After several wild guesses and permutations by some segments of the political class in Edo State, about the reelection bid of Governor Godwin Obaseki, multiple checks by thenewspanorama have confirmed that the sitting Governor is in the race.
Obaseki’s first four years have been described by development experts and institutions such as the United Nations and its agencies, as a period in the state’s history, when the only thing that mattered was the unrelenting reset of every sector of the state for sustainable prosperity as encapsulated in the developmental pillars of the administration, unveiled at its inception.
A careful look at the areas of focus of the Obaseki-led government reveals a commitment to the development of critical support infrastructure such as roads, electricity, human capital, institutional overhaul and reforms, a business-friendly climate that will attract local and international investments amongst other areas.
Obaseki’s key priority areas dovetail with what serious governments must do, and consistently, to engender sustainable socioeconomic growth and development according to development theorists such as Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson in their celebrated book, “Why Nations Fail The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty” and Amartya Sen in his work, “Development As Freedom.”
Chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state and millions of Edo people whose socioeconomic status have been enhanced by the people-centred governance model of the Obaseki-led government, are of the firm belief that Obaseki’s reelection is a done deal!
The reason for this widespread conviction is not far-fetched.
Across the various wards in the state, Governor Obaseki has at least a project or two or more, at various levels of completion.
From the farthest village or town in Akoko Edo to the closest peri-urban settlements in St Saviour area, there is either a road project, a primary health centre, a revamped primary or secondary school, and in some cases, all three and more.
The transformation of political wards formerly used solely for the mobilization of people for election purposes, into organs for human and infrastructural development through the various Ward Development Committees (that select projects and propose same to the state government) is yet another innovation worthy of adoption by other states in the country.
The 200,000 jobs promised by the administration have seen the Governor deploying innovative solutions to job creation and enterprise development.
Our search found a mix of approaches in this regard, namely: the creation of thousands of direct government employments into the state’s civil service; a novel partnership with the private sector in the state to absorb thousands of unemployed Edo youths; Enterprise and skills development schemes such as solar power installation and maintenance, paint making, tiling, cosmetology, crop and animal farming, graphics design and several ICT-related skills that are in high demand in the country and beyond.
Obaseki took the bull by the horns when the world woke up to a crisis of no little scale when migrants on their way to Europe through the Sahara Desert, fell prey in their thousands to organ harvesters and traffickers in North Africa.
Through a series of well cultivated partnerships with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the European Parliament, the Italian Government, the federal government of Nigeria, the traditional institution and other stakeholders, Governor Obaseki exposed the high risks associated with illegal migration and embarked on aggressive campaigns across the 18 local government areas of the state to discourage the dangerous trend.