Wanted, Jeopardy Host for Obaseki N’ Ize-Iyamu
By John Mayaki
Ever since Chief Raymond Dokpesi, a top-ranking Board member of the Nigerian Election Debate Group (NEDG), and Chieftain of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) discredited his hard-earned public ritzy, a job vacancy avails itself; who will be our jeopardy host – less than 42 days to the end of election campaign, a time frame within which, both the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and his PDP runner-up, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu would be made to stand for jeopardy – in the full glare of the world.
This isn’t the role to be played by the US Consulate General, F, John Bray who visited Edo State yesterday but permit me to appreciate his interest in the success of the forthcoming gubernatorial election.
And so, no one knows the prostrate position of the NEDG at present and if plans are in the offing for such debates it is known for – if there are none, as it appears – we may go for jeopardy! Sorry, I don’t mean danger, hazard or trouble for the candidates – but a fast-paced quiz competition where answers are presented as clues and contestants must phrase their responses in the form of questions.
This job description is quite different from the debate style – where you will bet against all you’ve earned to come out ahead, where you find answers given first and solutions rephrased into questions – you stand to lose-it-all – match up and never be promoted to the next round or, you remain safe in the middle and go nowhere – the “who-want-to-be-a-millionaire-kind” of.
And what is a jeopardy game without a Jeopardy Host? Which is why I’m asking who of moral character is willing to fill this vacancy post?
Caveat – if eventually the vacancy position is filled and there is a proposed final jeopardy round, the answer to the clue of the day shouldn’t include; ‘why have you not visited the Bini Palace since charity begins at home and if you plan to, how do you address the land-grab mêlée?’ – though, these queries makes jeopardy what it ought to.
The most recent in Edo State was in 2012 – then, Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (rtd) of the then PDP was ‘good to go’ – he was squared-up with the ‘double-barreled Comrade’ and it was a knock-out. Today, the General has ‘refilled’ and promising a ‘grind’ against the party that ‘deceived’ him – how Ize-Iyamu plans to escape the wrath of the ‘feverishly angry’ General isn’t part of jeopardy – this could be ‘double-jeopardy’.
However, if no debate or jeopardy, we can take a cursory look at their promissory notes – there is the one who promised a mouth-watering 200,000 Job-Amanda and the other, who simply code-named his, “Simple Agenda” – though ‘cynical’ electorates fear it could transmogrify to “Simple Looting Agenda” – a manifesto is what is needed for a debate and the most important thing is the deliverables, and experiences of the candidate in relation to the job specification.
Cynics have a right to their opinion – and that makes jeopardy inevitable – where opportunity would open for direct questions and answers right on the hot-seat, locked-up in a room to sweat-it-out.
And while they are at it, our pundits, journalists, electorates and other stakeholders would take copious notes to enable them deliver an incorruptible judgment ready to corroborate the INEC’s result by September 10th.
We must not allow our political world become a breeding ground for child-like Facebook-rats or twitter-rants, WhatsApp name-calling and soapbox-verbal-bullying should we expect that voting against one who has nothing to offer with “Simple Agenda” will fix our problem. Perhaps, what’s needed is not a change in politicians, but a change in politics itself – the politics of “Simple Looting Agenda”.
This is so because, when a group of children are running rampant on a playground due to lack of adult supervision, providing an adult role model is an easy fix. Alternately, the example of Godwin Obaseki is not the type to hurl insults. He is not the type to attack ad hominem. He is not bombastic and fierce but rather humble, pensive and eyes-fixed on the goal.
Instead, he is the speech’s essential humility and succinctness that makes him so profound – can Obaseki’s ‘runner-up’ demonstrate this adult leadership so amply exemplified by him since the campaigns begun?
See him – at least, Obaseki serves as a good example. He’s someone sufficiently secure to be willing to be challenged in a jeopardy, debate, or campaign and prepared to collaborate, fostering his team’s confidence, determination and self-control.
If Obaseki and “Simple Agenda” squared off in a debate, who do you think has the magic wand to pull the unemployed youths out of the streets? Whose resume supports this assignment – to create wealth and abundance for all?
There is a silver-lining to be seen in the spectacle that is this election cycle: perhaps, we will come to see that childishness is not a disease; it does not require surgery or medication. All one need to do to stop juvenile behavior is to become a mature candidate by putting away childish things and truly learning from a role model – such as one presented by Godwin Obaseki without waiting for an election debate group to put up jeopardy where his dirty linings would be washed and exposed to the world.
Let’s hope the ‘irate’ party – threatening traditional rulers – can do this and let’s hope it does that sooner than later and certainly before September 10th – after all, politics is a contest of ideas – that is the entire gamut – it offers voters a clear choice – jeopardy wins it for Obaseki N’ Ize-Iyamu when we find a host.