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Edo 2024: Clear Incompetence, Ignorance On Contemporary Governance Forcing APC To Deploy Diversionary Campaign Tactics

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THE attention of the Edo State Government has been drawn to an ill-fated press outing by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in which they made a number of spurious and outlandish accusations.

The shameful event is obviously aimed at cajoling Edo people and fruitlessly staging a strawman’s argument aimed at winning support for their lacklustre and absolutely tepid candidate in the September 21 Edo governorship election.

After this party that is currently putting Nigerians through untold hardship, shortchanged themselves by picking a candidate that is unsuitable for a sophisticated State like Edo, they are deflecting, hiding the candidate behind a needle and taking an aim at novel governance innovations which they lack the capacity to understand because they have the worse intention for the people, stock in the past and wallow in corrupt practices.

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Clearly, the APC’s only strategy ahead of the September 21 election is to deploy diversionary tactics and manufacture alternative facts in the hope that this will remove the spotlight from the obvious and disgraceful defects of their candidate, which has made the election a lost cause.

In their presser, for instance, they rambled on about the ingenious transformation introduced by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration, which they are not intellectually equipped to understand. This is not unexpected because you cannot give what you don’t have. The profile of these individuals give them away as people with no capacity for governance.

In trying to sound smart, the APC took a swipe at the government’s e-governance Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, which was emplaced to drive transparency, accountability, traceability and digitization in government. Arguing that it was overpriced and intended to delete public documents, they exposed their ignorance and betrayed their phobia for technology and forward-thinking.

Today, not only is Edo the first digitized and most advanced public service in Nigeria, the State has invested in positioning its workforce and its larger population for opportunities presented in the Fourth Industrial Revolution through a robust digitization programme. With a state-wide fibre optic cable infrastructure and an advanced ERP system in place, all files have been archived and are easily retrievable.

Instead, APC is lost in its quest to plunder public resources and are scared that an ERP system would make it impossible for them to steal without trace. So, they are out to demonize the system so that they can nurture the idea of hiding files, demanding for bribes for government processes to be hastened and feed fat on an old, dubious and opaque system of administration.

They make light of the investment in Radisson Hotel, a key addition to the State’s hospitality landscape. Edo today boasts only of one international hospitality chain, the Protea brand managed by Marriot, with Radisson being the second. Much as there are a number of quality local brands, the potential benefits of increasing the number of international brands bodes well for the State’s nascent tourism sector. The State has lost the hosting right of a lot of international events on the account of limited presence of international brands.

The argument that the cost of the hotel has increased from the initial outlay is quite pathetic because that is on the APC-controlled Federal Government. As a result of their poor management of the economy and the declining value of the Naira against other world currencies, a lot of projects have had to be subjected to contract variations. Today, the development is costing more to complete because the fundamentals have and there is need reassess financing. The APC would appreciate this if they were better schooled and had basic understanding of macroeconomic dynamics.

The attack on the Modular Refinery and its ownership profile is again a sorry commentary on the poor understanding of business principles within the ranks of the APC. One would think that at the offset of the refinery project, the hoards in the party thought it impossible to build a refinery because, for them, government is not about creating value but squandering whatever has been handled down from Abuja.

Today, the refinery is a testament to the creative genius of the Governor Obaseki-led government. Instead of seeking to understanding how such projects come about, they are preoccupied with slandering the governor for signing Memoranda of Understanding (MoU). If they do not understand how MoU work, how would they have the faintest inkling of how Edo – which produces a small fraction of crude oil as compared to other major oil-producing States in Nigeria – now boasts of not one, but two modular refineries. They are fixated on knowing who owns the refinery because they are plotting how to appropriate and run the facility aground with avarice. But the creative thinking that went into the development of the refinery would ensure that it outlives hawks in the APC, which is how it ought to be.

We will like to add a bonus – agriculture. Today, the State boasts of the largest oil palm development in Africa consummated on the altar of MoU. The State is now swamped by top Fast Moving Consumer Goods companies in Nigeria because of the prospects of the Edo State Oil Palm Programme (ESOPP). All of these are developed with a clear understanding of project financing and the results are there to show. It takes expert handling and the State Government engaged the experts on these areas in Nigeria to bring the fruition. The results are replete across the State. The fact that the APC is now acknowledging the place of the State Government’s intervention bringing the Edo Refinery is a bit of improvement from where they started. It is only unfortunate that that may be the farthest their thinking can stretch.

The election is just a few month away, we expect more distractive tactics from the APC. So we want to call on the public to be wary of this campaign strategy. The party has absolutely nothing to offer to the people.

Our advice to the APC is that they should speak to the issues rather than shadow-boxing, as they have done in this press conference. Come Spetember 21, Edo people should vote for the only candidate who is prepared and ready for governance among all the candidates, which is Dr. Asue Ighodalo.

Signed

Crusoe Osagie
Special Adviser to the Edo State Governor on Media Projects

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