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Tuesday, 17 November 2015

The search for a worthy successor in Edo

Adams Oshiomhole
GOVERNANCE, like most human activities, is governed by seen and, unseen factors that may combine positively for the success indices it may represent, or negatively, for the failure it is noted for. Governance is a relay race. No government can completely exist in a vacuum or be able to accomplish all its set goals within deliberately-contemplated time-frame. The craze and haste to abandon those long-term policies, programmes and projects by successor-governments, without examining whether they can be adapted, re- viewed or adopted wholesale, often leads to the wast- age of scarce resources and a new cycle of abandoned policies, programmes and projects at the expiration of such governments’mandate.

It has become the norm and established ritual for most successor-governments in Africa to tend to rubbish, abandon or totally obliterate the strides, contributions and achievements of their predecessors through jaundiced commentaries or outright selective amnesia, all in the name and practice of politics.

In Edo State, the cardinal area which encapsulates the dreams, hopes and aspiration of the average Edolite, is the unprecedented reformation drive in infra- structure and human capital development that has tied the state’s future viability and sustenance with the diligent pursuance and execution of government’s policies, programmes and projects that will set the stage for industrialisation and commercialisation at the end of Oshiomhole’s government in November 2016.

It is conventional wisdom that a good leader, with strong visionary disposition, should pursue that mis- sion to project, plan and engender those programmes, policies and projects that will ensure a seamless and painless transition from heavy dependence on oil revenues to other lucrative alternatives (such as internally generated revenue) by using the massive earnings from petroleum as a fulcrum for future development in agriculture, commerce and industry etc.

It is significant to note that Engineer Christopher Aigbovbiosa Ogiemwonyi has keyed into this novel and visionary concept of a re-engineered and re-focused Edo State, championed by the mercurial Comrade Adams Oshiomhole in the last seven years. In reality, the Comrade Governor has gone beyond rhetoric, grandstanding and self-serving platitudes to give holistic interpretation to sustainable development of the state through the proper utilisation of its present oil revenue earnings.

As one of the frontrunners in the race for the governorship of Edo State in 2016, Engineer Ogiemwonyi stands out of the crowd of aspirants in his out-of-the-or- dinary pre-disposition to adopting and sustaining those programmes, policies and projects of the Oshiomhole predecessor government, if elected for the benefit of all Edolites, post November 12, 2016.

Aconsummate technocrat, he has through his people- focused Call To Service identified the critical areas of intervention in the affairs of Edo State to include infra- structure development; human capital development; agriculture development with emphasis on the provision of agro-based raw materials for production purposes; provision of clean, affordable and reliable energy and water supply; housing development; youth and women empowerment; increased resource allocation to education and social services; reduction in child mortality rates and improved maternal health; containment of HIV and AIDS, malaria and other endemic diseases and proactive actions and preparations for pandemic ones like Ebola Virus Disease, Dengue Fever, Haemorrhoidal Fever, Lassa Fever etc; environmental protection; rural based micro industries; the establishment and construction of specialised macro-economic free-trade zones, industrial parks, clusters and co-operatives, preferably in mutually-beneficial partnerships with the Organised Private Sector – local or foreign; solid minerals; ecotourism, etc.

Engineer Ogiemwonyi shares Comrade Oshiomhole’s long-term vision that the concept of Edo State’s future micro and macro-economic development should be pursued from two angles: (a) By prudently utilising revenue from the petroleum sector to develop other core and key sectors of the state’s economy and (b) By diversifying the internally-generated revenue base of the state with probable earning from agriculture; tourism; free trade zones, industrial parks etc; small and medium- scale enterprises etc. This will only be possible if there is no break in the chain either through a deliberate jettisoning of the concept by a new administration or a feeble or marginal implementation process that will not benefit the people of Edo State.

The relativity of a flawless and fluid changeover during any relay race defines the human factor in the core area of synergy between time, space and movement that is not borne out of a chance-happening or the uncoordinated interplay of efforts of those who are just “fulfilling all righteousness” in running their various legs! Good governance and bad governance are like most relay races. They are either sequentially-planned to succeed and thrive or visionless and rudderless in concept and administration.

Good governance that elicits success and attainment is like a good relay race where one plays a key role attaining giant strides, achieving successes or leaving legacies behind for future generations to savour.

Eight years on, there is no gainsaying the fact that Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole is primed to leave behind a catalogue of lasting legacies that can only be sustained by a worthy successor on November 12, 2016.

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