The calls were coming as a starcato bark of gunshots; each caller wondered whether I was going home for Governor Godwin Obaseki’s local government elections slated for last Saturday, 2 September. I chuckled and laughed everytime. Did they really think Governor Obaseki was ready for elections? Or were they carried away by his lies about holding local government elections which he rustled up because he now knows how much his acceptance rating has plummeted.
I wasn’t too sure what to tell my people and supporters, who showed so much enthusiasm; I told some of them that such elections are often messed up by the state Chief Executive and in a state like Edo, where the two first citizens are at each other’s throats at the moment, nothing near elections would take place. Another karma is unfolding and will become vivid in 2024 during the Gubernatorial election.
The almighty Abuja will breathe down the throat of Edo State, and Governor Obaseki will dare not raise a voice against it. It will be a replay of the ridiculous local government selection he just conducted helped by his EDSIEC; then, he would have no moral grounds to complain. What comes around, goes around. It was utterly awful to see a governor display such a brazen act of manipulation, wasted taxpayers money and return such comedy of an election, to spite his own persona.
Some people refer to Governor Obaseki as a technocrat, but they don’t know how odious his conduct is. His Afri-Invest Company was just another sorely platform for ridiculous transactions where they midwifed IPOs and returned condemnable verdicts. Indeed I am told that the Security and Exchange Commission almost placed Afri-Invest company on receivership before Godwin Obaseki came to Edo State under Governor Adams Oshiomhole to hibernate. I understand that the company now has its multi-storey headquarters in Ikoyi, Lagos and has floated Globus Bank as its new embryo. Edo State is weighed down heavily by insecurity, and has almost N800m budgeted monthly, as security vote. That is almost N9.5b per annum as security vote in a state that remains one of the worst manned states in the country.
The state and federal roads are in a state of disrepair, Governor Obaseki rejoices in underperformance, throws up laughable projects and displays dubious statistics when trying to rate his administration. Where does all that money really go to? For want of how to access money, he suddenly woke up last week to organise The 60th Anniversary.of Midwest Region; for only-God-knows reasons; “Midwest region?” at a time when the world has moved on, and regional consideration has become otiose. Did he see Nigeria celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s birthday or what? When he is looking for a platform to use to spend and get money.
Last week’s local government drama was well rehearsed and delivered by Governor Obaseki and his army of ostentatious dancers and actors who have now elevated their comedy to octane height. The Edo State Independent Electoral Commission, EDSIEC, showed the stupidity of their action, by pretending election would take place and ended up with the most bizarre. Such brazen act of idiocy by the state actors was the most unconscionable conduct. After the spineless exercise, they returned 99% verdict of victory; such a nauseating, vexatious, ribaldrous, and satanically woven piece of concoctions by these agents of doom that have turned Edo state into a theatre of the absurd.
At first, they brought 100 ballot papers to each voting unit; units that have a minimum of 500 persons registered as voters. So, from the beginning, over 400 persons stood disenfranchised in each polling unit. But that was all they needed to execute the crudity of their action and the primitive display of conscienceless power. In a sinful attempt to ridicule the Almighty God in such profanity, Governor Obaseki was quoted to have said that the dubious outcome was a reflection of PDP’s “popularity” in the state. He spoke in church in Benin City, at a ceremony to mark the 15th year of his father’s demise. Such a declaration in the presence of God Almighty when in his heart of hearts, he knows that it was all cooked up, just shows Governor Obaseki’s ungodliness. As is said in Edo pidgin, “the man no know God.”
For quite sometime, Governor Obaseki has been speaking as though he understands the issues plaguing us as a country, accusing the Federal Government of neglecting his state, while collecting the N5b gifted each state by the Federal Government as palliative. Rather than intervene in arresting the parlous state of road travel in the state, because of the bad roads, he wasted taxpayers money making billboards, and stationing at the bad spots, pleading with the citizens to bear with the state of the roads, claiming that the Federal Government has refused to allow him intervene.
Along side these roads , there are several state roads begging for attention, the state government just ignores; Ekhehuan Road is a case in point. Some of the roads he had hitherto fixed have gone back to their broken state because of the poor quality of the job that was done on them. Now, the state is wearing a forlorn look, and the state Governor says his hands are tied.
He’s playing the ostrich and deploying a hypocritical stance on issues of governance and service delivery. Edo State is presently in a state of headlessness because the two first citizens are playing chess game with the destinies of the collective. Lies upon lies are being churned out. Two categories of results are being released; those written in Government House, and the ones that truly won election based on the outcome on the field. Confusion everywhere; Osadebe Avenue is crying. This is what Obaseki wants; a state of anomie that satisfies his politics of nothingness.
When is Nigeria likely going to get its optics right? Her leaders behave in a very disturbing way and survive on lies and blackmail. Finding credibility in leadership becomes far-flong. As for the actors in Benin City, they are certainly of the darkest kingdom knowing nothing of the existence of God. Also, they do not understand the ephemeral nature of life. They behave like they are the owners of life and all there in. They wield power as if they can add an extra day to their lives. They whisper inanities and vomit hatred. They walk majestically as if they are the creators of Heaven and Earth. They design plots to circumvent the system and then turn the other way when it is all playing out.
When they mount the podium to talk, they preach God, but when they descend they act mammon, and give to baals what they ought to give humanity. They told us they wanted to conduct local government elections, but they ended up conducting Local Government selection/allocation, without caring a hoot what and or how the people will feel. Heartlessness is their trademark. Raw power of unquenchable appetite is unleashed on those who cross their paths. That’s the rhythm that permeates the Geographic space of Osadebe Avenue. Now relocating offices to outside the fulcrum of the Government House in a naked show of gusto.
Edo State has truly suffered deprivation in the hands of Godwin Obaseki and his cohorts. The state is always in the news for the wrong reasons. The average mind today is fed with menu of different ideological precepts served fresh with duplicity and hatred. In all of this anyway, come November 11 2024 both actors will exit the podium of power.
They will become past tense, former this former that, and the oscillation of the clock will continue ad infinitum. They will be leaving the state with the scars of their dubious behaviour. They will exit the rostrum of power with tell tales of their invidious leadership emanations. They will exit with the benchmark of regrets; had I known, often the last symptoms of unspoken word. When they both exit, hypocrisy will escape from the streets, dual personality will be lowered, and blackmail will be buried forever; Amen.
But, the magic of this local government selection will linger; it will endure, and the people will look back in nostalgia to lament the genesis of this sordid journey; where forth cometh Godwin Obaseki? Edo will rise again. Edo State will glow again, not in the pantheon of the present occupants, but in the architecture of those bearers of hope, who will truly restore Edo’s lost glory, and birth a new dawn in the state. For now, we keep our fingers crossed.