Not a few political observers watched with keen interest the constructive engagement of Edo state governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole with INEC for as long as the protracted campaign for Saturday’s governorship polls lasted!
After much invested trust confidence and scores of generous praises for Jega-led INEC, comrade governor had come to the realization that the service delivery of the electoral bureaucracy cannot be taken for granted without additional vigilance and mass pressure. This perhaps explains why he cried fouls when INEC’s slow delivery of election materials at many polling stations nearly marred what eventually turned out to be a freer and fairest state poll last Saturday in the new democratic dispensation.
Hear him: “if accreditation is to stop by 12pm, it is after 11 am now, there are no materials in some polling booths, it then means Prof. Atahiru Jega and INEC have no plans to conduct election. The entire idea is to frustrate the people so that they will not be able to vote, and they will declare a fake result. …Prof Jega and INEC have been an embarrassment to the nation. I am in shock with all the arrangements they have made sensitizing the people, INEC is the weakest link in the Nigeria democratic chain.”
The Incumbent Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has since been declared winner of the State governorship election by the very INEC after the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin, Osayuki Oshodin, the returning officer, disclosed that Oshiomhole polled a total of 477,478 votes, or 73.72 per cent of 647,698 total votes cast, winning in all the 18 Local Government Areas of the state.
As a partisan of this historic process, I bear witness that Edo weekend political mass Tsunami that swept Chief Anenih and his fellow Abuja palace courtiers invokes some great political nostalgia of democratic Nigeria of immediate post colonial era and indeed second Republic before the rude intervention of the military.
What then must have happened to our political development in which we are back to where we used to be 30 years ago when votes truly took place and were truly counted? Many thanks to masses of EDO and the first Comrade Governor who through sheer perseverance, vigilance staying power and the insistence to defend votes had rekindled lost hope. We have come a long way to arrive at where political authority is genuinely earned compared to where political leadership was imposed by violence and ballot snatching!
What we witnessed in EDO last week was a radical definition of leadership from what used to be and the earlier we move from despair and unhelpful cynicism to hope the better to appreciate the new change. What makes leaders to deliver or not is not due to their brilliance or charisma (and Comrade Governor is not short of the two assets) but the extent to which leaders personify the needs and aspirations of the masses (Comrade Governor has always been a truly tested worthy representative)!
I bear witness that Comrade Governor has indeed delivered development in the last four years in the areas of education, road and urban renewal and above all accountability which in turn made people to reinvest another trust in him! I bear witness that comrade Governor indeed delivered on promises on mass education, mass jobs, wage improvement and environment. He truly personifies the people’s mandate as distinct from that of the political mafia that hitherto ruined a worthy state that is Edo. As votes truly counted in Edo state, we can say Nigeria can really become a democracy destination that it was planned to be.