There is no gainsaying the fact that Governor Oshiomhole made minimal dents on the governance of the state, namely: reconstruction of roads, renovation of schools (red roof) and the building of a single hospital that many referred to as a whited sepulchre! If a few lopsided reconstructed roads and schools and hospital is all we can get in eight years of Oshiomhole’s over dramatised administration; let’s add the regular payment of less than 5,000 state’s civil servants workforce, then finishing ‘STRONG’, which connotes potency; cogency, effectiveness, authority, resources, firmness, solid, stable, fortress, uncompromising, fervent, thoroughness, vivid was lavishly and wrongly used.
Talking about thoroughness, uncompromising, lopsidedness, and fairness. Shall we say Governor Oshiomhole has demonstrated leadership in those areas in terms of political appointments and infrastructural allocations? How about job creation, award of bursary to students and student’s scholarship? What happened to the promised rejuvenation of state owed existing industries like Bendel Brewery; Edo Line Transport Limited and the Fruit Processing Company in Eho and many more? Shall we regale ourselves with the failed retreat of paranoid delusion of being the chief anchor of a faded slogan called One-Man-One-Vote!
The majesty of democracy is inherent in its pluralism; accountability, openness and equitable patronages of political positions across the various interests group. But that cannot be said of Governor Oshiomhole’s nearly eight years in the saddle. Against all logic, merit and fairness, Governor Oshiomhole as the visitor to the two state owed institutions: Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma and Edo University, Iyamho appointed Prof. Ignatius Onimawo and Prof. Emmanuel Aluyor from Etsako respectively.
If the appointments Prof Onimawo and Prof Aluyor came as a surprise to Edo People and to those from other parts of Edo North who are eminently qualified for the job, the appointments of Dr. Mustapha Lekki and Mr. Pius Akpaibo as the INEC South-South Commissioner and Federal Revenue Mobilisation Chairman simply rattled them, as both of them are from Etsako. What with Governor Oshiomhole’s selection of Hon. Philip Shuaibu as Deputy Governor on the APC’s ticket, an Etsako man like himself from the same ward and local government? Ditto Senator Francis Elamikhena from the same Etsako as Governor Oshiomhole.
To make the matter more criminally, all the Etsako people in his government who constitute more than 60% of the state’s political appointees (just three local government) have been receiving what they called Iyamho (double) salaries different from what every other political appointees take home.
The Fundamental Objectives and directive Principles of State Policy in section (14) subsection (4) of the Nigeria Constitution criminalises concentration of political appointments or elected political office holders in a given space to the detriment of other parts of the state thus: “The composition of the Government of a State, a local government council, or any of the agencies of such Government or council, and the conduct of the affairs of the Government or council or such agencies shall be carried out in such manner as to recognise the diversity of the people within its area of authority and the need to promote a sense of belonging and loyalty among all the people of the State/Federation.
Subsection (2) and (3) states: Accordingly, national integration shall be actively encouraged, whilst discrimination on the grounds of place of origin, sex, religion, status, ethnic or linguistic association or ties shall be prohibited. For the purpose of promoting national (state) integration, it shall be the duty of the State government.
In the eye of the Nigeria’s Constitution, Governor Oshiomhole is not merely an ethnic potentate, but a primitive dictator who prides himself arrogantly as an emperor that conquered the same institution and people that hoisted him to power. This moment of evil began at a time; the moment of, the time after, the steps taken – 2013 local government election – and each subsequent manipulations becomes progressively easier.
The woolgathering governor, a few weeks ago, less than 130 days to the end of his administration, the governor embarrassingly gave 10% mobilisation fee to two contractors for the flagging off of two political roads in Ekpoma and Okpuje, Esan Central and Owan West respectively. This was done after he had fixed more than thiry roads in the three local government areas in Etsako land, abandoning Esan land; Owan East, Owan West and Akoko-Edo to wallow in economic degradation.
How do we discuss Governor Oshiomhole’s job creation fiasco without mentioning the swindling of over 20,000 Edo youths (Edo YES Empowerment Scam) who were sacked after being casualized – alas former labour leader – for nearly three years? How do we describe the anguish of Egor, Orionmwon, Owan East and west local government whose workers haven’t received alert in their bank account in the last eighteen, eight, Seven and five months respectively?
If no single Edo citizen benefits from bursary and scholarships in the last eight years, it is because we had a gutter that comes to government. If no industry was established or the old existing ones resuscitated, it is because the faded unionist and a loquacious vanity of governor’s propaganda machine has been hyperactive and the people docile. If the debt profile of the state stood at N9.8billion in 2008 when Oshiomhole took over as governor and the current debt profile hovers around N250 billion after claiming to have spent N30 billion Naira and erosion still washes people off their homes as happened recently in Benin City, it is because the civil society groups in the state have been compromised. If cars are still parked to block major roads carelessly in Benin City after EDTMA has been disbanded and re-disbanded for want of motor-parks, traders are still trading on our roads for lack of markets for trading, it is because agberoism has been elevated to the governing process of our dear state.
Governor Oshiomhole’s earlier momentum has faded, instead of ‘FINISHING STRONG’. His babbling determination to turn Edo into a cluster of hit parades, his fierce pace – he must have been tweaking/walking/running twenty miles by the end of his governorship – which suggests to Edo people that it wouldn’t take much, now, to push him over the edge.
Erasmus, A Social Activist writes in from Lagos, Nigeria.