Last week, one of the discussions I followed on Twitter was the #theworsegovernorinnigeria raised by @ekekeee and it was both informative and disheartening to say the least. The issues examined by contributing tweeps were not new, kleptomaniac rulers bankrupt of quality ideas and a longsuffering people with hardly any hope for political redemption. I was impressed though that with the dearth of inspiring leadership in Nigeria, there are some governors who have dared to be different, who for them it is not business as usual. The likes of Rochas Okorocha, Tunde Fashola and my own state Governor, Adams Oshiomole. Now these men are not perfect, I’m sure some persons may be able to fill up pages with their errors. However, we cannot afford to lose sight of the progress they have made.
Someone said recently that there have only been three performing government in Edo State, the government of Ogbemudia which gave us such legacies as the Ogbe Stadium, the Benin museum and the University of Benin. The government of the late Ambrose Alli; which gave people like my mother, the chance to get an education. Governor Alli supplied free textbooks, gave Edo a state University, several colleges of education, as well as polytechnics. And finally, we have comrade Adams Oshiomole.
Adams Aliyu Oshiomole went to court to fight for his mandate and since he assumed office, he has tackled his job with vigour. Most Edo roads that were virtually impassable are now transformed or undergoing transformation, from roads in Benin City to roads in the interior, the story is the same. One of the biggest problems for road maintenance in Edo state is the annual flooding which has led to severe erosion. Oshiomole and his team have mapped out a flood control plan that involves linking the historical moat of Benin to the Ikpoba River. So far, work is going on in earnest and the prayer of everyone in Benin City is that this solution works.
Another aspect that the Oshiomole Government has tackled is the fixing of dilapidated school buildings all over the state. I have always believed that an enabling environment for learning includes the facility where this knowledge is being impacted. How can children learn when they are exposed to the elements in school? Or when the child has to hide behind a bush and step on other people’s mess to answer nature’s call? These days, I am heartened when I come across these shining new school buildings everywhere in town. However, a fancy school building is not enough; these schools need books in a functioning library, quality teachers, more discipline, a crackdown on examinationb malpractices etc.
Beyond all of these is that Oshiomole has given the people of Edo the ability to dream again, hope for the landlord who has become a tenant because erosion has taken over his property. Hope for the child who can now learn under a roof, sitting on a proper chair, writing on a proper desk. Hope for the everyday men and women who have access to the cheap mass transit buses aptly tagged comrade buses provided long before the term ‘palliatives’ became a buzzword in our polity.
Idemudia Eseosa Joy