Edo2020: The Task Before Edo People… It Will Not Be The Usual Election, But A Fight Against “Godfatherism” — Oke Umurhohwo
A few weeks from now, the Edo electorate will go to the poll and vote a governor to administer the state for four years. If Osagie Ize-Iyamu wins on September 19, the future of Edo state will become glaring– godfatherism has gained a stand.
Ize-Iyamu, a pastor, is the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), but his candidature is more rooted in a clandestine scheme by a former governor in the state, Adams Oshiomole, to annex the state. Oshiomole was governor for eight years but that seems not enough and has since pursued to hold on to the state through a proxy.
This is easily noticeable in the disagreements that culminated the fallout between him and incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki, who Oshiomole pushed to office in 2016. And if he could successfully push Ize-Iyamu in September, regardless of whether he was rigged in or not, will be hailed as the triumph of godfatherism.
That would be an unpleasant experience for the people of Edo state, who would have lost their democratic rights to one man– Oshiomole. For the past four years, Edo has seen steady development in most sectors, and more importantly, the relative peace that is prevalent in the state.
But the stride recorded by Obaseki count for little for those poised to imposed a disjointed ideology of godfatherism on Edo state, hence, reversing all the gains achieved in the last four years.
If they should get their way, and by whatever means, push Ize-Iyamu to power, the Edo people would have lost, and it will be hard to tell exactly what direction the state goes because it will have fallen on the lap of one man, who will rule by proxy.
Some All Progressives Congress (APC), drossy but pretentious, have tried to rationalize the dangerous signal that godfatherism posed in a democracy.
Democracy, anywhere, is about the people, and should at all times, determine who lead them without influence. That is the principle Oshiomole will try to alter on September 19 but the Edo electorate can make a significant statement.
Though it would not be easy, railing back at an attempt to hijack them of their democratic rights would be their best shot. A leader, especially a governor, should emerge on the weight of his performance or capacity, not because one man wants it to be so.
Oshiomole has had his fair chance in the administration of the state, and in fact, waged a tough war against any semblance of godfatherism.
So, what has changed now? That is a question Edo electorate should ask at the poll and let their thumbs show they will not be held in servitude to Oshiomole. That is the task before them when they pick the ballot on September 19, and that will not only sustain ongoing development efforts in the state but show to the world that indeed, Edo is not Lagos.
Each state has its peculiarity, and even more, a purpose that will be easily defeated when selfish interest sets in. We’ve seen the Lagos example, where the godfather, so brazenly, tampered with governance that it serves individual purposes more than a collective one.
That is something Edo people cannot endure and must push back the dangerous antics to put them in the same misery Lagosians are struggling to escape from.
For some supporters of the ludicrous agenda of Oshiomole, they will point to Lagos and say godfatherism is yielding good dividends, but what they will never tell you is the magnitude of revenue that accrues to Lagos and how development cannot commensurate it. Check anywhere, the godfather has no real benefit, other than to give one man unrestrained access to public wealth.
Oshiomole knows this very well, which is why he is pushing real hard to impose his wish on the Edo people and complete his initiation into godfatherism. On September 19, it will not be the usual election but a fight against a retrogressive ideology that will put the state in perpetual bondage– godfatherism. Will Edo people be able to stop this? Time will tell.
Oke Umurhohwo, is a Political Analyst and Strategist. He tweets via @OkeStalyf and can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org