By Rodsimeon Idaewor
FROM my modest academic background in communication studies, and perhaps more importantly, from my more than two decades in book marketing and more recently, complex engineering laboratories equipment to engineering faculties, I can authoritatively assert that when a product is well packaged orÂ has a Unique Selling Preposition (USP), the job of the professional marketers becomes a matter of routine.
But the job ofÂ marketing can easily become nasty and an uphill task if the product is not well packaged nor differentiated. This reality of field marketing operations is particularly so in a competitive business environment such as publishing, banking, insurance among others.
Not many years ago, my esteemed classmate at the University of Nigeria (UNN) and a consummate journalist of international standard, Barrister Kingsley Osadolor of the Guardian Newspapers was brought in by Chief Lucky Igbinedion as Edo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation to sell a bad apple. With all his experience and expertise coupled with the blessing of the Bini Royalty.
I am not sure Osadolor succeeded selling an inept administration. Chief Lucky Igbinedion eight years as Governor of Edo State remain eight good wasted years and today, constitutes the major problem of the PDP establishment in Edo State.
According to a Vanguardâ€™s news story titled: â€œWeâ€™re Not Slowâ€ the acclaimed Comrade Governor of Edo State, Adams OshiomholeÂ was quoted tracing the problem of his administration to poor media section in the past which resulted in poor information management. He stated: â€œThe local press (obviouslyÂ the stateÂ owned media apparatus) will tell you about what we are doing. But due to the kind of media team we had in the past, we were not well represented in the national dailiesâ€ (Vanguard, Thursday, November 12, p.5).
As a student of this self-acclaimed messiah, ordained to liberate the long suffering Edo people from the dutches of real or imagined godfathers, I have often wondered how his media team are able to cope packaging an unpredictable governor that is pathologically garrulous, shifty sermonic, boastful, conceited, capricious and all in the name of trade unionism.
Precisely speaking, is the comrade governor the problem or his professional media managers? From what we have seen so far in Edo State, it is now clear that Governor Oshiomhole did not come with a blueprint (perhaps, it was a case of let me get there first) with a clear idea of the needs and wants of his people. What is this so much noise about changing the face of Benin City or Ring Road beautification!
Oshiomhole was not elected governor of Edo State mainly to change the face of Benin or for that matter, any other town in the state but to change positively the socio-economic fortune of the average Edo man or woman. In his days as NLC President, when at the slightest excuse, he would mobilise workers for national strikes that never stopped pump prices fromÂ hillingÂ roof tops, (with theirÂ attendants crippling effect on the economy), he once stated that the option for the Obasanjo administration was to fix the refineries.
If fixing government production systems is all that easy, Governor Oshiomhole is yet to fix public water delivery system in Edo State. As I write this piece, there is no where in Edo State public taps flow.
Our comrade governor isÂ yet to fix Okpella Cement Factory, Bendel Brewery, Ethiope Publishing Corporation (where workers idle away while their salaries run).
Edo Line Transport Company Ltd, the Pineapple Processing Plant at Ehor, the Cassava Processing Plant at Uromi, the Fertilizer Processing Plant at Auchi. Worse still are the poor states of public secondary and primary schools in Edo State that are yet to be fixed.
Virtually all roads (both rural and urban) are in very bad state. In Benin City in particular, the densely populated Upper Siluko/Egor axis is cut off from the City and I expect a clear-headed governor to declare Upper Siluko/Egor Road a priority project.
The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) Edo State branch recently bemoaned the sordid state of affairs in state hospitals where drugs are reportedly more expensive than what is obtainable outside. With many things to be fixed in Edo State and after one year in office, anywhere the governor goes, it is still promises of I will do this and that.
Comrade Adams Oshiomhole does not seem to appreciate the magnitude of the unemployment problem in Edo State. He promised 10,000 when he was sworn in as governor. For 10,000 promised job places, more than 100,000 job seekers applied. More than one year after this promise, Governor Oshiomhole is celebrating the employment of 6,780 under the Youth Employment Scheme. Is this not serious?
On Saturday, 31st October, the self-acclaimed prudent manager of Edo State treasury did not hesitate to deploy state fund to stage Manage a pseudo-event (which Prince Tony Momoh called â€œpolitical tsunamiâ€) at Ogbe Stadium to welcome to AC oldÂ PDP decampees – bread – and butterÂ politicalÂ prostitutes.
To the surprise of all right thinking members of the public and against the culture of Edo people ,Governor Oshiomhole in his exalted position threw suave urbanity to the wind and use the occasion to pour invectives and scarsm on the personality of Chief Tony Anenih whose only offence was a public entreaty to the governor to differentiate between the serious business of governance and mundane Kaki wearing and showmanship.
The following week, and again at huge cost to the tax-payers, Comradi Adams Oshiomhole embarked on a 3-day celebration of one year in office with pomp and pageantry. Wtoere all these necessary if indeed the comrade governor is indeed a crusading one? What is there to celebrate in one year in a state where public water supply is dead? Is the loquacious governor not a ware of this?
Contrary to the impression of frugality in the management of the state financial resources, close aides of the governor have said that he is financiallyâ€˜â€™reckless and generous especially for mundane pleasures.
It is equally said that though he is surrounded with a good number of advisers, the all-knowing
governor hardly takes advise even in areas he knows next to nothing.
What is still not dawn on Adams Oshiomhole yet is that unlike his labour days when he was anti-establishment, he is now an establishment per se.
For this reason, all his actions and inactions will be subject of strident criticisms (whether constructive or destructive) and full blast of public opinion not only from the opposition but also from discerning members of the public who have nothing to gain parabulating Osadebey house.
Mr. Ogunro, a public affairs analyst,Â writes from Abuja.