Edo Voters Obvious Choices At Saturday’s Poll | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Opinion Poll

Edo Voters Obvious Choices At Saturday’s Poll

EDO ELECTION, Edo Guber Poll, labour party, police
Posted: Sep 8, 2016 at 7:01 am   /   by   /   comments (0)


Edo electorate will in 48 hours go to the poll to decide who takes over from the incumbent two-term Governor, Adams Aliu Oshiomhole, who has been in the saddle since 2008.

As an Edo indigene, although I have never voted in the state, my stakes are, nonetheless, high. After all, it is said that the wellbeing of the tree is the wellbeing of the bird that perches thereupon; so if the state prospers, my kith and kin will do likewise and there would be less pressure on my economy.

I have stressed the fact that not voting is not an option. As we know, those who sit on the fence are our real enemies, who tomorrow would criticise a process they found not worthy of their precious time.

The major contenders are Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), a major player in the nation’s capital market and economy for over 30 years, and chairman of the state economic team since 2009 and Pastor Osagie Andrew Ize-Iyamu, a renowned grassroots politician, former Chief of Staff and later Secretary to the State Government under the Lucky Igbinedion administration (1999-2007).

Voters must on Saturday choose who would manage the political economy of the state, and in whose hands they entrust their prosperity, happiness, wellbeing, and that of their children. The youths must carefully participate in determining how the next four years and indeed their future would be.

I must confess that having followed the campaign trails of both leading candidates as they went across the state campaigning for votes in the past few weeks and on social media, I am impressed by their attention to issues, even as we cannot but expect a few jibes, which indeed are spices in the entire discourse.

The discussions have ranged from the acknowledgement of Edo as an agrarian state, despite being an oil-bearing state and the need for infrastructure to revive ailing industries that would provide jobs and help boost government revenue. There is also a consensus on the need to make Edo truly Nigeria’s “Heartbeat.”

Obaseki has promised youth empowerment, job opportunities, improved transportation, better roads, improved security, better schools, better medical facilities and improved living conditions; while Ize-Iyamu has formulated the “SIMPLE” Agenda, an acronym for Security-Infrastructural Development-Manpower Development-Public/Private sector/Projects-Leadership by example, which would make Edo productive again.


He promises first class facilities, bursary and scholarship to students of tertiary institutions and free medicals for children under-five years, besides making Edo attractive for sustainable businesses.


Interfacing with the private sector, he said, is key to reviving moribund state-owned firms such as Bendel Brewery, Edo Line, Ewu Flour Mill, Edo Pharmaceutical, Okpella Cement Factory, Ethiope Publishing, and the Edo Urban Water Board to give the people water.

If elected, his government “must create new areas of revenue (by developing) new urban towns with enabling environment for wealth,” just as diversifying into agriculture, solid minerals, urban renewal and sports, (because) “Edo State is too rich to be poor and what we need is the right leadership. If and when I win, I promise to offer leadership.”


For Obaseki, it is time to refocus Edo towards 21st Century governance, investing in training and capacity building of the civil service, besides youth development, by investing in sports, arts and craft, linking talents with resources for global competitiveness and access to markets that unlock inherent potentials.


He has specifically promised leadership positions for women and taking women empowerment initiatives beyond the periphery and providing the enabling environment for women to achieve their highest potential, “because when we strengthen women, we are empowering our domestic economy.”

Obaseki believes large and small-scale businesses; women and youth empowerment must go with availing regular and stable power to areas not previously linked with the electricity grid for domestic and industrial use.


The APC candidate plans to support over 20,000 micro, small and medium businesses to grow and create over 50,000 jobs in four years, becoming large companies on the long run, bringing his private sector experience to bear by deliberate government policy, while designing and marketing Edo as an investment hub.

He plans to link the state’s security approach to industrialisation, youth training, skills acquisition and civil construction to a robust public works programme, expected to offer another 20,000 direct jobs in three years, without forgetting agribusiness.

Indeed, as someone noted recently, Saturday’s election is not about Oshiomhole and Chief Tony Anenih; Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu; or any other combination at that. It is a straight fight between the Edo people of Mid-Western Nigeria and their future.

Saturday’s poll must be about issues and ideas so far espoused and never degenerate into war. Only the ballot and not bullets are allowed in this election. All parties to this election and their agents must respect the law of the game and allow the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be the only umpire.

SELF HELP IS NOT AN OPTION, just as the courts are still upon for anyone who feels dissatisfied with the outcome.


There must be no ballot box snatching and naked use of force or even state power; my people must ensure that the children and relations of those planning to use them for mayhem are at the forefront as a pre-condition.

Every vote must count.


Both Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu must not trade their names stewed in rich Bini nobility for political positions that are ephemeral.

We must hold whoever emerges from this election by these promises and ensure that no one ever takes us for granted after being sworn in, but first our vote must count.