Date Published: 07/14/10
Oshiomania! A Study of the Political Evolution & Urban Regeneration of Edo State By GARRICK KEHINDE OSEMWENGIE KINGS
And so it came to pass that ADAMS OSHIOMOLE NA GOVERNOR. Not so long ago, Edo State the cradle of black civilization and Heart Beat of Nigeria was firmly in the grips of the PDP. Marshaled and ruled at the pleasure of the SPECIAL ONE Chief Tony Anenih, erstwhile Minister and Chairman Board of trustees, of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party had held the State in her tentacles. How else can one ascribe Governor Oshiomole's account of what transpired in Abuja prelude to the accent of the Edo State house of assembly's accent to the 2009 budget. Political and Governmental services where at his beck and call. From the Governor to the cleaners in Government, the Uromi born High Chief from Esan land dishes out favors’ to his anointed. Chief Tony Anenih’s generosity to his loyalist within the Loyalist, and Political sagacity knew no bounds. From the Nigerian States ,North to South , East to West, West to South they came calling. Chief Tony Anenih's shadow, transverse from Edo South to Central and North as Chief Anthony Anenih decides WHOM is WHO politically in his Uromi PALACE. Chief Anenih’s influence cut ‘s beyond the Edo barrier as his country home in Uromi and Abuja became the new political Mecca for most of Nigeria's serving Governors' Senators' Reps, Local Govt chairmen, hangers on alike, e.t.c and goddy Anenih doles out favors’ to those whom the god’s have chosen. I can recall vividly the statement made by Chief Anenih’s one time ally and close political soul mate , General Samuel Ogbemudia In the run up to the 2003 elections in Irrua Edo State ,Gen Ogbemudia rtd said and I quote inter alia “ WHEN OTHERS PRAY OUR FATHER WHOM ART IN HEAVEN, HALLOW BE THY NAME; I OGBEMUDIA PRAY; OUR FATHER , WHOM AT IN ABUJA, ANENIH BE THY NAME” So much so was the prowess of the Esan born Fied-Marshal that when he declared “NO VACANCY IN OSADEBE AVENUE” it came to pass. From then on Anenih murdered sleep. Edo people felt betrayed in the 8yrs of PDP rule, but the High chief thought otherwise. In 2007,It was the time for him to reenact his WOUNDER! WOUNDER! WOUNDER; but alas! there was a NEW KNIGHT IN TOWN. THE PEOPLE’S KNIGHT, born and anointed by GOD to bring governance back to the people. The stage was set for the battle of the Titans and DAVID KILLED GOLAHIAT.A new slogan emerged; LET THE PEOPLE LEAD.EDO STATE: ADAMS ALIU OSHIOMOLE FOR GOVERNOR; TOWARDS A LIBERAL DEMOCRACY AND ELIMINATION OF POVERTY. True to his word’s Governor Adams Oshiomole has kept the faith and made good His promise.
Adams Aliu Oshiomole woke up one morning. He knew it was time to go. After sixteen months of painstaking, breathtaking struggle to reclaim his stolen mandate, the Appeal court will be delivering the final judgment that morning. It was Nov 11 2008. All through the night he had barely slept, last minutes arrangements were been made to perfect a victory celebration. Adams dare not think in the opposite direction. He wouldn’t even think of a possible re run. He had good grounds to be hopeful , earlier on Thurs march 20 2008, Justice Philip Umeadi of the Edo State elections tribunals had scored him 166,577 votes against 129,117 votes for Proff Osunbor and declared him the duly elected Governor. Proff Osunbor has appealed the Judgement but the Justice Philip Umeadi judgment was water proof and tight. Upturning the judgment would have brought a complete ridicule to the judiciary and threaten our nascent democracy. Nigeria’s all over were all watching, on that day, Nigerians were all EdoLites. From Ikot – Ekpene to Bernin- kebbi, to the gateway town of Abeokuta , to the beautiful city of
Manhattan , all of Nigerian in Diaspora , watched with suspense breath as history was been made. Edo state, will never be the same again. We must now examine the underlying factors that led to OSHIOQUAKE IN EDO STATE. When on may 29 2007, Proff Osariemen Osunbor was sworn in as Governor of Edo State ,he met hostility from the general populace. OSHIOMANIA has taken over the consciousness of every Edolite. OSHIOMANIA became the catechism of the new Political belief in Edo state. Nothing, absolutely nothing, which Proff Osunbor did appealed to Edolites. All manner of words where used to describe even good intentions. All the Edo people wanted was that the mandate of their Peoples Governor be restored. Anything shot of an Oshoimole Led administration, would amount to a civil unrest and injustice. The broom, symbol of the AC became the COMPANION of the Edo people. The people took it wherever they went. The task to reclaim the mandate was gruesome and tiring yet OSHIOMANIA CHAMPIONED BY THE RUGGED AND DOGGED WILL OF THE EDO PEOPLE SOLDIERD ON.CHANGE HAS COME TO EDO STATE; CHANGE WAS REVERBRATING ROUND NIGERIA.
