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Oshiomhole’s two years of redefining governance
By: Erasmus Ikhide,  Published October 22nd, 2010

My eyes happened to light on Sunday Vanguard’s Political column; page 38 entitled: ‘‘the tensions in Edo ’’. My exclamation was with that word ‘‘TENSIONS’’!, even though I knew the grammatical wrongness of its usage. What TENSIONS? The piece was against Edo people who thought that it was far more dignified to confront the creatures of hell than to exist in a fool’s paradise.

It becomes more anomic on a second look when such analytical enterprise falls within the prism of a group or individual who have actively collaborated with the PDP government, throughout their rampaging years of the locust.

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Okharedia Ihimekpen was a special assistant media to Governor Lucky Igbinedion from 1999 to 2007, while the administration lasted uninterruptedly, in a clog of corruption, for eight years. He did not tone a word against the government he serviced when that regime appropriated the people’s dreams.

A High Court in Enugu has since dubbed that administration as corruption personified. But Ihimekpen fell out of favour with Igbinedion’s administration at its twilight as a result of his rampant curvature for the rapacious godfather from Uromi.

The Uromi born chief as always, wanted Governor Igbinedion to continue to deposit state treasury, wholesale, at his door step any time the state subvention arrives. The resistance from Igbinedion brought Ihimekpen on collusion course with the factionalized PDP at the time.

When Governor Osarheimen Osunbor blundered into governance, Ihimekpen again gaffed into the torrid arena of speaking for the legitimately deficit administration; using pseudo names and all kinds of subterfuge to manipulate the peoples’ resolve to wrestle power from the power drunk powerless PDP.

While Ihimekpen was beating the drum, Osunbor asserted himself with the desperation of such usurper of our political will, one that had produced monstrosity in the form of godfather, which in turn resulted to the decent of Edo State into a state of economic regression.

Miraculously, the judiciary, after a long drawn legal battle between Oshiomhole and the forces of darkness that the PDP represents, the stolen mandate was returned to the rightful proprietors – Edo people!

Thus was the death of PDP in Edo State , but the consequences of their actions or inactions remains with us till today – in spite of the fact that the instigators of that past are once again clambering onto the political arena. The sum of it all, amazingly, is that Oshiomhole’s coming has forcibly aroused the fact that Nigerian people can demand their electoral rights, a subject that appeared to be taboo or fearsome for questioning.

By that token the people whose civic rights have been circumscribed in previous elections found their voices in 2007. The legitimacy of Oshiomhole governorship is grounded in the antecedent of the nation’s democratic quest to restore the people to their franchise.

Today, Ihimekpen is the publicity secretary to a PDP faction, led by Dan Obih. He has raised the issues of miss-governance, non-completion of road projects, the decade of health care delivery system, dilapidation of schools, non-renovation of public institutions, lack of portable water, planting of flowers within and the outskirt of the city centre, corruption, and host of others by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) administration. In his claims, Ihimekpen alleged that Edo people did not vote for Oshiomhole, that he is the product of the judiciary.

To start with, one can say on the basis of prior validity that Ihimekpen must be suffering from psychiatric torment since the rustication of Osunbor’s administration. ACN’s performance under Oshiomhole speaks for itself. Thank goodness that Ihimekpen admitted, albeit scornfully, that several road projects are on-going, but failed to point out others that have been completed – like Liberty Avenue, Stadium Road, Second West Circular Road, Oba Market Road, and 6 completed Roads at Costain Isonoro Avenue, now christened Gani Fawehinmi Layout.

