November 24, 2015

Edo 2015: APC and the prospects of continuity

With a little over a year to the end of the governorship of Comrade Oshiomhole in Edo State, there are overt and covert signs that the race to succeed him on November 12, 2016, has begun in earnest.

Political discourses and engagements have tended to be focused on that quintessential candidate who will fly the flag of the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, among the motley crowd of emerging aspirants who have shown subtle interest in succeeding Oshiomhole next year.

A common line of thought among the contending camps in the jostle for the state’s governorship in 2016, is the desire to present the primus inter pares within the ranks of those who have expressed such interest. Aside the myriad projections that will aggregate those defining factors of good governance, prompt and equitable delivery of democracy dividends and acceptability across the various social, political, ethnic, professional, religious and other divides within the state, the right choice of the APC governorship candidate, who has no ethnic or any other primordial cleavages, will undoubtedly enhance the success index of the party in next year’s governorship election.

There is this conventional wisdom among the people of Edo State that the momentum of the extent, quality and spread of infrastructure development, human capital development, sustainable security of life and property, etc, by the Oshiomhole administration, should be maintained and even surpassed after November 12, 2016.

It is also the view of these people that only a core player with varied experience in the governance and power matrix and who has imbibed the pristine values of sustainable development with the will to impact it positively on the larger mass of Edo people, should be entrusted with the governorship of the state after the record-setting Oshiomhole administration.

To achieve the optimum success portfolio in governing Edo State, the preferred candidate should possess a strong volume of administrative background with verifiable indices of good governance and astute management of men, materials and resources.

In addition to being a proven professional in his calling, such candidate should also possess a strong tenacity of purpose, suaveness, decisiveness, fearlessness, selflessness, focused vision and unfazed mission and unwavering adherence to the tenets of due diligence and accountability.

To accumulate those aforementioned high ideals that will fore-run a high portfolio of success, anyone who will take over from Comrade Adams Oshiomhole in November 2016, will be expected to hit the ground running. He will not be expected to waste valuable time “learning or experimenting” on the job.

The holder of the position should be conversant with the nitty-gritty of the dynamics and synergy of the three arms of government – the executive, legislature and judiciary and maintain a working balance for the benefit   and well-being of all Edo people. He should be able to deploy his cognate experience (especially in the public sector and governance sector) and positive networks to enhance and strengthen the levers of the good governance of Edo State as the craze now is Development Through Competition.

Edo people’s purview of those leadership values that will sustain their confidence in the fact that government works for the benefit of the commonwealth, will be reinforced, and symbolised by the leader who will serve as a reliable agent of positive CHANGE.

It is a statement of fact, also, that the people will vote for that candidate who will create the enabling and conducive environment for commerce and industry to thrive; show enough commitment and passion for the equitable development of Edo State.

Commensurably, the candidate should possess a bulging dossier of verifiable services at both state and federal levels and also have the ability, capacity and foresight to initiate, drive and sustain that rare momentum of CHANGE bequeathed by the outgoing administration.

In the midst of those angling for  Oshiomhole’s job after November 2016, Christopher Aigbovbiosa Ogiemwonyi holds the ace given his giant strides and successes in the management of human, material and financial resources at national and international levels.  A goldfish has no hiding place. It was in recognition of this that he was appointed as the Minister of State in the Federal Ministry of Works from 2010 to 2011.

In the private sector, Ogiemwonyi has brought to bear his exceptional management skills and professional competence on the two energy-based companies he has floated – Energy Strategy Centre and Energy and Engineering Technology Caonsulting. As one who is well-known for his zero-tolerance for fiscal waste, graft and frivolous project spendings, Ogiemwonyi has not been indicted or queried by any anti-corruption or graft agency, in respect of his stewardship in either the oil and gas industry or as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Those close to him attest to it that he frequently bemoans the major constraint of the lack of dedicated attention to and continuity of laudable, workable and socially-relevant ongoing policies, programmes and projects by many successor-administrations which generally inhibits wholesale development and progress in Nigeria.

In the process, a lot of abandoned projects are strewn all over the states of the Nigerian federation as a direct consequence of every new government’s policy direction to put premium on initiating, sustaining and accomplishing only its own legacy programmes, policies and projects, rather than completing, maintaining or sustaining those of the previous administrations which are relevant to the people.

In a situation where the Comrade-Governor has taken concrete and verifiable development beyond the ambits of political rhetorics, media hype and white propaganda,   the next Governor of Edo State should be one who will sustain the relevance, quality and spread of those indices of development in the areas of education, roads/bridges, transportation, environment/urban renewal, youth, sports and women empowerment; healthcare delivery; peace and security; information and orientation; agriculture and natural resources; commerce and industry; information communication technology; water and energy; oil and gas; tax reforms; human capital development; justice sector reforms etc, while charting a new trajectory that will further enhance Edo State’s pre-eminence in the comity of states.

Comrade Oshiomhole is not known to be an ethnic champion, just as Ogiemwonyi does not flaunt ethnic credentials but a pan-Edo orientation for the overall progress and development of the state.

Unlike past attempts at infrastructure development in Edo State that had colorations and tints of marginalisation and outright neglect in their execution, Oshiomhole set out to address the nagging issues of uneven government presence and attention by downplaying political and ethnic parameters. Those areas of critical needs were identified and prioritised in relation to fiscal resources available to government.

Over the past seven years, the three senatorial districts of Edo North, Edo Central and Edo South have witnessed frenetic construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation works, which only a focused and humane successor will sustain, replicate and even surpass post-November 12, 2016, if the right choice is made.

Ogiemwonyi represents that leadership projection that will deliver qualitative direction, exhibit and practise transparency and accountability as deliberate policies of governance.

Discerning Edo citizens and other critical stakeholders alike, believe that with a new APC mandate, Ogiemwonyi will consolidate on his and the Comrade Governor’s past achievements and strive further to sustain the tempo and even overshoot the Edo people’s expectations in the new dispensation that will run from November 12, 2016 to November 12, 2020 and thereafter. God willing.

Mr. Matthew Efe Osazuwaa, a public affairs commentator wrote from Benin City