Immediately Proff Osunbor was sworn in as Governor of Edo state, the PDP forgot that they were in power but didn’t have power as the power was resident in the court. Adams Oshiomole, enfant terrible and the nightmare of the Federal government, the people’s foot soldier and champion of the masses has laid siege to the door steps of the courts. He wants THE MANDATE, which was rightfully given to him by the Edo people RESTORED. While Oshiomole collated evidence and witnesses from all the wards and local government they lost to the PDP and cried foul, the PDP didn’t even bother to contest any ward or area the Ac and Oshiomole won. The PDP was too confident and extremely busy to think about the frivolities of a mere election petition while the sharing of the loot was ongoing, after all the god Father isn’t godfather for nothing. The infighting in the PDP reached an alarming height; Proff Osunbor has carried out a sacrilegious act. A cliff hanging Governor has rebelled against the Tiger of the Amazon forest , Tony Anenih was his name , the die was cast and heaven’s was aghast; my !oh! my ; the Legendary Wizard of OZ appeared to Oshiomole and said to him ; Adam’s go thou before the deity called TONY ANENIH and libate the JUJU that Proff Osunbor refused to pour Libation on. And so went the Comrade to felicitate with Chief Tony Anenih during His daughter’s wedding. Proff osunbor was far away savoring the sweetness of his office .Oshiomania was on the march again. Chief Anenih turned to his right and chuckled!Hey! Samspson, hey! Magnus, hey! hey! this is not a Rottweiler this is a kitten . He can bark but doesn’t bite. Do kittens bite? Well we will join the people to remove the bone from that stubborn Alsatian and give it to this barking but harmless kitten. After all, kittens don’t bite but little did the old fox realize that the Chicken was coming home to roost. We will play with him and drink milk with him Tony thought; he will remain my boy. Hahahahahahahhahaha! For the Truth to be told, Oshiomania will have to stoop to conquer. It was the beginning of a deft political move and maneuverings which will lead to victory. The Cat must now be let out of the bag; OSHIOMOLE NA GOVERNOR; Abi? Yes Na; Na Im. OSHIOQUAKE has quaked and torn the PDP BAGS OF TRICKS.
Nov 12 2008 marked the dawn of a new beginning in Edo State as Comrade Governor Adams Aliu Oshiomole, was sworn into Office as the duly elected Governor of Edo State. From a state that was in a complete infrastructural decay, today Edo State is witnessing a new socio, political and infrastructural rebirth, Urban regeneration, sanitation, empowerment, civil service reforms, beautification, rehabilitation, reconstruction, construction, development as now a BAZARR and common sight in Edo State Today. The administration of Adams Aliu Oshiomole has not only brought succor, but has equally put smiles on the face of well meaning Edolites. The Edo People now lead.
Never has Benin – City witnessed such monumental Quake, as Oshioquake is quaking up Airport roads, Sapele roads, Siluko road, Ugbowo, Akpakpava, to mention but a few. Edo State, is under the surgical blade of a good and competent Specialist doctor. The asphalting, reconstruction of side drainage, surface drains, and the excavation of the Benin moat in order to Channel flood water is a WATER SHED IN THE INFRACSTRUCTURAL REGENRATION OF EDO STATE. Edo State under Comrade Adams Oshiomole is marching forward from GOOD TO GREAT. The rehabilitation of Akenzua street, Dawson, wire road, Obakhavbaye, Agadagudu, Oba Market junction, Uwa street, Ben- Oni road e.t.c , dualization of Siluko road, reconstruction of the Constain/ Isonorho road,all in the Benin metropolis is an indication of his desire to ameliorate the long sufferings of the Edo People.
