshiomhole administration that is generally said to have reconnected the state to the path of real growth and development.
As head of the economic team, his team is reputed to have introduced the policies that shaped the administration’s enviable economic and managerial conducts which produced its highly commendable development initiatives.
His contributions were also instrumental in steering the state away from recession despite the debilitating national financial malaise that rendered more than 27 other states practically unable to meet monthly obligations. And he did all these without receiving a salary in seven and a half years. We need no rocket scientist to explain that this is as good as any sacrifice can be.
Yet, there is another part of Obaseki largely unknown to the people of the state. Many have wondered why Oshiomhole almost insisted that he must be succeeded by investment banker.
Politics aside, it is for the good of the state and its people. That much was revealed recently in Lagos and by the governor himself, during the fund raising dinner organized for the APC flag bearer.
According to Oshiomhole, Obaseki, along with a few other well meaning patriots co opted him into mainstream politics by insisting that he must enter the governorship race against those that presided over and superintended one of the biggest democratic errors against the state and its people.
But beyond successfully persuading him, they also went the extra mile of raising the required funds. They were also there in the process of securing his earned victory at the various tribunals.
With victory secured, some of them were persuaded to join the administration in order to provide the all-needed expert direction. Obaeeki heeded the call and was made head of the administration’s economic team that mid-wived the strategic direction which resulted in its visible development successes. Yet he never received any salary for all the sacrifices.
Indeed, sacrifice is more like a second nature to Obaseki. It tallies with his belief that governance should never be seen as an avenue for getting rich. Instead, it should be seen for what it is-an avenue for rendering services to the people. For the same reason, he believes quite strongly that one’s contributions are enough talk.
So far, Obaseki lived up to his word by remaining tacitum, leaving his contributions to the growth of the state and those in the know to do the talking. Somehow however, political jobbers seem to be feasting on his quiet mien, employing same to foster their patent achievement-rumour mongering.
Among others, they insinuate that for lacking in clear-cut administrative or economic direction, he comfortably allows the governor to be his voice.
Unfortunately, those who hold this view ignorantly forgot that the people of the state are beginning to get a grasp of his sterling antecedents and contributions to the success of the same man they claim to be his voice.
Of course his traducers will continue to be blind to the fact that unlike Obaseki’s voice, whatever represents it, will be quiet, dead quiet, if it has nothing to talk about.
Definitely, his voice, whoever the opposition identifies as the one, can proudly sign-post the administration’s visible and admirable achievements to the high heavens. They are achievements made manifest by Obaseki’s contributions.
Lest we forget, Obaseki has been described variously as the “brain”, “software”, “arrowhead”, etc. None of the description is misplaced more so because the governor himself said as much. There is something one can take home when an Obaseki, with less authority is given such credit. There is more to take to the bank if he obtains requisite democratic authority to ensure that, as the axiom has it, the buck stops at his table.
In other words, if he could work from the sideline and receive plaudits for performing admirably, he is very likely to do more when conferred with democratic authority.
In additional to his professional expertise, he is best placed to implement, spot on, all 21st century-compliant investment, economic and administrative policies. Certainly, the job requires a working brain, not a talking drum.