Obaseki And The Ominous Outburst Of A Doom-Monger By Bala Ibrahim


By Bala Ibrahim.

In a talk lacking mental perception or comprehension, the Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, has cautioned the electorate against voting the All Progressives Congress in the forthcoming presidential election, saying, ”the country will disintegrate should the APC win the forthcoming general elections, God forbid “. Governor Obaseki made the remarks while inaugurating the Edo PDP campaign team in Benin city, the Edo State capital, preparatory to the presidential election coming up in February 2023.

Governor Obaseki goofed first, by admitting to the accomplishment of the APC in the scientific transformation of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the electoral umpire, when he said, “ the 2023 presidential election is going to be scientific, as polling results would be uploaded from the polling units up to the collation centres”. This is a testament to the fact that INEC, under the APC, is poised to doing the right thing, by going scientific.

Since coming to power in 2015, the APC government has been encouraging INEC to make commitments, that would raise the bar of the standard set in previous elections, the result of which has made the electoral umpire more impartial and just, by behaving without favouritism or discrimination. It is pursuant to such fairness that Mr Obaseki became re-elected, after defeating the candidate of the APC, Osagie IzeIyamu.

Mr Obaseki won his first election in 2016 as a candidate of the APC, but in the course of his term as the governor, he decamped to the opposition PDP and contested against the candidate of the ruling APC. Yet, because of it’s respect for fairness, and adherence to the rule of law, which encourages the electoral umpire to deploy appropriate technology to protect the sanctity of the choice made by the people at the polls, the APC accepted defeat and conceded to Obaseki. This is utterly inconceivable under the PDP.

Further more, to boost the confidence of the electorate in the forthcoming general elections, that APC intends to homogenize the country, INEC is encouraged to deploy the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), which, with it’s dual fingerprint and facial biometric accreditation process, would ensure that only genuine voters are accredited to vote during election. This would curtail the incidence of multiple voting and other sharp practices associated with voter accreditation during previous elections conducted by the PDP, the new party of Governor Obaseki.

Unlike what used to happen under the PDP, where election results were manufactured and announced at the personal whim of PDP officials, Mr. Obaseki’s fear about the country’s disintegration may be due to the introduction of the Result Viewing portal, which would make the result management procedure more transparent, as polling unit results will be uploaded to the portal in real-time. These are improvements geared towards the provision of equal opportunities, desegregation and not disintegration.

Going by Governor Obaseki’s submission that, “election results of the 2023 presidential election is not going to be determined by the day of the election but by what we will do, by the amount of efforts we will put towards it before the day of the election”, he ought to know that the APC had done much more in preparation for fairness, as well as extricating the nation from his imaginary “brink of collapse”. With APC, Nigeria would desegregate and provide equal opportunities to all, including his likes, who cry wolf where there is none in sight.

On the issue of Nigeria’s debt, which collectively reflects the domestic and external borrowings of the Federal government, the 36 states and the FCT, what Governor Obaseki needs to understand is that such borrowings were instrumental to Nigeria’s exit from two recessions. Nigeria recorded a recession in 2016, followed by a second recession in 2020, occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused a significant decline in oil revenues, but in spite of that, the economy did not collapse.

Considering the worthwhile growth in Nigeria’s debt over the past six years, experts have agreed that indeed the debt situation is sustainable and justified, because the proceeds from debt have been put to good use. Also, as long as plans to improve revenue and curtail expenditures are followed through, Nigeria is well placed to meet it’s repayment obligations.

It may interest Governor Obaseki to know that already, the government has increased it’s focus on improving non-oil revenues and strengthening fiscal management. As such, the claim that the country is on the brink of collapse is completely baseless.

Only last week, President Muhammadu Buhari declared that the future of Nigeria is safer in the hands of the APC-led government, which has managed to make Nigeria stable, by laying a solid foundation for progressive growth. “My desire is to bequeath to future generations of Nigerians a secured and safe place in which each and every child will be able to ventilate their aspirations and live in peace and tranquillity”-PMB.

It is such belief, that gave the president the confidence to champion the presidential campaign of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, whom he said when elected, would consolidate the achievements of his administration, because he has the capacity, visionary leadership and track record to do more. “It would be disastrous to allow a situation that will lead to the reversal of the progress our country has made. Let me add that I joyfully accept the position of the chairman of the campaign council. Our candidate, Asiwaju Tinubu is too well known for his capacity and can-do spirit. He stands tall in his track records as a democrat, a champion of the rule of law, a man at home in every part of our country, and a truly visionary leader”-PMB.

With the volume of successes recorded by the military in the fight against insecurity, which the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Irabor assured as something that would soon be a thing of the past, it would be both baffling and bizarre, to describe Nigeria as a country heading for disintegration if the APC retains power.

It is particularly painful and poignant to see people that are expected to be more guarded in their utterances, turning thoughtless and foolhardy, through the show of irresponsibility. Gov.Obaseki may be burdened by the guilt of tearing Edo state apart, as a consequence of which, he is having the dream of making the APC equally culpable.

When people leverage on their privileged positions to keep asking for help when they do not need it, the result is that others would think they don’t need the help, when the time for the real help comes. And by his ominous outbursts, Gov.Obaseki is behaving like a doom-monger, who belongs here.