Oshiomholexit, Haughty Ikimi and Delta’s Infidel
By John Mayaki
Have we been here before? I know it feels as if virtual reality – politics, election, campaigns and governance – good or bad among others, constitute a change with precedent – negative or positive. But we’ve actually been through an extra-ordinary rapid transition like this before in history, both as a nation and in Edo state – a transition we can learn a lot from.
We’ve heard, “No Vacancy” in Osadebey Avenue. We also overheard, “when a child fails exams, he or she must be allowed to repeat”. In 1999 and 2003, there were transitions – so also in 2007. We had another during 2012 and just around the corner, we are about to experience another.
Although in those days, there are certain awkward orders, the ones you have no right of reply or complain – infact, a cough could earn you suspension or expulsion from the party, when these ‘revered orders’ are handed down from ‘above’ – but all those seems vanishing away in recent times – the ones such as, “Anenih say!” “Leader say!” “Ogbemudia say!” among other threatening ‘commandments’ from the boardroom – we were there before – not anymore.
Campaign of calumny – Oh yes! This is the season – not new. What about intimidation – “we are in power!” “We have federal might!” “We control INEC and security apparatus!” All these you hear when the umbrella party resided in Abuja – this time around, to your tents O Israel – INEC is his own man.
Little wonder, we read headlines such as, “I made Oshiomhole Governor…….Ize-Iyamu”. Just the other day, Chief Tom Ikimi said, “Oshiomhole knelt down to beg me to become Governor…..” and all those trash – we’ve been here before! The man who would win the election must just win, irrespective of the drumbeats from Ikimi and his co-travelers.
I had proposed the 3rd edition of the ‘Roundtable Discussion’ due to pressure from my fans – Mayaki’s Friends in the Media, in collaboration with Coalition for Good Governance and Economic Justice in Africa with the theme: Oshiomholeganza and Oshiomholexit: Navigating the Risks and Rewards of Our New Renaissance – about lessons we can draw from the period 2007 to 2016, when Edo state made series of great leaps forward, propelled by Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole who reshaped governance, politics, mentoring, and leadership but ‘fans’ may have to wait a little further.
But the synopsis would suffice that, Oshiomhole, who provided the trigger for our renaissance; our age of political discovery in Edo state, democratized leadership and opened up governance but did not only demystified it, he made the people to embrace popular participation, and mass movement, just as incentives to be literate, which includes social infrastructures among others.
How we, the citizens guide these achievements from eroding remains yet-to-be seen because events unfolding from the opposition typifies one – a party and its chieftains who kept running from pillar to post, just to escape judgment for the avalanche of their past by employing the instrument of blackmail and outlandish propaganda to confuse the electorates.
Take for instance, before the primaries, even till date, the Crown Prince was said to have shun the APC candidate who visited the palace – some say he has to be punished for the sins of his fore-fathers. Infact, everything is being done to taint his character in lurid colors but unfortunately, it has refused to stick; we’ve been here before.
Now, unlike then, Oshiomhole has shown that good governance is possible, and therefore, amplifying the voices of those who felt they have been injured in the upheaval. Then unlike now, politicians failed to keep up with rapid change, and popular trust deeply eroded.
However, now, unlike then, this is the best moment in history to be alive – human health care facilities, education and literacy infrastructures, quadrupled business friendly environment resulting to massive industrialization, road construction, employment, fiscal responsibility, transparency among others which are the flourishing elements of good governance.
Then, unlike now, when inequality grew and the masses felt worse off – they held us, not only by the fist but at the jugular and castrated our collective patrimony – socio-economic life being fundamentally dislocated, as sizeable majority of electorates no longer find them needed to drive the governance process as against the immense improvements we are experiencing in terms of choices and accelerating innovations which distributed wealth across a larger spectrum across the state.
And the question would be: Was there an Ikimi back then? Of course yes – at the time, he suffered a shocking popular power-taking, when Chief-in-Uromi called the shots against the Chief-in-Igueben. But he soon found succor – he was helped or ‘delivered’ from political obscurity and patronized by the same man he now reviles.
Now, am sure he felt-left-behind – politically, even more so, economically, he resorted to sermons that laid blame upon how Oshiomhole won election – thank goodness, he never said the second tenure election was rigged for Oshiomhole by Goodluck Jonathan and supervised by his haughty and pompous gait.
Trust, Oshiomhole is never moved by political-crawler’s activities – we’ve been here before. He is focusing on the people; the vast majority with constant innovations of how to better their lots than a handful ancient fellows who refuses to quit the stage.
Oshiomhole knows that more risk taking is required when things change more rapidly, both for workers and businesses. Government’s duty is to strengthen the safety nets and infrastructure so that individuals and companies can be as daring – in terms of learning, adapting and investing in themselves, as they need to be.
In finishing times like this – Oshiomholexit – we are not carried away. We are more, not less, engaged with vast majority of the people because the threats posed by the achievements of this administration by yester-years men, will not be doused by withdrawing the owners – the people.
Before I go; can the infidel in the Big Heart learn any lesson from the Heart Beat? We are told he is struggling to meet his obligation to workers on per monthly basis – according to Newspaper reports – but the slush funds from FAAC to the state isn’t stopping his extravagant life while his family – Workers in the Oil-Rich State are in jeopardy.
Yet-to-be substantiated reports say he is budgeting slurry sums to support his party in Edo state towards prosecuting the 2016 election and as such, his workers have to wait – the state is broke and cannot pay salaries – Infidel!
The ‘money-added’ to the state, due to its littoral advantage at a record pace, added together, cannot do anything to stem harsh social economic rise – and there is a serious concern about fatigue on government’s part burning out among the workforce as the added rise, which has been decided by FAAC trickles-in on a monthly basis, the infidel sits somewhere – over there – to stab those he has responsibility to protect.
FAAC’s publications on States’ monthly earnings aren’t secret – in comparison, Edo state in relation to her neighbor planning to infiltrate with mercenaries with humongous financial war chest during the Governorship elections, a record number of persons who will cut from the under-the-table budget and heighten the dangerous trend of inability to cater for the wellbeing of her citizens is at the heart of the matter.
A serious look needs to be taken at this – that a relatively poor state, in comparison, would meet her obligations to workers in all ramifications while a more buoyant other would abdicate responsibilities – records and statistics have proven this out – including the infidel in the Big Heart.