IN this piece, John Mayaki writes on a paltry sum of N5B subsidy palliatives from President Bola Tinubu to Edo State against a swallowed loan of N40B from the World Bank – Edo’s Governance Guffaws: A Paltry Sum vs. A Swallowed Loan, Accountability in Question.
I stumble upon a tale in the good ol’ newspapers proclaiming that it’s high time Nigerians started playing the “Governor Accountability Game.” Naturally, my mental spotlight zooms right onto my home turf – Edo State. I mean, who’s gonna bell the cat, right? You’re telling me we’re supposed to haul Governor Godwin Obaseki over the coals for a measly N5 Billion, while this same fella nonchalantly gobbled up a whopping N40 Billion loan from the World Bank, earmarked for education? And oh boy, brace yourself for the kicker – there isn’t a decent primary school or a half-decent secondary school in sight, be it a tiny hamlet, a bustling local hangout, or the flashy Benin city!
I mean, c’mon folks, why haven’t we turned on the spotlight and pointed a big ol’ “You messed up!” finger at Obaseki? The dude managed to make N40 Billion evaporate into thin air, and here we are, twiddling our thumbs, not batting an eyelid. Shouldn’t we be chasing him with pitchforks and placards, demanding to know what he did with all that moolah he’s been waving around?
Seriously, are we just going to let this dictator-wannabe off the hook? Has the whole “power to the people” idea taken a vacation? When was the last time someone in Edo State decided to roll up their sleeves and stand up against Obaseki’s antics? It’s like daring the devil to a dance-off and nobody’s got the nerve to cha-cha.
Here’s a fun fact: Obaseki had a good old fashioned tiff with the Oba of Benin over some antique treasures. Not a peep from the peanut gallery! No “Hey, hands off the heirlooms!” or “Give us back our relics, you relic!” You’d think a protest would’ve been as common as catching a sneeze at a pollen party, but nope, nada!
And hold the phone – Obaseki gave a royal snub to 14 elected members of the state house of assembly, refusing to sprinkle his inauguration magic on them. You’d think the sky was about to fall, right? But nope, heavens just kept on being their cool, calm, and collected self.
I reminisce about the days when Comrade Adams Oshiomhole was the head honcho. It was like the protest parade never had a lunch break! People went out and about, making a racket like they were in an “I’m-mad-as-hell-and-I’m-not-gonna-take-it-anymore” movie. Oh, the sweet symphony of a democracy in action. But hold the phone, rewind the tape – now it’s like the era of the protest party is over. The DJ packed up, and we’re left doing the sad shuffle.
Oh, but wait for it, the cherry on top: Obaseki’s little escapade with Tony Kabaka. This poor fella saw his property reduced to rubble by none other than our governor. I bet he thought, “Well, at least it can’t get worse.” Wrong! He’s still tending to his wounds like a patient in a never-ending hospital drama.
Even the so-called “pro-masses” civil societies tiptoe around Obaseki like he’s a very delicate vase on the brink of shattering. And let’s not even mention the opposition APC – they’re like the shy kid at a dance, refusing to ask for a turn on the floor.
And to put the cherry on top of the cherry, Mr. President, I’m privy to the secret: the state’s got cash raining down like confetti, but Obaseki’s keeping the financial shower hidden under his umbrella. It’s like Edo state’s in the dark, fumbling around for a light switch that’s nowhere to be found.
So here’s the deal, Mr. President – if you’ve got a trick up your sleeve to fix this mess, we’d be over the moon. But if not, just let us quietly fade into the background while we send out prayers for Obaseki’s tenure to do a vanishing act. Holding him responsible for our palliatives? Yeah, let’s do that, but hey, can we avoid doing it on empty stomachs? Thanks a million, Mr. President!
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