Edo State: The Day After Victory, By Oluwadele Bolutife
But beyond the euphoria of winning, what happens afterward should be more of paramount concern. There seems to be a pattern of bad performances during the so much flaunted “second term” of Nigeria’s elected officials, that one is skeptical if this victory of Godwin will amount to better performance and ultimately improved living conditions for the people of Edo State.
The boisterous narratives that have enveloped social media since the ‘history’ making outcome of the elections in Edo State are very resounding. For simple clarity, two pieces of history were made. Godwin Obaseki won back-to-back through the the All Progressives Congress (APC) and then the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), while Ize-Iyamu also lost back-to-back with PDP and later APC. A kind of inverse relationship.
Was Godwin really destined to win and Iyamu destined to lose? That may be without disputation from the pointer of history. Does it also mean that a winner triumphs, irrespective of his affiliations and circumstances? The answer to this may require further interrogation.
But beyond the euphoria of winning, what happens afterward should be more of paramount concern. There seems to be a pattern of bad performances during the so much flaunted “second term” of Nigeria’s elected officials, that one is skeptical if this victory of Godwin will amount to better performance and ultimately improved living conditions for the people of Edo State. If nothing else, this victory should imply that Obaseki ought to triple his performance over and above the first term. As much as that is expected, however, in a political terrain where there is already an alibi for non-performance, what should we expect? Will COVID-19 and the dip in public finance not become an excuse for non-performance? Was there anything concrete during the campaign by which we can even gauge performance? Or better still, are we fully satisfied that a group of godfathers has been silenced and replaced by better ones?
As the people rejoice about this silent ‘revolution,’ they should not be carried away in the momentous gyrations with one of the leprous hands of the sickly political oligarchy. For many of us, this is just a transition from the living room to the “oza room,” and therefore nothing fundamental would happen.
Will Godwin prove us wrong this time? Will he also win in governance and feasible dividends of democracy? Will his “Agaracha” not return to base after a while?
There is more beyond the victory.
Nigeria has not been weaned from the siege of the behemoths, as APC and PDP are, and is therefore far away from the taunted political Eldorado.
But Obaseki can change, even if a little, the trajectory of history. I doubt this, though. What will happen to all those who ‘contributed’ to his victory? Will they be compensated. Or what is a voluntary service to just prove a point that a new power broker is in town? Will his hands not be tied to the apron of his ‘benefactors.’
Since we are asked to celebrate all little wins, we celebrate with Obaseki for his win. Na Godwin, indeed!
But how long will this celebration last?
For our beloved nation, eternal vigilance is demanded of you more than ever before.
What will the days, months, and years after yesterday’s victory be like?
Oluwadele Bolutife, a chartered accountant and a public policy and administration scholar, writes from Canada. He can be reached through: firstname.lastname@example.org