It is not an exaggeration to say that there have been worsening crisis of misgovernance, conspicuous undemocratic practices, increasing cases of fraudulent elections, clear evidences of poor political representation and apparent signs of general underdevelopment in Edo State.
All these are largely the results of the pervasive and endemic prebendalism and primordial sentiment that have been with the State by each passing political dispensation. Very worrisome is that prebendalism is ever getting more pervasive, critical and damaging as it continues to eat deeper into the political fabric of Edo polity so much so that the State and her citizens have for the umpteenth time suffered due to wrong choice of inept leaders, particularly leaders at gubernatorial level.
Against the foregoing backdrop, permit me to opine that government in the state should in the next political dispensation belong to the people and need to be for the people and, as well, by the people. To say in this context that Edo is in dire need of a democratic ideal that is borne out of the innate desire in man for good governance, societal stability and development cannot be misplaced.
For a democratic ideal to be realized there is need for the umpires in the forthcoming primary elections; across political parties, in the State to ensure that elections are freely and fairly conducted to allow for the true choice of the people to emerge. Very imperative too is that the elected must see the gubernatorial office that he or she occupies as a pedestal for serving, protecting, and advancing the interests and well-being of the generality of the people of Edo State.
Against the foregoing backdrop, there is an urgent need for Edolites to rally round the candidate that possesses the most robust academic and professional qualifications, experience and high level of integrity. Without doubt, the candidate for the next elections; both at the primary and gubernatorial levels, that possesses the aforementioned background, in my own assessment, is unarguably Dr. Pius Egberanmwen Odubu, a frontline runner for the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket in the state, who incidentally is experienced in lawmaking, and governance, having being a legislator and deputy governor in an era where an unprecedented level of infrastructural development and good governance were recorded for his immediate constituency and the entire constituencies in the State. Without any iota of doubt, there is no denying the fact that his experience would be brought to bear in taking Edo State and her people to the Eldorado of good governance. It is high time we stopped making the wrong choice by maximizing the power that is inherent in our voter’s cards.
Simply expressed, the opportunity of electing the most qualified candidate at the primary level and voting for the best among gubernatorial candidates at the polls in the State have not been significantly realized. This is attributable, to a large extent, to prebendalism and primordial sentiments, which have over the years characterized elections in the State.
For the sake of clarity, the term prebendalism simply means a political system where elected officials and government workers feel they have a right to a share of government revenues, and use them to benefit their supporters, co-religionists and members of their ethnic group. Argued from this perspective, delegates at primary elections and voters at gubernatorial polls were usually inclined to vote for the candidate that would offer them better or more gratifications; irrespective of the credibility of such candidate. This no doubt led to the emergence of inept leaders which the State has had to groan with, or rather suffered from.
At this juncture, permit me to urge fellow Edolites; both at home and in diaspora to eschew prebendalism and primordial sentiments in the forthcoming elections in the State, and vote for the most qualified and experience contestant, who in my assessment is Odubu. The reason for this call cannot be farfetched as Edo State need to be taken to the next level. The socio-economic and political growth of the State should be paramount in our minds at the polls. It suffices to say that it is high time we delivered the state from the pages of political history that gave it ignominious mention as one of the States that have literary been passing through bouts of chequered history.
To me, the coming elections present the opportunity of using Odubu’s candidacy to banish inept governance in the State, and entrench a new dawn to the advantage of posterity.
For the benefits of those who may not have comprehend the spur of my viewpoints, it is expedient to make them understand in this context that in sports, business and even politics, competency and experience are not undermined. Would Argentina have won the 1986 soccer world cup without Diego Maradona? Or Apple existed without Steve Jobs? Would the US have had a New Deal without Franklin Delano Roosevelt? Or what would have happened had Robert Kennedy become the 37th US president?
My fellow Edolites, we need a leader, such as Odubu, who political history would record as being responsible for the emancipation of the State and her people from inept governance.
In a similar nexus, it is germane to opine that since robust qualifications and experience are sine qua non to good governance, there is wisdom for us to rally round Odubu.
I understand that party loyalists across all registered parties in the state are directly controlled by the party (leaders) as they typically grow up within the party organization, and are keen to vote along party lines, and have been trained to perform rent-seeking activities for the party. These characteristics may be dear to party leaders and to hardcore party supporters but much less appealing to unattached, swing voters. Be that as it may, the need to retrieve Edo from the mouth of the jackals has come. It is now or never!
Against the foregoing backdrop, permit me to caution that “Enough Is Enough!” Edo need to be moved beyond prebendalism and primordial sentiments.
-Asabor, a public affairs commentator wrote in from Benin-City, Edo state. He can be reached via: email@example.com
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