By John Mayaki
Governor Godwin Obaseki may be on his way out of the All Progressives Congress following his suspension by the Edo State chapter of the party.
But the hard reality is that he remains governor – at least for a few more months – and unanswered is the question of who comes next.
On one end, the unraveling of Godwin Obaseki, summarized by his lack of sense of duty, has cost the state dearly and created real socio-economic challenges. However, on the flip side, it has also shown the people and the party the kind of candidates it must avoid, both in the immediate and the long term, as well as the qualities it must prioritize in the selection of Obaseki’s replacement.
Simply put, Obaseki’s example serves as a guide to the party and in building a future away from Obaseki, APC needs a man with an established creed of self-discipline and people management.
Obaseki’s abandonment of duty and underserved presents to the party the challenge of seeking a replacement with a good understanding of what his duties are to the state, the party and the country at large.
And it is here, the realization that in rolling away the years of Obaseki and ensuring that his legacy of self-serving does not take root, his own hubris must be contrasted and countered, that has once again led people to make arguments for General Charles Ehigie Airhiavbere (Rtd), a leader in the party and a loud voice in the efforts to return Edo State back to the path of progress.
He is a man with an undisputed record of service to the nation and the people in an institution vaunted for its discipline and adeptness in shaping men of impeccable character. As a young man born to parents who both raised the bar in education and exploration of talent, Major General Charles, himself armed with quality education and skill at the time this was rare and many, negotiating their way with the rarity of their qualifications, settled for enriching jobs in boards and industries, chose instead to serve the country by joining the Nigerian Army where he contributed three decades of nothing short of excellence.
In 1987, at the time Major General Charles already bagged a Master’s degree in Business Administration with specialization in Finance from Nigeria’s premier university, the University of Ibadan, he had already caught the attention of military commanders and indeed the leadership of the nation as a man molded for great things. It therefore came as little surprise that he, at different points of his career in the Nigerian army, bagged several awards for his brilliance and character, particularly attention to detail and incorruptibility. General Charles spent his years managing the finance of the Nigerian Army and not once was he found wanting.
All of these and more form the argument that is being made for him given the critical juncture Edo state has found itself. To the credit of the All Progressives Congress, these great qualities can also be found in other individuals who are reported to have shown interest in replacing the confused man in Osadebey Avenue. But what is undeniable is that General Charles embodies these values and the argument for him has a lot of merits.
Mayaki is an Oxford and Cambridge University-trained entrepreneurship, leadership and sustainability expert. He’s also a Professional Consultant (CMI) on Communication, Management and Strategy.