Our rights; Oshiomhole’s choice
By John Mayaki
Eleven months from now, the administration of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole will come to an end. By that time, a new helmsman will be in-charge of Edo State.
The question is, will the person be competent enough to build on the solid foundation already laid by the Comrade Governor? This explains why a lot of gubernatorial aspirants want to contest under the All Progressives Congress (APC), apparently to benefit from the goodwill of the Comrade Governor.
However, many of the aspirants and their supporters want the Comrade Governor to stay away from the choice of who succeeds him hence the wild rumour that the Governor Oshiomhole has already anointed a particular governorship aspirant.
Recall that some party members were already threatening that any attempt by the Governor to impose any candidate on the party would be resisted at all costs.
The Governor, while addressing APC party stalwarts in Benin City on Thursday, January 14, made it abundantly clear that there was no anointed candidate. He explained that all aspirants will go through the party primary as contained by the party’s constitution.
The declaration has finally put to rest, the rumours and insinuations from some quarters. I salute the Comrade Governor for the courage and bold step taken to calm the already charged political atmosphere in Edo state. All the aspirants can now go about their political activities without the fear that their effort would end up in futility.
However, the question that borders sane minds and true democrats are: does being a governor remove one’s constitutional rights to support any political aspirants? In this particular case, does being a governor stop the Comrade Governor from exercising his right as a citizen of Edo to vote for a particular aspirant of his choice?
Who is in a better position than the Comrade Governor to know who has the capacity and capability to lead Edo state to the next level? Should the Comrade Governor not have a say on who succeeds him? Should he be indifferent to the character of his successor? By the way, why are people running to APC to contest and benefit from the governors legacy but insist that he should be neutral?
One is amazed that those who are beating the drum of war also have their prepare aspirants they are supporting but at the same time do not want the governor to exercise his right. What an irony?
Most of these political gladiators are not motivated by the survival and orderly development of Edo state but by greed and self-aggrandizement.
The time has come and now is the time for people to think beyond pecuniary interest and put the interest of Edo state first on choosing who takes over from the Comrade Governor come November 12.
Yours truly is of the firm belief that the right successor would only be a person who shares the same vision of commitment and selfless service to the people like the Comrade Governor. The question would be; how do you identify such a person in the present circumstances, when most of the political elite are self-centered and selfish? This is where the wisdom of the Comrade Governor becomes very imperative; hence the need fore him to play a major role in the identification crusade.
The reason for this suggestion is not farfetched; the Comrade Governor, for over seven years now has worked closely with all the political gladiators and should be in a better position to know who among them is development-driven; he should know those who are self-seeking; he should know those who are loyal but have no capacity to deliver services. He should know those who sleep in EXCO meetings when important state matters are being discussed; he should know those who can separate politics from performance.
Flowing from the above, the governor should not shy away from having serious input as to who succeeds him come November. The interest and continuing development of Edo state is far above personal consideration; he has demonstrated uncommon courage over the years. He is a leader who sees beyond now and who is committed to leaving behind a lasting legacy. He should resist every temptation to be an on-looker in selecting who succeeds him in office.
We do belief that the state cannot afford to go back to the era of underdevelopment; the momentum must continue and be improved upon. The only way this can happen is to have a man who is selfless, genuinely interested in passionately driving development of Edo state. He also must of necessity, key into the agenda of the governor.
Adams Oshiomhole, for the past seven years, set a standard and whoever is coming after him, cannot afford to go below. We are calling on all well-meaning people of the State to put sentiment and politics aside and think about the future of Our Dear State. We must join hands together to pick a successor that would not only build on the successes of the governor, but take the state to the next level.
Oshiomhole has shown that only the best is good enough for Edo state; this must be the plank upon which a successor must be chosen. The governor is better placed than any other to be in the forefront of those who should have the final say as to the credibility, competence and capacity of the man to take over from him come twenty sixteen.
Veteran journalist Alhaji Usman Abuda puts it this way: “Godfatherism is a natural phenomenon but some people are misunderstanding it. Look at it this way; a man has nine wives with two sons from each of the women. As a very focused man, you see these children but you don’t know who is playing truancy, who doesn’t stay at home and duty post, you don’t know who among them is a cultists, you don’t know the one who searches your pocket when you go ease yourself, but you have to take time to get them best out of them all to take over from you”.
“So, a lot of Nigerians do not know the meaning of godfather; it does not mean you impose somebody but mentoring someone to believing your idea and passion about some particular issues and you identify someone who can carry-on those ideas for you”.
“And so, godfatherism should not threaten anybody. It is a concept, because the man who sits there as governor needs a man who can perform when he vacates his seat”.
Celsius Ohain, retired Assistant-Editor-in-Chief of the News Agency of Nigeria sees it from another angle; “On this issue of godfatherism, it is unfortunate that we have made it to connote and denote something very negative…It’s all about mentoring. Somebody who is so good at something, he has excelled and become the best in that field and as such, feels somebody should succeed him or he should mentor people to grow up like him but unfortunately, in our own environment, we have subverted that concept and bastardized godfatherism and that is why it has this negative connotation”.
“Godfatherism is supposed to be a very noble concept of grooming and mentoring people unto excellence”, he said.