Our journey through the desert and through history amid a ravenous wolf in sheep’s clothing has in no small measure sapped our energies with promises and programmes that did not see the light of the day throughout the eight years of Governor Oshiomhole’s ruinous misrule.
Events playing out in Edo State today leaves me sad, sad indeed, in fact very sad, so sad that I often sit back in my armchair mouth agape with incredulity that our dear state today has been driven to an economic backwater despite the fact that we produce one-third of the nation’s economy.
There is no denying the fact that our state has come to the crossroads under the visionless and directionless APC-led Edo State government which necessitates changing the baton of power.
Oshiomhole and members of his camp would be doing us a grave injustice by trying to foist that which is ”one of them” on a people whose energies have been sapped dry by a visionless cabal that has criminally held the state hostage for nearly a decade.
My dear people of Edo State my services has not been retained as I write this piece but I have found it absolutely necessary to join forces with the right minds to effect this desired change. You have the power to change the political landscape of Edo State. As I have said time and time again, if electing Pastor Ize Iyamu to be your face at Denis Osadebey Avenue, there are several things, I assure you, he will do to ensure that your needs are met day in and day out across this land, I say this under oath and may God bear me witness this day!
First of all, I shall suggest to him a viable plan on proposing new legislation that will invest more in our public schools, not only to meet the needs of today but to encourage developing minds for the future. Such new funding would be used to hire and retain good teachers, build and renovate new schools, and give great tax breaks to classroom teachers. To accomplish this, I am proposing no new taxes increase, but rather a rechanneling of our existing tax revenue to meet these demands. Now, the incumbent and his staff have been talking about this for years with little progress. Ize Iyamu-led Edo State government shall, in all honesty, plan to change all of this now.
There is no denying the fact that our children need to remain in school in order to regain our lost glory as the most educationally advantaged state in the federation of Nigeria. We lost that prestigious status a very long time ago which speaks volumes for the mass-exodus of our children overseas through needless adventures through the fiery Sahara desert to the coast of North Africa from where they embark on dangerous sea journey across the Mediterranean to Europe.
APC-led Edo State government has done nothing over the years to stem this ignoble trend and many lives have in fact been lost in this ill-fated adventure.
Secondly, economic development is on the minds of most of you, particularly with regard to our remote towns and villages. For many years, economic prosperity has been neglected by current government leaders, and Edo State government, I assure you under Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu shall plan to change all of that.
Edo State under the above-named shall revitalize all sectors, introduce new economically viable projects that would promote new businesses, new residential areas, and new open green areas to stem rural-urban drift which shall make life attractive and more meaningful to rural dwellers.
Thirdly, a light rail train system should not be a pipe dream in our beloved state to meet the growing demands of better and more efficient transportation for years to come. Oshiomhole and his administration have lacked the vision of long-term solutions, preferring to take a look and see approach. Such a short-sighted stance fails to consider the needs of future generations . . . our children and our grandchildren. My generation doesn’t want to be remembered for a road we build today, but for a more visionary transportation system for our future.
Finally, Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu is not a career politician who has lost touch with the everyday needs and concerns of day-to-day people. His work and wealth of experience as an administrator, you know as well as I know, has given him a unique perspective on the pains and challenges you face.
If elected, I am doubly sure he would be able to give his elected position as Edo State helmsman to ensure your issues and concerns are fully addressed at the local and national level but not to wine and dine and embark on meaningless jamborees with the directionless regime in Abuja under whose crushing yoke we all groan today.
Governor Oshiomhole’s eight years rule has so far been an unmitigated disaster. The only legacy he will be leaving behind is a state saddled with a massive debt burden with nothing on the ground to show for it.
A bad tree would doubtless begets a bad fruit that is why his plan to foist a ‘ruler’ on our people ought to be resisted by everything within our bounds.
I have no time struggling for leadership but in my capacity as a participant observer all this while on the events unfolding in Nigeria and Edo State, in particular, being the place of my nativity, it has become imperative for me to endorse the above-named to salvage our people from the psychological and emotional wreck APC-led administration has caused in the past eight calendar years.
My joy knew no bounds when Oshiomhole took over power about eight years ago. I thought his vast experience as a labour activist would revitalise the decadent paralysis in our state but little did I know we would, in fact, be jumping out of the frying pan into the fire by his visionless leadership.
A vote for Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu, I am doubly sure, will reconstruct Edo State and reposition it on the path of development and economic prosperity.
Iyoha John Darlington is a social activist, political analyst and public commentator on national and global issues.