By Pastor Ize-Iyamu
As the year draws to an end and the tenure of Governor Adams Oshiomhole grinds to a close, it is expedient for the prosperity of Edo State, that well meaning sons and daughters of the land begin to brainstorm and articulate a roadmap for the future of our State devoid of partisan coloration. There is no doubt that in the months ahead especially in the thick of electioneering campaign, emotions will run high and commentaries on the state of affairs in Edo State will be judged on the altar of political parties or preference.
While some will boast that this government has done extremely well in providing red roof over our schools and have constructed roads with drainages attached, many others will lament that squalor, poverty and corruption are the notable legacies of the administration.
I do not intend to join issues with these contending views, but would rather solicit informed analysts to dispassionately highlight through a SWOT analysis; Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, a pathway that would promote and enhance the development of the State. This would help establish goals and objective prioritization for strategic planning on the immediate and long term. The external environment juxtaposed with the internal environment and their relationship between resources and allocation would help to draw up a well designed strategic plan and the inclusion of key personnel who have the desired knowledge and awareness of these factors to help articulate a workable plan that would benefit the State.
I earnestly appeal to those in government to be a bit more transparent in their information management and furnish Edo people with comprehensive details of their stewardship to help in accurate and meaningful articulation of the way forward. The total amount of monies received by the government including full disclosure of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) would be useful in evaluating the financial health of the State. The debt portfolio of the State whether foreign or local is also important and must not be hidden.
The total number of projects executed or ongoing, their cost and location are essential to fully appreciate the effectiveness of an elected government. Budget performance in the past seven years especially in recurrent and capital expenditure are fundamental indices that showcase fiscal discipline. What is the staff strength of the Civil Service and the total remuneration paid to them? Similarly how many political appointees are on government payroll, their designation and local government of origin? What are the challenges or problems confronting the State and what steps have been taken to deal with them? Answers to these nagging questions would not only help the populace to better appreciate the efforts of the government, but also guide stakeholders working on a better Edo project.
On the basis of having lived all my life in the State and more importantly my stint in government, I have over time developed a blue print, which I named a “Simple Agenda” and which I intend, God permitting to unveil next year as my contribution to the way forward for our State. The responses on this page and other platforms should as requested evaluate the Strengths- (What is the State doing right), determine the Weakness (problem areas in need of improvement), highlight Opportunities (potential favourable conditions), and identify Threats (potential unfavourable condition).
These responses will be assessed, collated and reviewed in the light of the available resources to the State and placed side by side with my “Simple Agenda” to establish doable goals and prioritization of projects. This document shall become my covenant with Edo people and shall hopefully be the perimeter by which my actions are scored. Those who still quarrel with my appointment in a previous government miss the importance of service and need to know that the experience I gathered is critical in our renewed quest for visionary leadership come 2016. I am not ashamed to have served; what would have been shameful is if I have been indicted of wrongdoing or found wanting. In spite of my political visibility and the blackmail of political foes, I am untainted and would by the grace of God remain so.
On the issue of performance, may I respectfully remind those probing that I have never been elected only opportuned to serve. The buck as they say has never been on my table and I prayerfully look forward to the time when one can be entrusted with the mandate to lead. I have also been accused of recommending Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to Edo People as Governor. On this particular count, I am guilty but beg to plead that I was not alone. The Governor came highly recommended and I was swayed not only by the general perception, but also my belief that governorship should go to Edo North where Adams Oshiomhole hails from. Shakespeare once wrote that “there is no art to tell the minds construction on the face” I did what I thought was best at that time.
I am consoled by the tribute Comrade Adams Oshiomhole paid me on my 50th birthday celebration when he wrote: “You took the leap of faith to found the Grace Group, which in turn, provided rallying point for others who believe in freedom to birth what would become the Edo Chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria. When others despaired, you saw hope. I salute your foresight. If ACN is today formidable in Edo, it is only a reflection of the sterling leadership you have provided. Again, if our party is acclaimed in positive lights in Edo today, you share substantially in the glory, if we have improved the human condition, we owe it to the quality of counsel you gave.
In our struggle to redefine politics in Edo in the past forty-four months as service to the people, I have found in you a committed ally indeed. Having distinguished yourself in administration, evangelism, politics and lately farming, I believe your sun has only begun to rise”. I sincerely hope that comments on this post would dwell on the way forward rather than castigating the present as some have sought to do with the past. Welcome to December 2015 and may God grant all our heart desires
189 total views, 1 views today