By Erasmus Ikhide
IT was Bernard Shaw who noted that he hated people being happy when they should be unhappy. Shaw didn’t add that even a feckless people deserve some mercy. That Edo people are happy while they should be agonizing in order to defang the pocket tyrant who is prompted by absent mindedness, elusive gaieties, merry-go-lucky with on-your-impunity is still a mystery.
The COVID-19 pandemic palliatives-stealing Governor, the cash-strapped Governor, the money-loving Governor has virtually suspended governance over the last nine months with vague excuses that he’s incubating his would-be cabinet members on the tricking PDP ethical leadership ethos.
What can be worse than the abortion of the legislative arm of the State Government, having shut out twelve members of the State House of Assembly out of twenty-four of them? What can be more traumatizing than asphyxiating the political space, solely micro-managed by half-based neophytes with the barest of basic questionable education qualifications, of the same unregenerate characters and casts for nearly five-years?
Governor Obaseki simply reminded us that there will be a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth in Edo as bandits rule the roost, rape and murder farmers, kidnap people at the snap of the fingers, kill students while children are snatched from shrieking mothers.
I can now understand the argument that Nigeria political ruling class needs medical examination of their brains. For too many a time, the nation has been luckless for being governed by brain-death charlatans.
With the recent information, there are about fifteen different groups of kidnappers and Fulani terrorist militias in Edo State forests, alone. There is no single Anti Kidnapping Squad in the state and we have hoodlums breathing down the necks of the denizens, instead the Governor is talking about COVID-19 Discharged Certificate before accessing nonexistent public amenities. Instead of suturing the state rupture economy by promoting people-embracing-policies, the Governor is hell bent on cuddling and cradling a dead baby.
Governor Obaseki’s toxic politics of brigandage and outright shallowness seems rooted in his distorted and dysfunctional history and emotional wreckage, spiritual defoliation which has resulted to lack of empathy and dehumanizing atrophy of his personal private battles. Handicapped people like Governor Obaseki in the image of Adolf Hitler are the reasons why modern days extremists must be watched carefully and consistently, too.
Come to think of it, why will a man who criminally abused his political office and power, dehumanised Edo people, hide COVID-19 pandemic palliatives away from the citizens suddenly turn around to forcefully make the vaccines mandatory? Prior to 2020 governorship election, Governor Obaseki shouted blue murder over godfatherism. Now, Obaseki has become the ultimate godfather by bouncing off the PDP former leadership, supplanting them with his own foot soldiers. Those who protested the manipulations in the PDP were flashed the red card that their houses will be demolished, if hears ‘pem’.
It’s hard to meet such a bitter and brutal fellow with viciousness in victory, demolishing political enemies’ hotels and personal houses, revoking the Certificate of Occupancy of citizens legally and legitimately acquired!
Based on the 2006 census, the Edo State population was 3,233,366 million people. At two percent annual growth of 64, 667.32, Edo State population in 2021 will be 4, 203, 375.8 million people. May 2021 net allocation is N2, 046,563,482.11. If shared for Edo people at the estimated population for 2021, each citizen will get N486.7. All what the electorate are witnessing in the State is motion without movement, closures of all the Colleges of Education and schools of nursing across the state, general collapse of infrastructure like street lights as total darkness envelops the state, absence of healthcare delivery system, where pregnant women give birth at traffic jams in the afternoon on a regular basis.
Apart from Governor Obaseki who knows the ghost jobs he has created, I’m yet to meet any Edo sons or daughters who has benefited from the 200,000 audio jobs he has been creating in the last five-years.
It is curious and intriguing that Governor Obaseki’s comic drama is playing out at the same time the rumbling about President Muhammadu Buhari’s pervasive open grazing gimmicks has resurfaced. The Edo State Governor is one of the suspected black legs amongst the South-South Governors who will take President Buhari’s blood money and establish the Fulani Caliphate in Edo State in the name of activating old colonial grazing routes for the terrorists.
Only yesterday, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State signed the state’s anti open grazing bill into law, banning cows from contesting public space with human beings. Can Edo State make an omelette without an egg? Where’s Edo’s egg? Where is Edo State House of Assembly? Where is the Governor of the State and the infrastructural revamp so loudly promised? The Governor has been battling, covering up corruption and lack of accountability that has eaten deep into the innards of his government. All Obaseki’s smart-man’s boorishness has suddenly evaporated, leaving the state sagging and lolling like a distressed ship in uncharted waters.
Governor Obaseki’s tragedy is a political lesson for the people who adore people on a face value now that the state is already on life support machine. In order not to leave Edo people hopeless and frustrated, let us borrow a trope from Easter eschatology as he idles away the less than 40 months left of his remaining mandate. He’s entitled to his fifteen minutes fame.
Edo people should take some blame for voting Obaseki as Governor over the last five-years. We have to come to the conclusion that poverty and greed blindfolded our senses of reasoning to the point that fraudsters masquerading as saviours are easily noticed and celebrated. Edo must not fall into this trap again if the people take as a rule of thumb the idea that most people who have a compulsive need to be overly showy and self-congratulatory about themselves often have something sinister up their sleeves.
Despite being stuck in a primitive culture with a phobia for tyranny and imperialistic grandstanding, some people still believe in the lousy vanity of a Governor. Where is the finesse, persuasive diplomacy, skillful and gradual permeating finite message of hope and assurances that the government is there to protect and support even the people who are ravaged by COVID-19 pandemic in Edo State? What does Obaseki think of himself even when the Chinese, UK and the US and the rest of the world didn’t adopt the brashness he has sanctioned into existence?
Governance isn’t showmanship. The acclaimed run-of-the-mill adroit financial wizardry is exhibitionism which concealed shadiness of ethical fraud that parades itself as success in the private sector. The imbecilic statecraft that has brought Edo on its knees over the last few years must be put to a halt.
Governor Obaseki is still riding roughshod because of the vocal collapse of Edo people—coupled with the near absence of Civil Society and media interrogation—which have both resigned to fate that the show-and-tell Governor is approaching his departure hall.
Erasmus Ikhide contributed this article to the Edo State political discourse and can be reached via: firstname.lastname@example.org, +2348035032123.