OPINION | EDO 2020: The Arduous Choice before Igbanke, a Thoroughly Marginalised Community  

*Igbanke, a community in Orhionmwon LGA, Edo State.





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By Emualosi J. Ogboin
 
“Which of the two options is harder, and do the other. That way, no matter how hard your choice turns out to be, at least you can find comfort in knowing you’re avoiding something even worse” – Josephine Angelino.
 
It’s another good time for the people of Igbanke to decide who to vote for in the forthcoming election in Edo State. As unique, blessed and important as  we are as a people in Edo Edo state, we must understand that we have been treated unfairly by various governments, so every choice we make during this election has a long way to affecting us all in a very short time to come after this election. We have seen such before now.
There might not be a truthful choice,  no good choices, it might be between the devil and the deep blue sea  but a choice has to be made between the candidates. Obviously somebody will be chosen between the two major contenders of the governorship position.
It’s either Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu or Godwin Obaseki but we are the only people that can  live with every decision we make.
Lets take an evaluative look at the major censorious choice before my people.
The present candidate of APC – Pastor lze-Iyamu – was formerly in PDP. The elements in PDP failed Igbanke and Edo State for years but he has now decamped to APC. “Egi alator ikeke” -the snail can not move without it’s exoskeleton, but change (they say) is constant.
Governor Obaseki, who has decamped to PDP now, was brought by Comrade Adams Oshiomole, (the only person that did well for Igbanke and Edo state at large),  but Obaseki didn’t perform for Igbanke as expected and promised. A sign of promise default. It often happens most times in politics.
Yes Obaseki may have been judged by many to have underperformed but some agree to the fact that the governor tried in doing some projects like  renovating Ogbamudia Stadium to a very great state, construction of some roads in Edo central even though his performance in Igbanke and some minority localities wasn’t up to the expectation of many using  Adam Oshiomole’s performance in the previous administration as a yardstick.
A friend and  brother of mine once said Oshiomole didn’t perform in Igbanke  because of  his affection for the people but because of our Illustrious son – Justice Olubor – but the truth is that not all good deeds come from love. Some could be as sacrifice, some for payback, some for the sake of it and some could be for personal praises but whatever motive that led to his remembering Igbanke and some minority communities during his time as a governor of Edo state was second-to-none since 1999. He may have left Edo state but his performance had become a standard of measuring political performance for many.
In going into this election, voters from Igbanke must not forget themselves. They need to  face the two candidates and use Oshiomole’s performance in Igbanke and Edo state as a yardstick for judging them. We should also ask for more because Oshiomole is not God. Only God is perfect in giving.
Our people must not only demand what is constitutionally theirs, they must be ready to be the Oliver twist. They must ask for mor this time.
A visit to Igbanke shows very little presence of government. We are close to Delta State and a close look at what Okowa is doing in his state in terms of road construction and revamping of schools  make many wonder if Igbanke is in Nigeria at all.
The good thing now is that many have also believed that Obaseki decamping to PDP will help Igbanke considering the fact that all states around us are in PDP and that could “jinger” him to perform to expectation. We hope it does.
Again some school of thoughts agree that Pastor Ize-Iyamu will act like Oshiomhole considering his recent decamping to APC that has showed Igbanke some element of good dividend of democracy. None can say they aren’t truthful in their opinion but the undisputable fact is that there is little Oshiomhole’s influence on these candidates can do for Igbanke. They once used this as a support base for candidates but alas they were disappointed. These series of disappointment by politicians should be a lesson every voter in Igbanke should learn from. Our painful experience should control the choice we make.
At present, “ènyi gii igi, ènyi gii nmah” we have the knife, we have the boiled yam and we are to decide who to  support.
It looks a very hard decision for our people –  Igbanke to support these candidates of the major political parties but we must summon good courage and vote emmass for our preferred candidates. That candidate that can help our land  even though its more like a gamble for us all to trust them.
Those at home should be ready, voters living outside Igbanke must all come back home to give our individual candidates a good vote without rancour and fight. We must hold our preferred candidates to his promises even if they deny, we must  this time, if possibly  make them to sign an obligation to honour their manifesto and promises to our people. Any one who fails to sign his manifesto and promises to us has declared his unfaithfulness ab initio.
Like our people will say “èyim elu, ali kèwèghaekue” (one’s declaration of inability to climb should be when he is yet down).
For the obvious fact that most politicians are like snakes and scopions, and venomous in nature, our people should disallow the previous attitude of following the bandwagon. No propagandist, no wailers, no chief, no “Ogele”,  no eze” no enogie, nor unions should dictate for you. Vote your conscience.
 Most of them propogandist, wailers and campaign agents doing campaigning for for the major political parties are there for personal “bellefull” and selfish recorgnition not majorly for Igbanke. We have seen this before and our people must be vigilant to only unite for a common objective-developing igbanke. This is the bitter, hard and patent truth, but someone has to say it.
Voters in Igbanke must be focused with an unwavering commitment to uplifting our land as their only cynosure. They should   not agree to be  cajoled by these enemies of our motherland who only remember that Igbanke exists during election period.
In as much as It’s difficult a decision to support these major candidates, not voting won’t help us in either way because election and gain of democracy as we have seen being  practised in Nigeria is mostly based on the number of votes from a region.
So we must all come home and vote, learning from what we have seen on ground  and judging each candidates and their agents with what we have seen during Oshiomhole’s first tenure.
As you make your choices to vote, remember the dilapidated secondary schools in Igbanke (Igbanke Grammar School, Omuolua Secondary School and Igbanke Mixed Secondary School).
Please don’t forget the  kilometers of road promises that are yet to be fufilled, and let the bad state of Igbanke General Hospital be in your mind.
If you forget that our pensioners and workers enjoy and still enjoy prompt payment of their pensions in Obaseki’s last four years in office as the present governor, then you are not truthful to yourself and to all.
Let the truth guide your concience as you cast your votes and endeavor to vote a candidate who will support and enhance the uplifting and development of Igbanke.
Obey your truthful mind as a true son and daughter of our land.
*Ogboin, a social advocate for truth and public commentator writes from Igbanke, Orhionmwon Local Government of Edo State.
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