Democratic governance is a two-way activity involving the complementary actions of the popular sovereigns (the citizenry) and the political sovereigns (elected leaders or representatives). It is a relationship that is based on mutual appreciation of the reciprocal roles the leaders and the led play in the governance process.
Edo State is travelling on a fresh political trajectory, consequent to the outcome of the 28th September, 2016 Gubernatorial Election which ushered Mr. Godwin Enogheghase Obaseki of the All Progressive Congress into Dennis Osadebay Avenue as the state’s substantive, popularly elected Chief Executive Officer. As is the usual tradition whenever a new rider mounts the saddle of governance, there are high expectations from the electorate, traditional bookmakers and opposition elements in the state as to the destination the new man at the helm of affairs will ultimately sail the state’s ship of administration within the next four years: Will he be able to actualize his ambitious campaign promises by taking the state to newer heights? Will the state be better off than he met it at the end of his four years tenure? My blanket answer to these questions is in the affirmative.
However, Godwin Obaseki’s success in office will be hinged on the degree of cooperation and encouragement his administration receives from other critical stakeholders in the state. Collaboration would be the key factor to building the much needed synergy that would result in the actualization of the governor’s lofty development goals for the state.
Governor Obaseki obviously has good intentions for Edo State, judging from the strategic, bold, transformative and decisive decisions he has so far taken since assuming office. His timely reforms in the revenue sector, strategic road rehabilitation and construction projects, consultations with critical stakeholders, in tandem with other commendable initiatives, are firm pointers to the progressive tilt of his administrative compass. That is why he must be given all the needed support to succeed in the execution of his laudable plans for the state.
The massive support the governor received during the September, 2016 Election was a true testament of his popularity among the voting public who saw him as the most qualified successor to the golden stool vacated by the legendary Adams Aliyu Eric Oshiomhole; a vociferous expression of popular support for a proven gladiator capable of travelling on the same trajectories of progressive change once traversed by the fearless spear header of the 2007 Edo Political Revelation – a popular uprising that saw off the itinerant dark lords who once dominated the political space. Thus, common sense dictates that having being instrumental to his election the onus rests on the electorate to continue supporting the APC’s new standard bearer as he embarks on the onerous tasks of improving on, and hopefully exceeding, the outstanding achievements of the Oshiomhole years.
Most of the world’s developed societies were once underdeveloped swathes of territory that were transformed into hubs of prosperity by the painstaking, cooperative and sacrificial efforts of visionary leaders who leveraged on the massive support of their people. In the same vein that a tree cannot make a forest, it would be logical to posit that no leader can achieve success without the support of the populace. A rope with multiple strands is firmer than one consisting of a single strand. There is strength in joint effort. The United States of America, Britain, China, Germany and other bastions of prosperity were once uncharted territories that were able to transcend their lowly stations through the cooperative efforts of the leaders and the led.
Edo State has all the salient ingredients that are required for it to be transformed into a superpower state in Nigeria: enormous manpower and abundant natural resources. All that is needed to wield these factors of development into a functional, productive unit is capable leadership. In Godwin Obaseki, Edos have chosen a truly tested and tried champion who can act as a concentric point and arrowhead of the new charge for a greater, more prosperous Edo State.
It is incumbent on all Edos to prop up their governor as he captains them on the challenging voyage to the fresh shores of plenty. Here is calling on all true Edo patriots, irrespective of party affiliation or ideological leaning, to unite under the umbrella of their common interest – better lives for all – to lend their untainted support to this administration. Ultimately, the actions of government will impinge on everybody, regardless of party or ideological affiliation.
In as much as critics are welcome to express their personal views on the governor’s actions in the course of his tenure, such dissenting views must be expressed constructively and objectively without resort to mudslinging, backbiting, witch-hunting and other smear tactics that are targeted at scoring cheap political points by mischievously portraying the administration in negative light. Come to think of it, there is really no vendetta to settle. Please, let’s give peace a chance by uniting to see how we can, together, move the state forward!
Edo State can become truly great if its people develop their own vision of greatness and walk concertedly towards it, for according to Thomas Paine (1791), “it is the faculty of the human mind to become what it contemplates and to act in unison with its object”. The onus directly rests on us to make Edo State work. God bless Edo State!