Now That The Party Primaries Are Over
By Ebomhiana Musa
The two major political parties in Edo State, the All Progressive Congress, APC and the People’s Democratic Party, PDP are through with their primary elections and their standard bearers have emerged.
To the glory of God, the processes started and ended without crisis. This was against all expectations by the dooms day “prophets” who predicted hell on earth in the state. Now that the intra-party battles have been fought and won the inter-party fireworks is expected to start in the coming weeks after constituting the campaign teams and appeasing aggrieved parties.
The parties are expected to criss-cross the nook and crannies of the state, selling their respective candidates, Godwin Obaseki and Osagie Ize-Iyamu. They must win the hearts of majority of Edo electorate in the attempt to occupy the Osadebey Avenue and to do this, they must collectively serve as aggressive salesmen, prove that their product is the best for the state.
The beginning of failure or success for any of these candidates ditto the political parties is now. The manner in which the candidates and the party leaders manage the fallout of the primaries would go a long way in determining the final outcome. The primaries are purely family affairs and it must be seen as such. The candidates must have the spirit of no victor no vanquish, since it’s a party affairs, everybody must be seen as a winner to keep the party intact and go to the field as one big united family. Good enough, the same personalities that make up the APC today were at one time in the PDP.
Even some of those who call the shots in the PDP today running their mouths like leaking taps have been going forth and back from PDP to APC and back to the PDP without blinking an eye lid, no iota of shame! Rather, they gloat over it.
Since both parties claim to be seeking power in the interest of the state and more importantly, to better the lot of the people, they must not see the contest as a do or die. It’s a fact of life that if a man is too desperate about anything, he ends up losing it or he ends being destroyed by that same thing.
And if the main candidates believe that it’s only God Almighty that gives power, the only One that appoints kings, then they should not do anything either by their actions or utterances to set the state ablaze and shed blood of the weak in their quest to occupy the highly coveted Osadebey Avenue.
The very recent unfortunate development in our neighbouring state of Kogi should be quite instructive in this regard. It is a clear pointer to the fact that life is vanity. We came with nothing and we shall leave with nothing.
This brings me to the acceptance speech made by Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the PDP candidate shortly after his nomination on Monday.This is a man of God I hold in high regards but I was thoroughly disappointed in him when he, apparently got carried away by the intra-party victory, veered off from his acceptance speech and delved into attacks of the person of the state governor.
With due respect, my dear Pastor, I believe you missed the point, the starting point after your nomination should have been to tender an unreserved apology to the Edo people on behalf of your party for leaving the state in tatters in 2007 after almost 10 unbroken years of misrule. However, I still expect you to do that sir before you finally kick off your campaigns. As the new face of the party in Edo State, you must confess all the “sins” for consideration for possible forgiveness.
Sir, I must remind you that Oshiomhole is the main face of the APC campaign in Edo State, given his monumental achievements in the last seven and a half years. What is more, he has promised to work till his last day in office.
What can be more satisfying to a people than this? This is a man with the Midas touch who took Edo from ground zero where the ignoble PDP government abandoned it after 10 years of rape and took it to where it is today. So, the Comrade can choose to behave as he pleases after a very transparent, crisis-free primaries of his party. I must say, sir, that it’s rather too early to begin a campaign of personality rather than issues. You will be making a big mistake if you think you would win popular votes by attacking personalities instead of addressing what your party intends to do for the people and the state beyond what the APC government has done. The PDP may end up losing more sympathy on the part of the voters in favour of the APC.
And sincerely sir, I don’t think the PDP has more propaganda machinery than the APC with a sitting governor if both parties decide to go to town and fight dirty. But I must caution that this is not good for our dear Edo State. This is why I strongly advise that you fight clean and convince the electorate on point of issues why they should have a change in government through the ballot come September 10.
The era of campaign of calumny and personality attacks are over, ideas and campaign of issues rule modern democracy. The just concluded primaries in the US is a clear indication whereby Lady Hilary Cliton, who eventually emerged as flag bearer of the Democratic Party embarked on a very clean campaigns of issues devoid of hate. She ended up winning the hearts of party members unlike his close rival, Donald Trump who embarked on an aggressive voyage of hate campaign. Of course, he kissed the dust at the end of the day!
On a very serious note, I dont believe the good people of Edo State would forget so easily the 10 years of locust of the PDP in the state. I mean the era of “share the money”, when Benin City was like a glorified local government headquaters, when there was complete collapse of infrastructure, when the morale of the civil servants was at its lowest ebb, the era that witnessed the pillage of our industrial concerns. Need i say more? Miraculously, came a messiah in 2007 in person of Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole who wiped the tears of the people, the man who led the Edo people out of Egypt to the Promised Land.
If not for any thing, in terms of infrastructural development, Edo can never be the same again and never again will anybody tell the people that there is no money in the state, from a criminally low monthly IGR of #250 million to a whopping #1billion.
Oshiomhole and the APC have put a lie to the cheap story told the people over the years by the ignoble PDP government that Edo is poor. I must say here that Oshiomhole and Obaseki are like the Biblical Moses and Aaron that led the slaving Isrealites out of Egypt to the Promised Land. Any body who can see beyond the ordinary must see them as such.
The PDP must gird its loins because they have alot of explanations to make to the good people of Edo State as to why the people of Siloko Road and the adjoining streets were abandoned without road, why the landlords who toiled to build their houses around teachers house and Tomline areas where chased away by erosion, why the residents of Upper Adesuwa, Upper Sakponba, Lucky Way do not deserve good motorable roads.
The PDP will be struggling to explain to the long forgotten people of Anegbete in Etsako Central Local Government and Okpekpe in Etsako East why they were abandoned in its 10 years in office without motorable roads.
Aside this, for over 10 years, the good people of Edo Central were told some funny stories by the PDP as to why they should continue to suffer the avoidable hardship of non-availability of portable water.
The APC government dymistefied this and dug industrial boreholes in virtually every ward in Ishan land. It remains an incontrovertible fact that the APC government came and assuaged all these pains with its legacy of people-oriented developmental projects across the 18 local governments in the state.
These are some of the hard facts the PDP will be struggling to counter when the campaigns kick off full blown in the coming weeks.