Search for PDP Vice Presidential Candidate: Governor Obaseki's achievements intimidates political watchers

Search for PDP Vice Presidential Candidate: Governor Obaseki's achievements intimidates political watchers

When he first sought for political office in 2016, Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, was underestimated by many, but he never failed to dazzle detractors, confound pundits and surprise bookmakers.

The false and misleading characterization of the governor by Arise TV and ThisDay Newspapers in the ensuing search of a Vice Presidential candidate by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) re-enacts the attacks the governor had to contend with in the run up to his re-election in 2020.

Governor Obaseki keeps upending schemes and permutations against him and has, in the process, courted enemies that keep on spurning vexatious narratives in undermining his impressive record as a governor.

By evolving a new brand of politics that cuts off waste in public expenditure and prioritizes human capital development and infrastructural renewal has pitched him against the old order – a system that promotes prebendal politics, lionize non-state actors and encourages official sleaze to the detriment of the majority.

The most vociferous attackers of Obaseki accuse him of being a betrayal, but they are mistaken. The governor’s loyalty rests with the people. In all that has transpired since his foray into politics, he has never thrown the people under the bus. His people-centric politics have rather pitched him against the select few who would rather line their pockets with the people’s patrimony. The governor’s primary interest is Edo people, who he has never disappointed till date. Rather his policies and initiatives have continued to push the boundaries in providing a better life for the people.

The traits highlighted by Arise and Thisday newspaper rather reflects the media's skewed framing of Nigeria’s politics to play up godfathers as demigods who must not be crossed, even if their interest is misaligned with the general good of the people. But the reality has always shred this theory to bits.  

While there is plethora of achievements under his belt, the most recent and befuddling is the governor’s recent increase of the minimum wage in the state from N30,000 to N40,000, a fact that casts the governor in stark contrast with his counterparts, who are unable to pay the national minimum wage peg of N30,000.

The governor’s pioneering public education reform, EdoBEST, remains a model copied by different states across Nigeria. Through the scheme, the state has trained 14,000 teachers with 300,000 pupils benefiting across primary and junior secondary schools in Nigeria. 

The evolution of an off-grid energy market in Edo State pioneered by the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) by the governor and the birth of Ossiomo Power Company is also a marvel. A 95MW plant with an off-grid distribution network serves parts of Benin metropolis, attracting industries, real estate investment and serving the residents in the area.

Just these three feats take the wind out of the sail of his contemporaries. The governor who needs an even bigger platform to replicate his novel ideas so that more people are empowered to live life to the fullest.

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