Edo 2020: Why progressive-minded Edolites should support Odubu/ Dr. Pius Odubu

There is no denying the fact that the conduct of a free and fair election has remained one of the most significant institutional platforms for democracy to thrive as it paves the way for the elections of credible and good leaders into critical public offices.  It suffices to reason from the foregoing context that elections and other political processes are pivotal for determining the quality of governance that is capable of taking any constituency to the next level. It can also be used as the yardstick of determining the extent to which a constituency can developmentally progress or retrogress. When election is badly conducted, it has the capability of impeding on the priorities of a constituency’s developmental policies and programmes.

Analyzed from the above-mentioned perspective, it is germane to say that like General election that Primary elections; which is an internal party processes that gives key party stakeholders or rather delegates the opportunity to choose a political party’s candidate(s) ahead of a general election by holding an internal balloting also has the capability of raising bad or good leaders; depending on how fair or credible it is conducted. Exactly how this is done depends on the legal framework, internal party rules, and informal practices. Primary election is an example of a selection process with a high level of participation; meaning that ordinary members control the process.

Against the foregoing backdrop, how fair or unfair the conduct of any given election comes out to be has a profound effect on the future political life, and the economy of the constituency concerned, particularly as a badly conducted election is capable of throwing up ham-fisted candidates as elected leaders who in the mandate they are constitutionally charged with usually bungle the developmental needs of both the concerned constituency and the constituents.

A school of thought that is highly subscribed to by a huge demographic divide of political observers and pundits has it that since the transition to civilian rule that Nigeria which invariably include Edo State has not delivered democratically accountable government for the citizenry. Worthy of mention from the foregoing perspective is that free and fair election in Edo State, in any form, has been scantily recorded in the book of political history, and that polls were at every political dispensation characterized by widespread violence, intimidation, bribery, vote rigging and corruption.

Without any scintilla of hyperbole, evidences that show that political leaders who came to office through that process abound as the people have generally not seen the expectations that spurred them to support leaders in past elections. Not only that, they have for so long been denied socio-economic advancement and better governance. Instead, a huge spectrum of the population, particularly in rural areas, has remained mired in abject poverty and lack. 

Unarguably influenced by the seeming stunted development in the State which has being mired by poverty, lack and under-development orchestrated by inept leadership, Odubu, like the biblical figure, Nehemiah, is no doubt in the ongoing gubernatorial race to Osadebey Avenue to unaffectedly bring the experiences he garnered in the past as a legislator and deputy governor to bear in rebuilding and reestablishing Edo State.

As a journalist that has in the recent times subjected Obudu’s promises that have direct bearing to his ambition to analysis, I must confess that he has the leadership qualities and virtues that  are required  to change the narratives of governance in the State, and by that  meet the collective expectation of the people.   

Analyzed from the foregoing perspective, it suffices to say that it will not be out of place for Edolites with progressive mindsets to rally round Odubu and massively support him as he is no doubt able, skillful and knowledgeable to proudly fly the APC’s flag at Osadebey’s Avenue. How can he be massively supported? You may have asked. First and foremost, it is expedient all progressive-minded people give him their votes at every point of the electoral value chain. Interpretatively put, Odubu should, for the sake of the development of Edo State, be chosen as a consensus candidate, massively voted for at the primary elections and at the general elections on the strength of his robust credentials and experiences.  For the sake of clarity, Progressive-minded Edolites in this context are those that are interested in change and progress of the State and her people. They are those that like to think up new ways of doing things and they are open to change. Without being pyrogenic, Odubu has the progressive mindset of thinking of new ways of doing things, and all those that dearly hold Edo in their hearts and think like him toward the State should in strongly rally round him along the electoral value chain; from the stage of being chosen as consensus candidate through the primary elections, and to the general elections.

At this juncture, it is germane to opine that electorates in the State at different political dispensations are too familiar with voting for the wrong candidates as they usually believe hook, line and sinker every promotional falsehood they are told about any wrong candidate during campaign. Contrariwise, everything that is being expressed in this context regarding Odubu is nothing but the truth.

In as much as Odubu cannot be said to be everyone’s candidate in the State and in that light cannot be spared from campaign of calumny by his traducers, it would not be hyperbolical to say that  his integrity records has remained enviable and clean. Of most important is that he is not being chased around the length and breadth of the State by graft agencies or running from pillar to post to evade arrest. As you read this piece, the originalities of his academic and professional certificates are not being doubted.  He is calm, considerate and not a power drunk.   

It is not an exaggeration to say that the perception and interpretation of the game of politics by most politicians and their followers are often distorted so much that some see it as a war or payback time. No! In the coming elections in the State; whether at intra party level or inter party level, election should be seen as a pedestal to stand on in the bid to further take the State to the next level. To my view, the foregoing may be what Archimedes meant when he said, “Give me a place to stand and I will move the earth.” Edolites, we should begin to see elections as a place to stand in the bid to lift the State to the next level, and in the same vein give competent political leaders, such as Odubu, the place to stand to enable them bring their experiences to bear in developing the State.