Dr. Pius Odubu
By Isaac Asabor
All things being equal, Edolites will be going to the polls in the month of September to elect a new governor that would be deemed to have what it takes to engender better governance. Therefore, there must be need to decide the fate State and that of those of us at home and i diaspora, as well as those unborn. Without any iota of exaggeration, ensuring that a credible and experienced lead the State in the next political dispensation demands that primordial sentiment is eschewed in all ramifications. Few decisions can compare to the weight of this decision. The ingress of the verdict on the State is prodigious. Such is the weight that rests upon each voter’s card. Who would ever have thought that a simple plastic card could wield such power? It has crossed my mind that some may shy away from voting because of the enormity of the verdict. Is this the first time we are going to the polls? No. Is there something different about this time? Yes. A resounding, Yes!
What is different at this time? To answer the foregoing question, it is expedient to assert that there is no denying the fact that the coming elections; both primaries across party divides, and the gubernatorial election will put Edolites into the collective mood of sober reflection where they would ruminate over the chequered political history that Edo is characterized with since 1991. They will no doubt look back into their past for rationalizations of their present and more critically, redefine a “golden era” from which they can chart afresh paths into their future. Personally, the foregoing outlook graphically paints the picture that would be witnessed by all God-fearing people of Edo state during the conduct of both elections that are been expected before the end of the year.
The need to have an experienced leader as governor in the next political dispensation cannot be argued as the economic development of any of the 36 federating states in Nigeria is highly dependent on experienced leadership. This is particularly so because the core values of a state are directly linked to equality and equal distribution of resources.
Leadership plays a key role in sustainable economic growth as it involves providing opportunities for growth and progressive developments. Therefore, experienced and good leadership becomes a visible aspect all through.
It is not an exaggeration to say that Obaseki’s led administration in the state was borne out of the need to entrench a “continuity” government as a way of building on the sterling legacy of the former governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and his then deputy, Dr. Pius Odubu. As collectively agreed at the time by key stakeholders in the party, Obaseki was considered to be the best choice then among other candidates by virtue of being the “engine room” of the administration and his leadership background as a technocrat.
However, how far he has performed based on the consideration of being an “engine room” and a technocrat is left for the court of public opinion.
To put it bluntly, not few Edolites are unhappy with the quality of governance in the state, and this is no doubt very understandable as distrust runs high amid fiscal pressures unprecedentedly mounting, so much so that service delivery in most cases does not reach a large demographic segment of the population in the state.
Be that as it may, the barometer of public opinion in the state suggests that the incumbent governor has done his best, or better still reached his tether’s end, particularly when viewed from the fact that he has unarguably been bringing his past experiences as a technocrat and chairman of Edo State Economic and Strategic Team to bear on the ongoing leadership process. Simply put, there are still agitations from a wide spectrum of the population in the state that his overall performance so far still leaves much to be desired.
Given the context of the foregoing views, it is expedient to say since there is a dire need for a leader that has the ability to take the state to the next level in terms of massively building its infrastructure and engender a people-oriented government, the overriding consideration among Edolites ahead of the next political dispensation is to eschew primordial sentiment in all its ramifications and continue to look at the bigger picture by voting for the right candidate with gubernatorial experience.
As one of the most admired states in Nigeria, Edo is expected to be blessed with an experienced leader that can demonstrate enviable leadership in the delivery of public service. This stems from the fact that good public governance is crucial for political stability, economic efficiency, long-term economic growth and raising the quality of life for all citizens in the state and in diaspora.
Against the foregoing backdrop, there is no denying the fact that it would augur well for the development of Edo state in the next political dispensation if a leader that has gubernatorial experience is voted for. As it is now, the only candidate for the next elections; both primaries and general elections, that has gubernatorial experience is Dr. Pius Odubu; having being the Deputy Governor to former Governor Adams Oshiomhole in a two-tenured administration that is today undeniably adjudged by political observers and the man on the street to be a successful administration.
Permit me to throw light on the responsibilities a typical deputy governor is charged with at any given political dispensation. Firstly, the Office of the Deputy Governor is constitutionally recognized to carry out State responsibilities as may be assigned by the Governor of the State. The Deputy Governor, apart from being the head of his or her office equally carries out assignments for the Governor, and can be assigned the responsibility of supervising an office or offices.
He can also be charged with the responsibilities of becoming the chairman of a committee, and has the mandate to deputize for the Governor on all State matters as may be delegated as well as being the vice chairman of the State Executive Council, vice chairman of the State Security Council and can equally be in charge of coordination of local government chieftaincy committees.
In the same vein, he may oversee the ministerial portfolio as may be assigned by the Governor, and charged with any other duty as may equally be assigned by the Governor.
There is no denying the fact that having served in legislatures that Odubu as a governor will know the importance of building personal relationships with lawmakers and meeting regularly with leaders from representatives of various parties in the house.
Let me conclude by saying that nine times out of ten, you won’t get hired to be a receptionist at a small office without related experience. The Governorship position is the highest and most powerful job in Edo. If anyone needs experience to make it in the fields of business, Law, Medicine or construction, why should the highest office be any different?