Over Benin City, the Edo State capital, is the Government House tucked away in a noiseless neighbourhood, in fact, in an oasis of serenity in the volatile city where the government business of the oldest state in the Federation of Nigeria is conducted.
I have been a social critic, political analyst and public commentator on national and global issues and in that capacity, I often observe and evaluate the perspectives and agendas of governments both in the country of my nativity and the rest of the world with emphasis on Nigeria and Edo State, one of the sub-national units that make up the Nigerian federation.
My heart does not only break but often bleeds, as things go wrong marvellously. Oftentimes I look disconcerted as my heart, I dare say, gets saddened and this worries my soul when leaders or Patricians blunder with the Plebians bearing the brunt. I frown on such mistakes which sometimes appear inexcusable.
This calls to mind the acrimony that tore France and Germany to shreds. The one-time dead-locked adversaries once locked horns and thus became the cynosure of all eyes as the display of power raged via three bitter wars – the Franco-Prussian War between 1870 and 1871, World War I between 1914 and 1918 and World War II between 1939 and 1945 respectively.
The blunders committed by the leaders of these two countries at the time snowballed into a major crisis that eventually degenerated into a war and war machines and engines were designed and freely used by the western death merchants for a tour de force or superiority.
These were in deed devastating times in human history that brought about large-scale destructions and avoidable deaths.
History recorded that the Franco-German wars stemmed from deep-rooted hatred by the former but this unavoidably changed in the course of time particularly after the historic reunification of the two Germanys about 30 years ago.
Alas, I see a similar scenario unfolding dangerously in our land and there would certainly be the devil to pay as political gladiators who bestride our state like a collosus aggressively and repressively beat the drums of war.
Recall the belligerents in the Franco-German War while engaged in a deadly combat employed a deadly volley of canisters and dangerously powerful explosives that incinerated all life’s forms in that part of the Old World.
We too have had leaders here on our part of the globe who have over time outlived their usefulness by reason of outdated ideas and further constitute themselves to a mine of barefaced lies to create distrust and consolidate their hold on power all in a selfish bid to permanently subjugate their people.
This I often condemn in the strongest terms via aggressive awareness campaign and consequent call on all and sundry to resist, in the strongest form, their odious apparatus of neo-Nazi rule.
In advanced democracies, leaders formulate socio-economic policies which are dutifully and conscientiously implemented to positively impact on the lives of their people but sad to say the reverse has become the case in this part of the globe peopled by some naive Homo Sapiens sapped dry by rudderless leadership.
As we move closer to Edo State governorship election slated for the last quarter of 2020, reports reaching this writer say that the state is engulfed in pre-election violence orchestrated by a certain overlord who says it is either his diabolic whims and caprices prevail or there will be no Edo State.
What a wonder our political class often throw caution to the winds and allow political history to repeat itself!
We can all recall from dim memory, “Operation Wetie” interpreted in English to mean “soak him in petrol and set him ablaze” during the federal elections in the defunct Western Region.
That harrowing episode remains a violent event that brought about a huge conflagration over the region by two political factions which fortunately or unfortunately prepared or set the stage for a coup d’etat.
The Riot Act, as a matter of public importance and urgency must be read to the confedracy of criminal gangs, fraternities who are under the illusion that Abuja remains the Alpha & Omega of political sagacity and the control of our state from afar remains the sole perogative of a certain overlord who lives within its confines.
Edo State, if we need reminding, is greater than any individual or political faction. We cannot fold our hands while a few ambitious men turn our state to a theatre of war.
I have it on good authority that attempts have been made to broker peace between the deadlocked adversaries tearing our state to shreds which ended up in smoke as the Abuja-based overlord stood aloof – this fortunately or unfortunately speaks volumes for the savage and crude mind of the African man.
Today, our people are in limbo while our political gladiators throw deadly punches. This could cause a lot of distractions to the incumbent administration under the dynamic leadership of His Excellency, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, if we need reminding.
Frankly, I am deeply saddened that our “separated brothers” have resorted to acts of villainy to whip up sentiments and some of our people like adherents of a certain religion with its doctrinal purview have been pathetically brainwashed via some fallacious fanatic beliefs.
Frankly, I find the bombings which are always off targets preposterous, infantile and amusing.
The Obaseki and Shuaibu that I know will not resort to unimaginable villainy by conducting a punitive cremation and bombings of opponents and their property.
Only recently, a huge conflagration, we heard, ravaged some markets and mercantile houses in Benin City, the Edo State capital. This was widely reported by the world press and the services of trolls, I am doubly sure, were retained by the perpetrators to discredit the incumbent government.
The above-named had a field day jubilating over the appalling naivety of some brainless dolls on the social media – an information harvest platform.
Having sat face-to-face with the Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Philip Shiabu, in his office at the Government House and heard him speak on policies implemented to regenerate our state which are already yielding fruitful dividends in the area of sports and youth empowerment that are inadvertently under-reported by the media team I had a complete, dramatic and unashamed volte-face.
The indefatigable duo – Obaseki and Shaibu – should not be painted as having the conscience of Beninto Mussolini or Adolf Hitler.
Obaseki and Shaibu, if you ask me, are not arsonists or vengeful destroyers to take our state many leaps backwards. Any 32-toothed adult who believes that bull crap frankly needs his head examined – no offence intended please!
There is no denying the fact that the incumbent government in our state is hamstrung by lack of funds to finance key capital projects that will positively impact on the lives of our people considering the brazen haemorrhage and depletion of our treasury via embezzlement of government funds with unashamed gusto by the previous administration after listening to a clip that went viral on the social media a few weeks ago.
Conversely, that the Obaseki-Shaibu’s commitment to accountability has today promoted an atmosphere of openness in the area of government finances is not in dispute.
Frankly, I acquire respect and admiration for Shiabu’s intelligence and dedication to a good cause having expended time on making our people optimistic about their future by encouraging businesses to create new jobs. Don’t you think he deserves a pat on the back in this regard? I have a burning desire to know!
With these to their credit, it is my unshaken conviction that the indefatigable duo – Obaseki and Shaibu – have come to change the narrative and dynamics of governance and government in our state as a social contract.
Iyoha John Darlington is a PPN governorship aspirant in Edo State.
Source: Daily Trust website