( One ‘’ General’’ Charles Airhiavbere recently insulted the members of the Nigeria Union of Teachers for the organizations award to Mr. Godwin Obaseki, as the Best Governor based on his revolutionary initiatives in the State’s education sector and for enhancement of the welfare of teachers. Edo people know better than Airhiavbere The truth must be told).
There was a time in our lives when serving and retired high ranking military personnel were looked upon in the society as ‘’officers and gentlemen’’; to be an officer and a gentleman was as an endearing conception that those who attained a certain level of accomplishment in military hierarchy were supposed to be citizens of dependable character and infallible principles. And there were quite a good number of Benin sons who one can proudly list to unquestionably qualify as officers and gentlemen. But most of them were real soldiers, they were dignified warriors, men (and some women ) who were willing to lay down their lives to patriotically defend the nation.
There’s huge temptation in this article to name and celebrate the Benin sons who were genuine Colonels, Brigadier-Generals and Generals etc. The distinguished officers being referenced here are those who can proudly point to the frontline divisions where they led the infantry , commanded corps of engineers and medics, took charge of intelligence operations and other worthy services in the face of fire. Some of the officers in our gallery of heroes also took part in internationally historic peace keeping operations. From this wide category of duties, where does this ‘’General” fit? In which of this capacity of service would Airhiavbere say he had any considerable period of duty to our nation? For now, could it be inferred that the most of Airhiavbere’s time was spent in the ‘’ Pay and Records ’’ section? And no one should draw any negative conclusion from his position of service that anything untoward happened especially since the ‘’General ‘’ has promised to release his full record of service including the situations that led to his (early) retirement. Of course individuals are legitimately entitled to form their opinions from what they predominantly know about the top officers who served in the Pay and Record department of the military.
By the way, is that the same department that Nigerians used to call the ‘’Pay and Roll ‘’section of the military because maintenance of financial records was allegedly scandalously abused in those years. Was that the kind of ignoble period in which Airhiavbere served the in the Pay and Records division? There should be no rush to judgment . It is proper for now to wait for the fulfillment of the General’s promise to show transparency in a way to clear the cloud of rumors regarding the manner of his removal or withdrawal from military service. If the ‘’General’’ does so, he would have boldly and undoubtedly joined the list of prominent Edo sons who are known to have left military service with unblemished and meritorious records.
Until the popularly requested accountability from the ‘’ General is responded to, it will be difficult to take any of his comments regarding political and democratic governance seriously; Airhiavbere should clear the lingering questions on the probity of the background from which he seeks to enter larger public service . The mass of Edo people are awaiting Airhiavbere’s response in this regard. Further delay by the ‘’General’’ will prove deadly for his already morbid political aspiration.
Unfortunately, Airhiavbere has not given much reason for confidence in his character and political profile since his ( mis) adventure into the electoral arena. Considered unstable and lacking any set of core principles , he has exhibited very little of those tendencies that used to qualify soldiers as officers and gentlemen. If the ‘’General ‘’ had commanded an infantry with the same nature of psychological instability , weak mindedness and crass opportunism with which he has flipped and migrated from one political party to the another, he would have caused a woeful massacre of his army; Airhiavbere is incapable of constructing any overall communally beneficial strategy or agenda except what he would personally benefits from in a way that is abhorrently deficit of any moral compass.
Airhiavbere, who’s currently on suspension from Edo State APC for anti-party activities during the 2019 Presidential Election has been genuflecting all over the place in Abuja seeking a reversal of the overwhelming decision of Edo APC grassroots leadership in Benin. Airhiavbere, the congenital vagrant , a former PDP 2011 governorship candidate was preparing to migrate to PDP if Atiku won the presidential election, so he diabolically sought to sabotage Governor Obaseki’s efforts for President Buhari’s victory in 2019 election by surreptitiously giving financial assistance for the defeat of APC. The “General’’ attempted the same sabotage against national assembly candidates in the state.
Oftentimes, the military credentials (if any) of Airhiavbere jumps out for questioning because of his constant political misconduct. For instance, a thoroughly trained General would have exercised a sense of compunction knowing that such acts of sabotage that he engaged in would have led to immediate court martialling consequent on high treason against the state and the Armed Forces. One can attempt to gamble with material resources in the shady casino halls of one’s private hotel in Abuja, but it is odiously unconscionable to toy with the collective destiny and the cherished aspirations of the people of Edo State.
For a man who hardly engages in altruistic efforts or cares for public good, he will impossibly see the merit in others. How can the ‘’General’’ therefore appreciate the nationally and globally celebrated 2019 honor bestowed on Governor Obaseki as the best performing Governor by the apex of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) for the Governor’s revolutionary educational initiatives. The award,BEST GOVERNOR, has been adjudged fitting by highly credible and reputable educational associations whose members have diligently assessed the quintessential values and initiatives that the Governor has engendered for Edo State children. Of equal attention to the revered union of teachers was the qualitative enhancement of the welfare of the educators by the Governor.
All such policies for public good cannot resonate with an outrageous self-seeking and serial political party crossing Airhiavbere . So it was least surprising to see ‘’General’’ descend into vituperative abyss simultaneously attacking the teachers’ union and the Governor for the historically distinguished award. Very clearly ,Airhiavbere is grossly deficit of the needed mindset to grasp the new civics of service for a people focused agenda that Governor Obaseki has established as the new political culture of Edo State.
Pity the ‘’General’’ for his failure to realize that the proud and nobly independent minded people of Edo State will not surrender to the dictates of the arrogant squad of politicians in Abuja; it is time for Airhiavbere to terminate the bagatelle of the runaway lawmakers (or lawbreakers) from Edo State who are hibernating in the General’s hotel in Abuja. It is time for the General to gain sobriety and abandon his hallucinatory conception that he would be accepted as a serious gubernatorial aspirant in Edo State. The light deemed on the ‘’General’’ hopes of becoming a governor in 2011, the light then for Airhiavbere depreciated into a miserable dull and unstable flicker for his inordinate 2015 gubernatorial ambition, this time 2019, the General’s political horizon will indeed be lugubriously dark. Airhiavbere will need Providential miracles beyond Oshiomhole’s promises to qualify the ‘’General’’ for even mere redemption and forgiveness for his crimes against Edo APC.
BY OTEGHE ADAMS