Now, let us ponder on this: how ethical, or moral, or even in the context of “real politick” does it sound to former Governor Oshiomhole’s ears that you set the examination question, sat for the exams, and and go ahead and mark yourself A+? And in the same vein you go ahead and mark others F without allowing the external examiner to see the marking scheme? How fair, equitable and just?
This is the first time in Nigeria’s political history that a predecessor will carry out a full opposition bordering on daredevil insurrection against his successor, as if it is do or die affair. It is odious, it is dangerous, it is unhealthy, and morally and politically reprehensible.
It is amusing that Oshiomhole thinks that he deserves to be forgiven for “messing up” in his own reckoning, but he couldn’t give Governor Obaseki a second chance for a repeat, for alleged infraction, not against the people of Edo State, but against him as a person. What is informing this desperation that Obaseki must go by all means?
It is equally interesting that in Oshiomhole’s own dictionary, the saying that “what is good for the goose is good for the gander does not apply.” Oshiomhole did his two terms despite clear shortcomings. So if we believe that every leader has his shortcomings, why should Obaseki be expected to be the perfect one? What has he done that cannot be forgiven? Except we want to play the part of God, the Almighty.
Edo State didn’t start with former Governor Oshiomhole and will not end with him. Oshiomhole himself met a foundation, no matter how inchoate, laid by Ogbumedia, Ambrose Alli of blessed memory, as well as Odigie Oyegun, Lucky Igbinedion and others.
And after Oshiomhole and Governor Obaseki, Edo state will still remain a sub sovereign entity that it is, and life will continue. So why should Oshiomhole think that his successor (s) must carry on with his policies, as if Edo State is his private company? Or as if his policies are the best in terms of value for money and sustainability?
Obviously unless there is something we don’t know, or the alleged breach of continuity by Obaseki is just a hoax, there is no doubt that Nigeria of 2008-2016, when Oshiomhole held sway as Governor in Edo State, is definitely totally different from Nigeria of today.
Hence, policies and priorities of government must adjust in tune with new economic realities and fundamentals. Sampler: price of oil was sustained at between $90-$100 from 2012-2015, while in between 2016 and 2019, we have seen a situation in which price of oil move from less than $30 to worth not even $1 (one dollar), and then COVID-19. Now, if it is not sheer mischief and mucraking how can you pooh pooh memorandum of understanding (MOU) as an instrument of project management and delivery in the 21st century? You want to attract investors and you are saying MOU’s are worthless?
By the way how many MOU’s did Oshiomhole himself signed to attract investors to Edo State? And the modular refineries and the Gelegele seaports. Shouldn’t these be the basis of sustainable development of a state like Edo? How can Edo State think of Nigeria beyond oil without these visionary, long term projects?
And you want to develop Edo State with rural roads and schools, and street lights alone? You must be kidding. Where will the resources to sustain the funding them to a world class level come from?
Let us tell ourselves the home truth. If not that Governor Obaseki is an astute financial engineer, Edo will have slided into bankruptcy and the resulting financial chaos. But we have today the financial balance sheet of the State almost cleaned up, what with pensions and contractors liabilities settled, salaries payments regularised, and the resolution of the indebtedness of the State to domestic and foreign creditors. Still, like a financial magician Governor Obaseki was able to expand critical infrastructure in all facets from education to roads, to health care and to sports, to name a few, and attract direct foreign investments into power, ICT, etc.?
I rest my case.