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RIGHT OF REPLY Ref: Oshiomhole – Anenih and Etsako re-run

By Okharedia Ihimekpen

Ordinarily, I would not deem it necessary to join issues with the likes of Charles Idahosa and his co-travelers on the current state of affairs in Etsako central local government area re-run election into the Edo State House of Assembly but as a   pubic commentator that has a covenant with Edo people to bring the State on the path of progress and development again, I have decided to put some issues in their right perspective because, it is an acceptable axiom that lies and misguided utterances allowed to linger for too long soon begin to take the resemblance of truth.

I am not surprised when I read the comments of Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s Special Adviser on political matters on page 17 of the Vanguard Newspaper of Friday January 14, 2010 . It is not my desire to query his comments over electoral violence in the State as I feel that those familiar with the history of electoral violence in Edo State today have the answers at their fingertips.

In the press briefing some fundamental issues that I feel are germane to the Socio-economic reality of our present development as a State, were raised. It opined that the Iyasele of Esanland is a non existing title, thus denigrating the sanctity of the Esan race.

I do not intend to hold brief for the Enigies of Esan nation who like other nations-state reserves the right to bestow this noble title and which in their wisdom bestowed it on one of their rare gems, Chief Tony Anenih. But suffice it to say that government machinery that cannot decipher between survivalist propaganda and the denigration of an African cultural heritage is an amalgam of the popular saying of those the gods want to destroy it first makes mad.

After all the Esans like the Oras, the Etsakos and the Benins have the ineliable rights to bestow titles of their ancestors to any of their deserving sons and daughters. And this is exactly what they have done on Chief Anenih. The text also opined that the Anenih led PDP of ten years was under the firm grip of one man ‘Mr. Fix it’ and that Osunbor did not leave any infrastructure which Oshiomhole has now abandoned.

For one, they are not members of the PDP and the PDP is not complaining how come that they are shedding tears for a non existing problem. Edo people do not even need any Tony Anenih or a Dan Osi Orbih to be told about the sorry state of affairs the State has found itself. Every where you go you are faced with dilapidated school system, state hospitals reduced to mortuary centers, unprecedented bad state of roads and Edo State that used to be number one in every positive thing now reduced to the back seat.

As Edmond Burke expressed it, the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing especially in the face of mass apathy.  Every society that we know has need of an avant-garde or a ginger group to help in reassessing its inherited taboos and canons.  This is the role Edo people feel history has bestowed on Chief Anenih and others to do.

Like the mirror, the breaking of the mirror will not in any way change the ugly face of the government misdemeanors nor will it obliterate the fact that the planting of flowers in our Ring road is not the same thing as the development of our ailing infrastructure.  Edo State has eighteen (18) local government areas and about one hundred and ninety two political wards, the ring road Oshiomhole government is priding itself to have planted flowers is not one of the local governments or one of the wards. If it takes Oshiomhole over one year to develop a quarter of a ward how many years will it take to show presence in the State.

On one occasion, Oshiomhole told the State that the PDP intends to use the soldiers to rig the elections, which perhaps informed the authorities to withdraw them to the barracks. No sooner had the authorities acted based on his complaints, than Oshiomhole started saying that the soldiers were withdrawn to the barracks to enable the PDP rig elections. Is that a serious Governor?  Edo people see the Oshiomhole government as jesters which have little or nothing to offer to the people. He should concentrate on governance and provide the necessary dividends of democracy to the people.

*Mr. Ihimekpen is a journalist and a public  Commentator. He writes from Benin City


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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.