Will Edo Voters Accept Obaseki’s Citizen-Centric Offer?

As the race for who occupies the government house of Edo State after the September 19, 2020 gubernatorial elections hots up, the incumbent is dangling before the electorate the chance to take power to themselves by voting into office a leader who is citizen minded.
Lovers of democracy, irrespective of party affiliations are desirous of seeing Edo people rise up to the occasion with their votes, come September 19, 2020.
Those who have access to the promises of the incumbent Governor of Edo State and flagbearer of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP in the coming elections are delighted with his position that “Making Edo Great Again is a mass movement for the popular participation of all Edo people for rapid, sustainable development based on a circular economy and sound financial management.”
The general feeling amongst Nigerians is that the politicians have held sway for too long and that the time has come for the people to take their destiny in their hands by voting pro-people aspirants into positions of authority.
And because the Benin Kingdom have always been at the vanguard of civilization, Nigerians want to see this clearly demonstrated in Edo State with the coming gubernatorial elections.
The people must speak with the votes to take their freedom from unscrupulous politicians and godfathers, feelers from political activists indicate.
Interestingly, in Obaseki’s manifesto, in which he pledged commitment to “citizen participation and government of accountability, he invites the people to join him in the quest to “Making Edo Great Again” (MEGA).
Drawing from his experience in governance and investment banking, the MEGA manifesto highlights six strong promises to the people of Edo State. They include Citizen-Centric Leadership, Economy & Industrialization, Infrastructure, Government as an Enabler, Technology & Data Driven Governance, and Governance Reforms.
Looking at the recently launched app called Edo MEGA, one is tempted to believing that the offering is appealing to Edo State voters, particularly as the manifesto draws from proof-points of the dividends of democracy that the people are reaping from Obaseki’s first tenure, now drawing to a close.
It is in the public domain that the incumbent governor of Edo State, HE Godwin Obaseki has been at daggers drawn with his predecessor in office, Adams Oshiomole over issues of hijacking governance and godfatherism. It is easy to understand why the average Edo voter will align with the current governor.
The odious issues of ill-governance and godfathers have partnered to hold good governance by the jugular and defraud the people of the dividends of democracy pan Nigeria.
Even active participants in the game of politics in Nigeria agree that the stranglehold of godfatherism is the most singular threat to democratic and good governance in Nigeria. So, whoever, dangles the juice of citizen-centric governance is most likely to have the people behind him, mostly if there is any little evidence to buttress the claim, as Obaseki has.
Proof of his ability to lead a people oriented government include, massive education reforms, tagged Edo Best and his clearance of the outstanding salaries and emoluments due to civil servants and pensioners in Edo State.
It will be recalled that Stephen Oshawo, Chairman, Ward 10 of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State, which pulled the rugs from under Oshiomhole’s feet as national chairman of the party, by suspending him from the party, disclosed that while the deposed national chairman was governor of Edo State, civil servants and pensioners went cap in hand for their due.
According to Oshawo, “Oshiomhole did not pay my pensions for eight months during his tenure as governor of Edo State, but it took Obaseki less than one month of assumption of office to clear it.”
Testimonies like this which resonate across Edo State are what watchers consider will sway the vote casting by the electorate come September 19, 2020.
And with Obaseki offering citizen participation and accountability, it is an offer that political analysts consider would be too tempting for the people of Edo State to turn down.
According to the manifesto, Obaseki promises a massive action against poverty with deliberate efforts to make every Edo citizen rich through agriculture, infrastructure and transportation.
He further avers that, “my mission today, just as it was four years ago, remains to spearhead the transformation which is required to pull our people out of poverty.”
The incumbent governor while attempting to show respect to the citizenry acknowledges that “Edo people are very enlightened and politically savvy, much more than most of us politicians give them credit for.”
Beaming with optimism that Edo people will take his good offer by voting massively for the People’s Democratic Party, PDP in the coming elections, he noted, “This election is about the promise of Edo.”
As events unfold towards the Edo 2020 gubernatorial elections, it would be interesting to see to what extent the electorate aligns with Obaseki on his stance that “we must set out to consolidate the project of building a new Edo State, where true democracy thrives.”

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