By Moji Danisa
It is time for us as a state to have very deep and unbiased reflections. It is time to tell ourselves the truth.
From the glorious days of Ogbemudia to the salient days of Prof Ambrose Ali, down to the more inglorious reigns of the military regimes and the more treacherous tides of Godwin Obaseki, Edo’s luck with leaders has been very slim, tattered and chequered. In my Edo accent, I would say, “We don suffer well well”. No other state, with same comparative leverage as Edo, has it so bad.
An oil producing state with a capital, standing like a picture straight out of the pages of a 1960s magazine but now scratched, defaced by years of neglect, blotched with underdevelopment, crime, decayed educational institutions, massive erosion, touts and crime, without one solid, government working industry. The last eight years have been so terrifying that the most thriving school system operating in Benin City is Yahoo Educational institutions. As informal as it is and as strange as it sounds, yahoo yahoo schools exist in Benin City and boys as young as ten escape their locales or are bundled by older criminals en-route Benin City to get ‘certificates’ in the yahoo business. Isn’t that so heartbreaking!
With erosion tearing through the state with deep, wide, man eating craters everywhere and floods deepening bumps into dangerous pits, it’s a wonder that the land of the great Obas, our beautiful Edo of brave warriors and famed giants, a land which produced the best art and architecture at the same time of the European renaissance, when art was blending into science, the fearsome heroes who resisted the British and held down the city for days, still stands today. Are we no longer forebears of the fearless, the most visionary, the ones who first entered Europe even before Europe came to Nigeria? How are the mathematical proportions of our precious bronze and other art different from Leonardo da Vinci’s creations? Far back in time, we used the basic measuring rules to achieve what astounded the white man so much so that he pilfered them all when he came with superior fire power.
Those artists who created that marvel are still our forebears. This is why we must sit back today and think as election time draws near again.
Many have asked me why I support Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu so passionately.
I will answer that question as I have done in the past twelve years, I support Pastor Ize-Iyamu because in him I see the only man standing today who has the vision, the cerebral capacity, the passion for his people, the burning desire to prove himself, a man who has been ready all these twelve years, having studied the problem from it’s roots and not only understanding it but have an all clear plan of how to solve it.
This is a man who has been prepared for years, born and bred in Benin, Pastor Ize-Iyamu was never lured by the whispered wealth which lay in other lands as so many youths were back in the day. He had the best education, scion of one of the most illustrious families in Benin, met his dear wife, Prof. Idia on a trip to Lagos but married and brought the beautiful doctor to his land, Edo.
A man who passionately loves his land and his people can only have progress of that land in mind.
When I first read his Simple Agenda, I was excited as I saw a man who was in full grasp of the issue bedeviling the state. There is no dilly dallying in the Simple Agenda, it went to the heart of the problem as I am sure studied by him over the years, as a common man in Edo, as a public servant, as a business man and as a parent.
The Simple Agenda summerised addresses Security and Social Welfare, it x-ray’s man power development and training as well as harping on leadership by example. Here’s an except from the conclusion of the Simple Agenda (you may visit Google Search for details):
“We are optimistic that in spite of the dark clouds fueled by political deceit and corruption, the future of our state is bright. What is needed to promote greater development and prosperity for the state is to enthrone sincere, focused, purposeful and visionary leadership. The Simple Agenda addresses the issues of our state in a simple and straightforward manner so that our people can keep abreast of the development processes of government in a logical and systematic fashion, so that our performances can be measured and the results seen. We solemnly pledge that we will not betray the expectations of our people but will work diligently with the fear of God and be guided by this agenda and ensure its full implementation”
Yes, years have rolled by and there are more problems to encounter, especially at this time when needed policies may seem harsh but necessary.
I am so convinced about Pastor Ize-Iyamu being the only man standing today, able to turn around the fortunes of our state that I am urging him to run for governor.
I do not see Ize-Iyamu as a man who would give up on Edo after being disappointed by two outings, one which I still believe he won but was snatched from him and the other where he was clearly the preferred but where fate played a cruel trick. However the tides, wherever he is pushed, a man who stands against the vicissitudes of life and rises again just for his people is the people’s hero.
I have heard about zoning and the likes, and as everyone knows, I am a pragmatist. You cannot send the weakest man to a vineyard being attacked by polar bears, only because it’s the turn of his family to pluck the grapes. It will end in disaster, wailing, gnashing of teeth and another eight years of “had I known”. We don’t want that.
This is the time to call on and rally behind the man best prepared for the job.
Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, this is a heartfelt plea from the bottom of my heart, DECLARE NOW! – By Moji Danisa