The beautification and landscaping of KINGS SQUARE, adjourning streets and environs , is a MASTER STROKE . THE BENIN KINGS SQUARE CAN BE REFFERED TO KNOW AS THE SQUARE OF LIGHTS. At night, KINGS SQUARE IS A BEAUTY TO BEHOLD as it’s extremely beauty depicts the urban and serene nature of the Benin metropolis. The acquisition of the Agidigbi house and other structures in the kings square by the Oshiomole administration in an act of overriding public interest , was demolished and a breathtaking edifice to house a befitting sky scrapper,shopping mall and an over head car park is not only novel but brilliant. Oshiomania is indeed sweeping through Edo state.Today the Oshiomole administration has embarked on Operation clean schools. Otherwise dilapidated structures are been reconstructed and in some cases new structures are been put up in Public Schools. The Compassionate and populist leanings of Oshiomole can be well seen in his welfares’ programs. On assumption of office in Nov 2008, the Comrade Governor banned the collection of revenue contracts by political party agents and the use of Siren in His entourage. He demonstrated he was the Chief servant of the people and the Head nigger in charge. In His words, “siren is an instrument which doesn’t add value to governance”. He went further to give N10.25 million to the victims of the 2007 flood disaster on Apostolic church road and paid a working visit to the people of Ugbe –Ebudun in Esan Central to commiserate with the victims of rainstorm disaster. He heeds the peoples call when he banned community association, land speculators from collecting development fee from would be developers, as they where constituting a severe menace to the society. Adams wasn’t done yet. He took a critical step by embarking on the civil service reforms program whereby Seniority, expertise, merit, performance and geographical spread where the only criteria in promotion and appointment of PERM SEC’S. Oshiomole's love for the less privilege cannot be overemphasized as he has taken the welfare of the physically challenged as top priority. A special assistant was appointed in that regard to facilitate governments policies. The revamping of the health sector is a cardinal focus of the Comrade Adams Oshiomole's government. The Comrade Governor in his magnanimity and respect for the sanctity of human life has ordered that pregnant women be given free ante -natal care prior to delivery.
The renovation and re equipment of the central Hospital is worthy of note and building of new health center has gone a long way to improve Primary health care in Edo State.
The Comrade Governors Love for the people whether in the hinterland or rural areas propelled him to embark on a very curious journey to Ofunama, an Ijaw community in Edo State long forgotten, neglected by successive governments. The state of very bad road forced him to abandon the journey on first trial after five hours of rough rides and broken down vehicles, he returned back to Benin and flew into Ofunama the following day in an helicopter provided by Areo Contractors. He was received as a hero. Today the Ofunama road is undergoing massive reconstruction and rehabilitation. The Edo Yes scheme under the Rapid Response Agency is an icing on the cake. Several thousand Edolites are now gainfully employed under the agency. What more would the people have asked for when without prodding Oshiomania, lifted the embargo on employment put in place by successive administrations in the Edo state Civil Service. In Edo State, today, more than 10,000 Edolites have been given employment in the civil service and the Edo Yes scheme. The economic revival of Edo State isnt left out as the Sakponba Gele-Ggele seaport a strategic route to the economic stabilization of Edo State, is been rehabilitated by the Oshiomole led administration. The State owned Bendel Breweries is been rejuvenated and brought back to production capacity. The moribund and dead Edo Line has been brought back to the days of her former glory. Passengers’ now travel Edoline in style, safety and comfort. The Edo transport service was further strengthened for capacity utilization to complement the Services of Edo Line. These are Glad tidings for the people of Edo State. The Security of the state isn’t left out as over 52 vehicles have been handed over to the Nigerian police to combat violent crime, kidnapping and armed robbery. The Oshiomole led administration went further to set up OPERATION THUNDER STORM a joint patrol team of the Armed forces and the police to combat crime in Edo State. Each participating officer is paid N6,000 a week. This is the first time a state government is taken into account the welfare of the Federal Police in an operation of this kind. Adams Oshiomole is indeed humane and compassionate.The Edo North Senatorial district and the Edo central district is equally witnessing Oshioquake.
Today Adams Oshiomole has performed miracles to clear our doubting minds. OSHIOMANIA today, is the catechism of our new political belief. An end to hopelessness, disparity, sufferings and deaths, is in sight. Oshiomania, he has brought to bear Hope, Faith and revival. THE EDO PEOPLE THANK YOU SON OF OUR FATHER.
One Day Nigeria will thank you the PEOPLES PERFORMING GOVERNOR.
GARRICK KEHINDE OSEMWENGIE KINGS.
A PUBLIC AFFAIRS ANALYST/POLITICIAN AND A GRATEFUL SON OF EDO- STATE.