Next Saturday, September 10, 2016 is a very important day in Edo history as eligible voters are expected to troop out to exercise their franchise in the much awaited gubernatorial election of the state. Ahead of the polls, tongues from the fragmented PDP camps have been wagging as to who succeeds the Edo State Comrade Governor whose tenure expires on November 12. The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which has been dogged in intra-party crisis of huge magnitude has cashed on the opportunity of campaigns to make reckless and unguarded comments about the person of the Edo State Governor, comrade Adams Oshiomhole and the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Like in previous elections, the PDP are boasting around that they will win the upcoming gubernatorial poll. They have been marketing all sorts of lies against the ruling APC and attempting to deceive the electorates as has been their pastime. They have been promising to build bridges in Edo State where there are no rivers. They have been going round telling Edo people that they would air-condition the entire atmosphere!
It is important to flag the point that what is at stake here is Edo State and the future of Edo people. Anyone hoping to govern Edo State must be prepared to serve the people with all his heart and might and must be prepared to serve Edo people far and above the performance of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. The person must be willing to massively build infrastructures across the three Senatorial districts of the state. The person must be ready to develop our educational and health sectors far and above what Oshiomhole has done. The person must be ready to turn the economic fortunes of the state around within a short period of stay in office and massively create jobs for our teeming unemployed youths. The person must be able to build industries and provide the right environment for private sector investments to flourish.
Of all those jostling to occupy Government House in Denis Osadebey Avenue, the only candidate that can make all these happen is Mr. Godwin Obaseki of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Obaeski has promised to surpass that marvelous achievements of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and has entered into social contract with Edo people whom he has told to hold him accountable to his words and promises when he steps in to govern them. Godwin Obaseki is intellectually, emotionally and physically equipped for the plum job and Edo people should come out en masse and vote for him. Once he is elected, Edo people, both at home and in Diaspora are free to go and sleep in the firm belief that their wishes and expectations from the in-coming government of APC would be met. With Oaseki, Edo people have nothing to fear or worry about.
A vote for Obaseki on Saturday means that Edo people will have another four years to enjoy the dividends of democracy from the APC government that has continued to demonstrate more passion to develop the State and its people than ever. In every intent and purpose, from every new policies and programmes, the APC administration in the state has deliberately made them people-centered. One thing is clear about realities of the current national economic recession and that is, it will certainly not last for too long. When situation gets tough as it is currently, only the tough can get things going. That is why an Obaseki is needed at this time of our history as a people as Oshiomhole takes his bow.
For some months now, I have repeatedly said that history will remember Oshiomhole in Edo State long after he would have left office. Today, the PDP is telling Edo people that citizens would not be made to pay their taxes or that they will not be serious in collecting taxes. They make these bourgeoisie promises just because it is election. This is a retrogressive promise, because tax is important if we have to sustain the current tempo of development more so in the face of dwindling nationally shared oil revenue and competing social and developmental needs in Edo State as Oshiomhole has opened Edo people’s eyes to behold how government can serve its citizens with monumental achievements in all sectors.
These are the reasons why ahead of next Saturday’s gubernatorial polls, Chief Tony Anenih’s presence in Edo PDP is no threat to Godwin Obaseki’s chances of winning. We must not forget what we went through in the hands of the PDP in government. Chief Tony Anenih has been playing the ethnic politics as he embarks on his last fight of his lifetime come Saturday, haven been forced into oblivion these past eight years by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. He sees next Saturday’s election as an opportunity to spring back to relevance and continue to manipulate government machinery to his selfish advantage. Anenih has been thought a bitter lesson of his life this past eight years and he is very desperate to get back to contention, but Edo people must let him know that it is too late because come Saturday, the All Progressives Congress ably led by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole would finally retire him from Nigerian politics as his PDP candidate who would be defeated with a very wide margin.
Edo people will certainly regret if they allow the PDP to manipulate their way into government. When therefore, the PDP is promising Edo people what it couldn’t do for ten horrendous years they were in government in the state, Edo voters should know that the party is distressed to return them to Egypt and our people must be united in telling the PDP with their votes that affliction will not visit them again. They should all file out on Saturday and vote massively for Mr. Godwin Obaseki who will continue development of the state from where Oshiomhole would let off.
- Dan Owegie is a chieftain of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Edo State.