Governor Lucky Igbinedion of Edo State frequently visits America and Europe and it has been speculated that his visits, usually, coincides with the schedule and time-table of federal allocations of revenue to Edo State; Edo state it must be said, is one of the oil producing states in Nigeria that has jointly, with other such states clamored for increases in the revenues allocated to oil producing states based on the principle of derivation.
This, even though the governors of the oil producing states have not actually accounted for the monies received so far from the federal government of Nigeria, based on the derivation principle, it is clear that these governors have not utilized these monies for the benefits of citizens of these oil producing states! But those gyrating in their prodigal son-like demands for 100% control of oil revenue, would not bother to demand accountability, on the part of the thieving governors of these oil producing states!
Recently, Governor Igbinedion sent Commissioner Kingsley Osadolor, the man in charge of information and orientation in Edo state, on an impossible mission and task, to convince Edo sons and Daughters in the Americas, United States and Canada that the Edo state government is doing its best, even though we are all aware that the Edo state governor has performed woefully, displaying stunning ineptitude and stunning incompetence and astounding failures in Edo state!
Governor Igbinedion tried, through the speech by Commissioner Osadolor, to blame armed robbery and high rate of crime on citizens of other states, or on the fact that the police is not controlled by Edo state! Instead of focusing on the corruption and deprivation that he has presided over or supervised in the state since 1999! He orchestrated feeble defense of his failures after feeble defense! He blamed bad roads and traffic jams on the federal government and blamed prostitution and child-trafficking on rumors and gossip? He would not take blame for anything! Not his failure to create jobs or coordinate crime fighting? After all, Edo state is a PDP state and one would assume that Mr. Igbinedion has unfettered access to the PDP hierarchy and access to the presidency?
Governor Igbinedion blames everybody, every circumstances on others, but himself, his incompetence, his high rate of ineptitude and complete disconnect from the people of Edo state. And with a bold face, he talks about the dignity of Edo people!
How do you give people dignity, in the face of high rate of armed robberies? How do you talk of giving dignity when the people are hobbled by all manners of indignities, unemployment, high rate of crime, decayed and abandoned public infrastructures, impassable and un-motorable roads, particularly in Benin City, house-to-house-ransacking by chieftains of brigandage? In recent times, His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N Edo Uku Akpolokpolo has had to make passionate appeal in Edo state, to decry the high rate of crime and criminality that has overwhelmed Edo state while Governor Igbinedion sleeps at the wheels!
How can the Governor talk about dignity of the Edo man, when Edo men, out of unending hardships, sufferings and economically induced desperation herded their daughters and their wives to prostitution in Italy, France and other parts of Europe? How can this young but failed governor, expatriate ex-America and all, who has acted as if he is bereft of all and any ideas of governance, lecture the rest of us about dignity? What dignity for Edo man are you talking about Mr. Governor?
Mr. Lucky Igbinedion lectured Nigerians of Edo state origin in the United States, about what he described as the ‘Dignity of Edo man’ upon broaching the title of his lecture, I was completely aghast at the clear irony of the governor’s chosen lecture topic!
Here is a man, who is singularly responsible for depriving the Edo citizens of dignity more than anyone alive or dead, and he, without any qualms, actually was there, live and in person, lecturing about dignity for Edo citizens!
Under governor Igbinedion’s watch, Edo state has deteriorated incredibly! And you do not even have to be an Edo state indigene to be aware of the fact that Edo state used to be a model state among other Nigerian states.
Edo in my lifetime was ahead in remarkable ways, severally, in Education, Sports, Culture and pretty much everything else and most of these transpired during the administration of Dr. Osaigbovo Ogbemudia, a former colonel in the Nigerian Army, he has less formal education compared with Mr. Igbinedion, and he performed wonderfully and creditably well. Other states used to be envious of Edo state achievements!
Mr. Igbinedion on the other hand, received his education in Nigeria and in the United States, he is young, well traveled has out of Nigeria exposure and one Omosun Fadal wrote not long ago, how the young Igbinedion had expressed passion for public service while he lived and studied in the United States and how Igbinedion’s current shambles in Edo state is inconsistent with the promises he made and the vow to lead Edo state to greater heights.
I have it on good authority that he ran an excellent administration as the Chairman of Oredo Local Government Area, a part of Edo state where I resided many years ago, and as result of promises he further made to run the entire state in the good way he administered Oredo Local Government, the capital city of Edo state and the seat of the state government, the reasonable expectation was that he would replicate his performance as a good local government chairman and leader, statewide as governor. He therefore ran on his record of achievements for Oredo Local Government and he therefore ran a believable campaign in 1999 and won!
But Edo state according to my sources, have never had it soooo baaad! Edo state has become the poster boy for violent crime, in prostitution and immoralities and brazen political thugs undertaking assassinations to achieve personal political ambitions.
When many years ago, I lived in Benin City, the capital of Edo state, it was the case that prostitution was illegal, a taboo and an abomination as well, even among single women, but these days, economic depression and desperation that are attendant, has driven ordinarily decent Edo women to be the best prostitutes money can buy in Italy, France and other parts of Europe! This started occurring before Mr. Igbinedion became governor of Edo state of course, but, you would have thought that he has had a chance to read his wife’s published writings in which she stated her abhorrence for prostitution and child-trafficking.
And how come, nobody has bothered to inform Mr. Igbinedion that creation of employment and economic prosperity would be a huge factor in any serious efforts geared toward the elimination of prostitution and child-trafficking? How come no one has explained to this young governor, that the best way to curb crime is to keep people busy, employed with hope, expectations and decent life outlook?
Edo state is being pillaged at the highest levels! We hear of properties and investments in California by high ranking Edo state officials, investments in England and South Africa, all through proxies of Edo state government officials, and here we have a representative of the same Edo state coming to address intelligent Edo state citizens in a speech full and replete with platitudes about dignity, when the same governor who directed Commissioner Osadolor to lecture intelligent Edo citizens about dignity, is the person that is singularly irresponsible and to blame for the high magnitude of indignities that Edo citizens have suffered during preceding six years? What a slap in the face of Edo citizens? What audacity? What an offens
In the face of governor Igbinedion’s most ignominious governance, he aspire to be anything, other than a dog-catcher, come 2007? Or dictate who becomes the governor of Edo state when he leaves? Why has good and decent people of Edo state, a formerly progressive state, a model state of proud people, a people of high education and high culture, sports excellence and all that is superb in Nigeria, why has Edo state been allowed to bleed and be bled by nitwits, grossly incompetent persons, who are putridly corrupt?
Paul I. Adujie
Paul I. Adujie, a Nigerian who lives in New York City, is Lawyer, Writer, Pubic Policy Analyst, News & Current Affairs Commentator, Essayist and Radio Show Host. He considers himself a global citizen. He is passionate about public policy formulation and implementation. Public Policies have far reaching ramifications. A good public policy is a great opportunity to have a meaningful impact on the lives of multitudes of people. He believes that Nigeria is destined for development, advancement and greatness. He discusses Nigeria with fervor, vigor and a vibrant sense of patriotism. An unflinching believer in one indivisible, strong and united Nigeria where all citizens are equal regardless of region of origin or religious affiliation, Adujie talks about Nigeria in very strong terms. He worships as his religion Nigeria, Africa and people of descent.