By Dr Ugoji Egbujo
If only our politicians had guts. They will bark in the morning, and grovel, and beg at night.
In the beginning Edo was Lagos. Then Oshiomhole carried him on his back , went everywhere, and convinced people to make him governor. A child on his mother’s back wouldn’t know that walking isn’t as easy as sucking breast milk. When he was on Oshiomhole’s back, Oshiomhole told everyone one he would develop Edo like Lagos. Then Edo was Lagos.
But once they disagreed, he chose a most treacherous slogan. “Edo is not Lagos” he told his supporters. And they cheered.
But when couch time came, when he began fretting on the eve of the APC screening, he assembled his political Umunna , contravened COVID travel protocols , ran to Lagos, and in broad daylight, prostrated in Bourdillon. It was too late. The stick didn’t come in time , so he needed nine. But trust once shattered cannot be meted in a hurry.
He left empty handed and scampered to Abuja. But it all came to nothing. The men who had egged him on delivered less than they promised. Once he was screened out, he reverted to his old slogan and started chanting “Edo is not Lagos! Edo is not Lagos!”
Edo is truly not Lagos.
Were Edo Lagos, he would not have had the guts to shout on his opponents whom he described as social media paper nonentities if they ever set foot on Oba market in Benin. No he wont. Because in Lagos nobody owns the mouth of his neighbor. In Lagos, we might not be rich, ‘awon boys’ own their mouths, and that is non negotiable. We can ‘yab’ governors in Eko.
If Edo were Lagos he would have known that nobody takes permission from anyone to visit his home. Nobody, let alone a former governor. When a governor develops the temerity to demand that people visiting their homes from other states obtain permission from him before entering the state you will know he is not the the governor of Lagos. Mbanu, in Lagos we have passed that level.
Edo can’t be lagos.
In Edo, a governor once procured thugs who used trucks to block all roads leading to the home of his party’s National chairman . We have many Agberos in Lagos. But Lagos Agberos know their limits. Even if an Agbero became governor in Lagos, which is not impossible, he will know that the residents of the states are not laborers squatting in his father’s backyard. So he cannot block roads with trucks just to prove that he has capacity to do so. Such childishness can only happen outside Lagos. Because in Lagos people can fool people but they never imagine that the fooled have no balls.
But how can Edo even be Lagos?
Is it not the same Edo where the governor inaugurated the House of Assembly clandestinely in the middle of the night? Okay, he would say it was the clerk that chose to do it like a witch. But we are not children , are we? In Lagos we have godfathers but nobody treat’s state matters with indignity. Imagine a state legislature being inaugurated at night and some of the legislators coming in shorts and bathroom slippers. That can’t happen in Lagos. In Lagos we have institutions, we have courts that are respected. Not courts where evening black market injunctions are sold.
Edo is not Lagos. Yes we know.
Tax collectors in Lagos go about their business discreetly. Okay, sometimes, some men in black and white uniforms who call themselves VIO officers stop vehicles and pretend to bother about their road worthiness. Okay, some consultants collect taxes , boost IGR of the state, collect commissions and inspire tongues to wag. But that is it. Otherwise we buy tickets to watch movies. Nobody runs around the region ‘negotiating’ to get a party ticket.
How can Edo be Lagos?
Captain Hosa Okunbo, an Edo based retired pilot and industrialist has been lamenting. He chose to support a candidate and some persons are maliciously using the instrument of state to intimidate him and suffocate his businesses. These are the same folks mouthing strategies to lure investment into the state. In Lagos businessmen choose whomever they like and support them during elections. They are free. In the last governorship elections in 2015 and 2019, most Igbo business men supported the opposition party in the state. And they suffered no repercussions before, during and after those governorship elections.
Let me tell you something.
No Lagos governor has ever come on the television to brag about his immunity . No Lagos governor has ever threatened to deal with an opposition party candidate in public. No Lagos governor has ever talked proudly about having ‘boys’ who can visit mayhem on their opponents. No Lagos governor has vindictively demolished houses of opponents or tampered with their certificates of occupancy.
It’s obvious Edo is not Lagos.
A Lagos governor will not come on television and concoct tales about a medical research done in a teaching hospital and conclude that it was unsafe to conduct party primaries at the wards but safe to bring thousands of people from the villages into one stadium in the state capital. Lagos governors may not be geniuses but they do not tell childish lies and do not engage in petty partisan nonsense. A Lagos governor would collect money from the opposition and rent to them any facility they would need for their campaign.
Who even suggested Edo could be Lagos?
Edo no be Eko oo!