Our experience as a nation three to four years ago showed that Nigeria was at a cross roads as the ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration was leading the nation to the rocks. Many Nigerians were concerned about the future our dear country. That was why some political parties in the country decided to form an amalgam to wrest power from the clueless leadership at that time.
Afraid of the merger plans, the PDP put its machinery in motion to thwart the efforts of the political parties. Obviously afraid of the robust blend the opposition parties had assumed when the All Progressives Congress (APC) was launched it was clear that life was leaving the PDP From the merger of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) , All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), the hawks went into their drawing board to plot what sort of spanner could be thrown into the works to prevent an obvious defeat at the 2015 poll.
Prior to the consummation of the merger, observers as well as some active players on the Nigerian political turf, mouthed that it would, like the previous efforts, end in a stalemate. This, they explained was because it’s the coming together of strange bedfellows whose principles and political ambitions would not agree. But it later turned out that the personalities in the merger talk were unswerving to proving the doubting Thomas’s wrong. The rest today is history.
I chose to go down memory lane because of what played out last week when members of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, in Edo State, openly accused Governor Godwin Obaseki of marginalizing them in terms of appointments and recognition.
Spokesman for the group, Mr Momoh Dauda, former State Youth Leader of the defunct CPC in the State, in company of the Arewa leader of the party, Alhaji Aliko Haruna, went reminding Governor Obaseki to remember that three political parties merged to become the APC They claimed that what they were seeing now in Edo State is that “the defunct CPC has been sidelined in terms of appointments and recognition by APC leaders in the state.”
The action of the erstwhile CPC members is untoward and very wrong. Since the election of Governor Godwin Obaseki, he has not given appointment to more that six people, so where is our ex-CPC members getting their information from? Why are they jumping the gun when the governor has not appointed Commissioners, Special Advisers, Special Assistants or even Board members. These guys are most unfair to Governor Obaseki and it does seem as if they have a hidden agenda. It does seem that these guys are pawns in the hands of the opposition PDP.
To begin to cry marginalisation when Governor Obaseki is barely five months old in office is a display of voodooist tendencies. How can they even talk of marginalisation within the APC when the current Minister of State for Health, Dr. Ehanire is a chip of the CPC? The Publicity Secretary of the APC, Comrade Godwin Erahon is also of the CPC stock and many others. So, where are these guys coming from with their wild allegations? What exactly is their motive?
Governor Obaseki that we all know is a man that believes in meritocracy. He is the last person to fan the embers of marginalisation left alone be a promoter. So far, he , has not, and will not marginalise anybody in the process of making appointments. He democratized it, yet people are complaining.
Even when he planned making some of these appointments, he has since reached out to the party, the APC. From ward level to State level, everybody is involved. He has the prerogative of making the appointments himself, but he ceded that to the party machinery. Several years after the merger, one expects that everyone would re-align forces and close ranks. But some persons are still wallowing in self-centeredness and divisiveness, fanning the embers of disunity. As a loyal party member, I do not expect anyone to still be talking of CPC, ANPP or ACN. That is the more reason why the governor went for a process that is all-embracing, because it will take care of all interests and opinions.
These elements must also know that Gov. Godwin Obaseki’s administration is for all Edo people irrespective of party affiliations and ethnic backgrounds. When he was campaigning. yes, it was on the platform of the APC, not CPC or any other party for that matter. After the election, he becomes the governor of all Edo people. He has been operating an all inclusive government and has been reaching out to all those who can add value to what he is set to do. He really would not need any distractions or attempt at internal party wrangling.
The Obaseki administation has a robust development agenda for the entire state and this is not the time for people to be looking for narrow interests..
Perhaps, it will be good Ito remind some founding members of the APC of the key reasons why we came together to wrest power from the PDP and these should remain fresh in our memories going forward, First, it is noteworthy that Nigerians had never taken interest in the coming together of opposition parties in their bid to square up with the government at the centre, which they claimed, has reduced their citizenship to vagabond status. Nigerians were apprehensive that basic needs of life such as health, education, water, electricity, food and other things were out of the reach of common man’s. While PDP government officials went about buying private jets for themselves, send their children and wards to expensive schools overseas, seek foreign medical attention, supply their own water at homes, provide their electricity and eating balanced meals, the poor were studying in schools under trees , they had no roads to their communities, no health facilities or use ill- equipped and poorly staffed medical centers.
Secondly was the fact that the country was immersed in official corruption and insecurity of unimaginable magnitude which was tearing down the nation to its foundation. Corruption was rife as looting of the public coffers went on brazenly. The PDP was busy giving presidential pardon to high profile corrupt persons and ex-Convicts. The southern part of Nigeria and some volatile parts of the north was a haven for kidnapping, where even royals, celebrities, academics, sports heroes and heroines and even the poor public were afraid of their lives and the lives of their loved ones as they went about their lawful businesses in fear. In the north, the insurgency of Boko Haram and menace of unknown gunmen make an average citizen feel very insecure. But all that is gradually becoming history as the APC is putting the nation back on the track of growth and development across the country.
The Godwin Obaseki’s administration in Edo State does not need any distractions from nebulous bodies and never-do-well fellows. He requires the prayers and support of all and sundry to succeed in taking the state to the next level of development.