Shortly after he was declared winner of the September 28, 2016 Edo State governorship election, the governor-elect, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, in his address to the press, “pledged to work tirelessly for the good of all Edo people, irrespective of gender, social status, ethnicity, religion or political affiliations.”
By this remark, he had clearly demonstrated that he was not going to be governor of just a section of the society – probably his APC members alone – but one for all Edo people. And on this score, there are several tasks before him as he prepares to take the oath of office come November 12, 2016.hortly after he was declared winner of the September 28, 2016 Edo State governorship election, the governor-elect, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, in his address to the press, “pledged to work tirelessly for the good of all Edo people, irrespective of gender, social status, ethnicity, religion or political affiliations.” hortly after he was declared winner of the September 28, 2016 Edo State governorship election, the governor-elect, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, in his address to the press, “pledged to work tirelessly for the good of all Edo people, irrespective of gender, social status, ethnicity, religion or political affiliations.”
Unity and Peace-building
The first task before the governor-elect is how he would forge unity among the people of Edo State and engage in peace building to attract their support for his government. Therefore, he needs to reach out to all of the aggrieved people within and and beyond his party, and undertake meaningful and sincere reconciliation measures.
He will in this wise be demonstrating that he is indeed governor of all Edo people. As a consequence of this, his government should be all-inclusive and broad-based. He should extend a hand of fellowship and love to all.
Early constitution of his cabinet/economic team
The governor-elect should constitute his cabinet early enough to enable him hit the ground running. Unnecessary delay will give way to speculations, rumour-mongering and eventually, distract him from putting all of his focus on good governance and service delivery.
As a technocrat/politician who has been in the corridor of power for the past 7 years, the governor-elect should be able to identify those with special ability that would be of assistance to him in his bid to fulfill his political promises from the very start. At the same time, he has to set up a viable economic team; and one that is similar to the type he headed in the past 7 years. This will enable him to execute his policies as espoused in his manifesto to the people of Edo State.
Greater progress with infrastructural development Though appreciating that his predecessor, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole did his best in the area of infrastructural development but as indicated in one of the governor-elect’s campaign posters, there is still much work to be done. In this regard, the governor-elect will have to prioritize and give sustained attention to greater infrastructural development in the state.
He will endear himself to the generality of Edo people if he, in the short term, embarks on the reconstruction and rehabilitation of intra-city roads within Benin City and those of all the 18 local government headquarters coupled with the provision of good drains. Although it is a federal road, he should also in the short term intervene to fix some failed portions of the Benin-Auchi road which has become a nightmare to travellers who ply it daily.
It is the only link road that connects the South-West, South-South and South-East to the Federal Capital, Abuja and an early intervention to make the road more motorable will be a panacea for the new government’s focus on the state’s industrialization policy. It is also advisable that on-going projects inherited from his predecessor should be continued.
Need for urgent review of taxation policy
This appears to be one area where the outgoing administration had been very unpopular. From the findings of The New Diplomat, it is clear that the masses have no problem with the imposition of taxes per se but rather there are many complaints over the rather crude mode of collection. So, as indicated in his manifesto, the governor-elect should embark on a review and reform of the existing taxation policy to exhibit more transparency and reduce what the masses perceive as the pains that have come with it.
A more friendly approach of tax collection should be adopted to correct the impression that the payment of taxes is a punitive imposition rather than a voluntary civic responsibility. The governor-elect’s media machinery should be sharpened in this regard to enlighten the masses on the need to voluntarily participate in the making of a fair but succesful taxation policy.
Abiding by his manifesto to the people
The people of Edo State who voted for the APC were attracted by the comprehensive manifesto which the governor-elect bandied before them in the form of a social contract. Most people who spoke with The New Diplomat were convinced of the governor-elect’s ability to deliver on his promises to the people of Edo State. For those who knew the role he played in the success of the outgoing Oshiomhole administration, they see Mr. Obaseki as a governor who will surpass the achievements of his predecessor. The governor-elect should therefore endeavour to treat every item in his manifesto to the people very seriously.
The need to be self-assertive
The governor-elect should not be seen to be remote-controlled by his predecessor. This is one area where those that had opposed his emergence always harped on. The impression is that Mr. Obaseki’s administration is an extension of, if not a third term for Comrade
Oshiomhole. The governor-elect should therefore demonstrate his ability to be independent in the execution of his administration’s policies. He is also expected to avoid the trap of being domineering just as he should carry everybody along.
Focus on people-oriented policies/programmes
The governor-elect should also focus on people-oriented projects, policies and programmes that are capable of impacting on the lives of the majority of Edo people rather than elitist and top-level citizens
of the state. This will endear the administration to the grassroots whose judgment, in the final analysis, really determines the level of success of any government.