I’m wound up too that he went further and listed the about to be completed ones Akpakpava Road, Sokponba Road, Sapele Road, New Lagos Road, Dawson Road, Airport Road, Siluko Road and Aruosaghae Road. He also shied away from listing some other roads under construction outside Benin City across the 18 Local Government Areas of the state which include: Ayogwuri-Apana-Imiegba-Imiakabu (29.56km), Ekperi-Anegbete Road and Bridge (30.3km), Jattu-Afowa-Iyora-Apana-Ayowiri, (15km), Evboeghae-Ugo-Urhonige (62km), Jattu-Ibie (4.425km), Jattu-Ayua (6.4km), Amedokhian-Ugboha (8.9), Isua-Uzenema-Ebele (3.23km), Auchi-Jattu-Afashio-Ikabigbo-Ojio (13.6), Otuo-Ihivbe-Ogben (18km), Igueben-Ewohimi-Ewatto-Ohordua-Emu-Okhuesan (32km), Igueben-Udo (5.5km), Iguobazuwa-Uzama-Siluko (23), Uhen-Olumoye (10km).

Undaunted with the state’s wiry resources, Oshiomhole went ahead to embark on the construction of ultra-modern Women and Children Specialist Hospital in North and Central Senatorial Districts to compliment the already existing one in the South, called Stella Obasanjo’s Women and Children Specialist Hospital.

While that of Edo North is located at Otuo, Owan East Local Government Area; that of the Edo Central is situated at Ewohimi, Esan South East Local Government Area of the State. The government has also embarked upon total reconstruction of General Hospital at Sabogidda-Ora, Owan West Local Government and Agenebode, Etsakor East Local Government Areas respectively.

Aside from these, Oshiomhole-led administration has renovated and upgraded several public schools across the state to ultra-modern standards. Among which are: Saint John’s Boys Model, Fugar, Etsakor Central Local Government, Our Lady’s of Fatima, Auchi, Etsakor West Local Government, Anglican Grammar School, Igara, Akoko-Edo Local Government, Saint John Bosco’s Grammar School, Ugboha, Esan South East Local Government, Saint Maria Gorrotti Girls Grammar School, Ikpoba-Okha Local Government, Niger College, Ikpoba-Okha, Idia College, Oredo Local Government, Adolo College, Egor and Western Boy’s High School, Ikpoba-Okha Local Government.

Ihimekpen re-echoes PDP sing-song at the beginning of this administration that all that Oshiomhole has done for nearly one year in office was to plant flowers, even though the PDP lacked the courage to do same while in office for 10 years. He’s oblivious of the charge by Eco warriors all over the world, who are calling on every inhabitant of the earth to replenish the depleted ozone layer through trees and flowers planting.

Ihimekpen commented on the trail blazing efforts of Oshiomhole to redefine governance in Edo State without the needed commendations and accolades, even though a great number of these roads are near completion and some of them already completed. It tells more of PDP’s searing memories of the scenes of confrontation than the actual re-appraisal of governmental intervention towards the achievement of the much talked about Millennium Development Goals, MDGs for which every right thinking nation or person must give subjective thoughts.

Now this: Edo people will proudly role out drums amidst clinking of glasses with Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as he marks 2-year in office on November 12 as the governor of Edo State . It will be a time for our people to loathe their past with agonizing hatred and glaze their future with relishing comfort. They will be celebrating themselves for showing maturity and practicing their democratic rights in the face of tyranny – defending their mandate in the face of repression; along with Oshiomhole’s commitment and respect for the desire of the people.

It will be a moment of truth; an era not only dreamt and imagined but now splendidly experienced. It will be one of the beautiful sights to witness ever; as a people of dominated space in time past by godfathers, who now elected and voted for freedom. It would be a sign of growing democracy in the hands of its people. Oshiomhole has truly, truly delivered on his electoral promise to take governance to the door steps of both friends and foes alike.

For two years running, the mass of Edo people have seen the elimination of graft and misuse of public till. Oshiomhole has disapproved the cynics that labour leaders the world over are lay-bye administrators. He has also proved that one-man show is abhorrent to genuine democracy.

As we leap over the past to address the issues of political principles in Edo and elsewhere, we can avoid calling attention to culpable individuals like Okharedia Ihimekpen, the unconscionable breed that makes bold to feast on a banquet on which he has trampled; but to call memory to our aid – now that they are thrusting themselves again for power. Edo people must not let down their guard.

Erasmus Ikhide is
The Senior Special
Assistant (Media Affairs
To Edo State Governor,
Comrade Adams Oshiomhole

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