THE massive victory of Governor Obaseki in the September 28th, 2016 election will be chronicled as an illuminating milestone in the history of gubernatorial contests in Edo State. In reflection of the unprecedented character of the Governor’s victory, it must be recalled that for once in a long time, Edo electorate acted in solid unanimity with a sense of infallible solidarity nurtured by imaginative historical insights. Three years ago, September 28th, 2016, Edo people across the three Senatorial zones down to the wards and voting units resoundingly responded to the credible message of economic leap forward and the building of a more humane Edo State community as boldly articulated by then-candidate Obaseki.
It was not just the mere exercise of their electoral franchise, but the flourish of enthusiasm with which voters trooped out of towns and villages spreading from Esan land to Afenmai hills as well as the metropolis and vicinity of Benin City. Beyond the campaigns of the elites from the political parties, the mass of Edo voters seems to have seized the September 28th event to metamorphose their own constitutional revolution. Perhaps, the electorate contemplated the spring years of the 21st Century as the destined moment to support a candidate who would actualize the elevation of Edo State to a new industrial center and economic powerhouse of Nigeria’s South-South. Obaseki’s nearly 80 thousand vote gap to that of the next contender was an insurmountable challenge; indeed all the consequent efforts then to change the verdict of the people were doomed to failure as the unprecedented electoral wide gap was mathematically irreversible and politically infallible.
But more germane the history of September 2016 was the earnest commitment of victorious Godwin Obaseki to honestly deliver on his gubernatorial campaign promises. Despite all internally generated and externally launched conspiracies and battles that have been weighed against Godwin Obaseki, the Governor has remained laser-focused on delivering on his campaign promises. A substantial majority of objective Edo people are not in any doubt that while Obaseki’s political enemies are fighting, Governor Obaseki is working and the train of Edo’s progress is accelerating.
In fidelity to his electoral promise, Edo’s education sector is being revolutionized. Governor Obaseki was unambiguous in the 2016 campaigns that he wanted to lift the state from the realm of rhetorical progress in education to the reality of placing the state in enviable bracket by all metrics for measuring educational success nationally. From the glamour of ‘’ red roofs’’, Edo State is earnestly engaged in the education arena with serious work of moving about 12-thousand teachers into the realm of 21st century digital delivery of classroom lessons. Parents are appreciative that “Edo Best’’ is not just a slogan but Obaseki’s profound philosophical and strategic practical road map for offering children in public schools qualitative education that would stand them on competitive grounds globally.
As a remarkable economic visionary, the governor links progress in technical education with his goals of infrastructural development, industrialization and enhanced employment opportunity for youths in the state. Consequently, Obaseki has devoted considerable resources to the reconstruction of Benin Technical College while simultaneously preparing for the commencement of technical colleges in Irrua, Igueben, Igarra, and Uhunmwode. The students of these colleges are bound to enrich the viable middle-class skilled workers In Edo State.
The Governor is steadily and progressively reciprocating the resounding confidence reposed in him by the voters on September 28th, 2016. Despite the avowed intention of those who want to derail the train of Edo State’s progress, the march of history as inspired by the people, now seem unstoppable.
The Agricultural sector in Edo State has been awakened from vegetative existence as thousands of farmers now see themselves as prospective beneficiaries of the new agro entrepreneurship programs being established by Governor Obaseki. Agricultural projects are flourishing in Sobe, Usugbenu-Irrua, and Agenegbode. To guarantee that his vision of agricultural revolution succeeds, Governor Obaseki is mapping out roads to link farm settlements and cultivation hubs to ensure easy evacuation of the produce to destinations that would make the farmers’ endeavors viable investments.
The enemies of Edo State are fighting, Obaseki is working! September 2016, has meaning for the Governor. 80, 000 youths have been employed from the database created by the state in partnership with various private sector employees. Obaseki’s strategy of techno-scientific synchronization of microeconomics with broader macro policies is yielding fruits. Edo State is steadily evolving into an economic powerhouse. The Production Center and the Industrial Park that the administration established are catalyzing entrepreneurial and investment impetus in the state.
When Edo voters resoundingly voted for Governor Obaseki, they were unequivocal in their desire to travel farther and further away from the Red Sea of economic stagnation and political shenanigans. This journey has begun and there will be no going back as the people of Edo State determinedly and courageously await a repeat of 2016 in 2020.