Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Governors recently stormed Edo State and ended up complicating matters for their own party by unwittingly giving the impression that they were out to coerce and compel the good people of the state into making Osagie Ize-Iyamu Governor against their will. It was rather pathetic seeing them vainly trying to con the electorate of Edo into buying an unmarketable candidate from an unsellable platform.
Hitherto, they had also made much ado about the fact that Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomole, had thrown his weight behind Godwin Obaseki, the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate for the coming governorship poll. One has to wonder what Oshiomole supporting Obaseki amounts to that could possibly be different from Ronald Reagan supporting George Bush Senior back in 1988 or Barack Obama supporting Hillary Clinton in 2016?
Oshiomole, is on the verge of exiting the scene with what amounts to a robustly enviable legacy and that legacy needs to be jealously guarded for posterity and generations yet unborn. As for Obaseki, if ever anyone was most eminently qualified to be Governor, it is surely this gentleman. Affable, approachable, down to earth and not in any way desperate to rule, the fact of his sterling credentials, readiness, preparedness and capacity to be governor all add up to the makeup of just the right person Edo requires at this moment in history for the gains of the Oshiomole years not to be frittered away by the political gamblers and practitioners of stomach infrastructure in the PDP. Simply put, Edo is blessed to have in Obaseki, just the right man to sustain, build upon, and, indeed, even surpass the legacy of Oshiomole, rather than for the Comrade-Governor’s awe-inspiring achievements to be handed over to political vandals in an era as precarious as we now live in.
True to type, the PDP, lacking either credibility or marketability, has taking refuge in mudslinging, name-calling and tale-bearing. Not even for a nanosecond should the dastardly lies the PDP has been peddling against Obaseki be given even as much as a fleeting thought. The PDP is notoriously a platform of rumourmongers and conscienceless slanderers of the reputations of their moral and intellectual betters. None of these PDP cranks currently propagating these infernal lies against Obaseki are nearly as clean as the gentleman or in any way in a position to give either Obaseki or the Edo electorate any lectures on uprightness or moral discipline.
Oshiomole is, for me, a lesson on how democracy can be deepened in this country. Performance is the key. Any other paradigm for retaining political power is as illegitimate as it is not sustainable. Oshiomhole is a man who managed by the grace of God to survive in the midst of vultures who will always hate him for re-energizing Edo into a living state from the dying carcass they were used to cannibalising. Oshiomhole is thus a hero across the entire South-South as he remains the first man to liberate a Niger Delta state from the visceral grip of the PDP. By that singular feat, he succeeded in giving hope to scores of his fellow Niger Deltans that all is not lost and that with time, other states will be liberated from the avaricious stranglehold of the PDP, a party with a knack for taking away everything, without offering anything in return.
One just has to wonder what the PDP deludes itself about its image that could possibly recommend it to the electorate of Edo State? What is its selling point other than deceit, nonperformance, and complete failure? Does it intend to market itself on the basis of its prowess for corruption, ineptitude, failure to deliver and inability to perform? Is lack of capacity an electoral credential? It is already more than sufficiently unfortunate that its candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu is not in any way marketable against the consistency and dependability of someone of the pedigree of Obaseki. Even more embarrassing is the fact that Ize-Iyamu’s godfather, former Governor Lucky Igbinedion, has retreated, having apparently been found by his own PDP, not to be in a position to come out openly to campaign for his godson and right-hand man. Knowing full well that as a party, they simply absolutely lack any legacy to point to, what do they honestly envisage the Edo electorate doing other than voting in Obaseki, just the sort of man they had all along been waiting for to succeed Oshiomhole?
In spite of PDP governors pumping in money which they should be using to pay salaries in their own states into Edo for the purpose of reaping where their party did not sow, I remain unshakably confident that Edo State will end up voting APC and making Obaseki its Governor. The likes of Okowa can keep prancing about the state but I know that no matter how much money PDP deploys in Edo, this election can neither be bought nor can it be rigged. Edo is not and will never be for sale. When the election is over and the results are in, even the greatest doubting Thomases will be forced to agree: “If not Obaseki, then who?”
JESUTEGA ONOKPASA , an All Progressives Congress, APC, Chieftain, wrote from Warri.