By Emman Aibangbee
WHAT baffles many observers of the political trends in Edo South senatorial district is the rather infectious bonhomie and unusual camaraderie that exist between the people of the district and its distinguished senator at the National Assembly, Senator Matthew Aisagbonrodion Urhoghide, since 2015. The convivial relationship that exists between the affable senator and the people of the district, is not a product of an abracadabra mantra or the result of coercion or propaganda.
It is the product of the senator’s synthesis of the people’s expectations predicated on a bench-mark of value-added leadership modem and anchored on the orientation and desire to fill that yawning void and impact meaningfully on the living standard of the larger mass of the Edo south people.
Senator Urhoghide defied and shunned aspects of bureaucracy and the ever-present red-tapism usually associated with government business and resolved to identify and be on the side of the people. In fact, he is in tandem with the people as the tireless and unrelenting champion of their causes, hopes and aspiration. He has consciously-designed a trajectory to provide lasting solutions to the needs and aspirations of his people by creating performance benchmarks; effective and efficient service delivery; programmes and projects monitoring mechanisms and timelines etc, to achieve his overall vision and mission of bequeathing lasting legacies, in all sectors of the people’s life.
It is the responsibility of government to jumpstart and foster the initiation and growth of the key areas and promote rapid development of the state and country at large. Realising this importance of government’s intervention in the provision of the necessary enabling climate for the initial and take-off of commercial activities, the senator, through the Constituency Projects he has selected and mentored, has complemented and set the benchmark for the state government through the provision and construction of people-centred projects and programmes for the people of Edo South District.
These projects and programmes are primed to stimulate economic and commercial activities that will complement the agrian sector which the rural sector of the district is well-known for. The primary aim of this concept is to open up the communities, empower the people and encourage self-employment.
When Urhoghide was sworn in as the Senator representing Edo South senatorial district in 2015 for his first tenure of four years, he had a bold vision of providing dynamic servant/leadership, focused on the overall actualisation of his set goals for the upliftment of the people of the district. These well-thought-out objectives encapsulated in his ground-breaking roadmap, are primed to provide lasting solutions to the needs and aspirations of all Edo south people.
His approach to the implementation of the Constituency Projects and other interventions was confronted with daunting issues of age-long stunted development, entrenched and fossilised political interests that either stalled the myriad interventions on the side of the people or were poised to sabotage his people-centred and equitably projects and programmes and return to the “business as usual” days.
In the midst of this milieu that could have dissuaded a lily-livered and “clueless” servant/leader, he set out to, clinically, implement his charter of sustainable development to take Edo South out of the doldrums of the Years of the Locusts, instituted by some purposeless leadership modems that almost rendered the district prostrate and comatose.
In a clime were supposed men (and women) of honour and unassailable pedigree stand truth on its head for survival’s sake, the emergence of an oasis of due diligence; accountability; corporate best practices and truth, calls for cheer and celebration. Where others fear to tread and chicken out because of threats and blackmail of social, political and economic intimidation, a lone star has emerged in the hazy horizon of Nigeria’s political space to champion the true use of political power in furthering the interests of the common man. The foregoing encapsulates Senator Urhoghide’s covenant with the larger mass of the Edo South people and the altruistic measures he has taken to ensure the holistic implementation of his roadmap of sustenable programmes and projects that will impact positively on the average Edo south person.
His magic wand of development is evident in diverse areas of the senatorial district’s life. They include but not limited to: (a) 3-classroom block (Iganke); a 6-classroom block (Secondary arm) (Oben); a 6-classroom block (Primary Arm) (Oben); a block of 3 classrooms including Principal’s Office, Staff Room and conveniences (Urhokuosa); solar-powered boreholes (Egbokor, Obozogbe Niro, Avbiugu, Urhonigbe, Evboesi, Orogho, Ogan, Etete Quarters, Evbareke Motor Spare Parts Markets, Igbinaduwa/Textile Mill/Siluko Road Junction, Benin City, Uwelu Spare Parts Market, Evbuotubu Village, Ikhueniro Secondary School, Iguogbe, Oghada, Oke-Aimufua;
installation of solar-powered street lights at the Palace of the Enogie of Omolua, Igbanke West, Oza, Believers Ministries Inc. premises, Oza installation of 500KVA transformers at Iguogbe, Iguosula, Ugoneki, Idokpa, construction of 24-stall market complexes at Urhuokuosa, Eruanokhua, Urumon, Iguedayi, Ugbighele; Mini water schemes at Ologbo, Obagie Nevbuosa etc. Modern town halls have been built or renovated and commissioned for use at Ohovbe Quarters, Uhie, Evbareke Motor Spare Parts Market and Ologbo. Others include a health centre at Ehor and Oil Palm Processing Plant and a Skills Acquisition Centre at Ogbeson in Ikpoba Okha LGA.
For the 77 wards of Edo South senatorial district, it has been one commissioning or inauguration of people-friendly projects or the other in the past weeks. Over the past three years, Senator Urhoghide has striven to actualise this innate template of meaningful and verifiable service delivery, in the above areas and more, too numerous to list here.
Urhoghide’s commitment to the often-neglected but vital area of sustainable human capital development, has also singled him out of the crowd of those who pay lip-service to corporate social responsibility with projects and programmes that will not stand the test of time. Does anyone need wonder where the blissful relationship between Senator Urhoghide and the people of Edo South Senatorial District took root and is still blossoming and blooming?
* Mr. Aibangbee, a political commentator, wrote from Benin City, Edo State.