Edo 2024: Politics of Issues, Not of Homeboys and its Siblings.

Elempe Dele

Edo 2024: Politics of Issues, Not of Homeboys and its Siblings.

By Elempe Dele. 

I was recently hunched over my phone trying to deduct what should be our lot if critical issues are pigeonholed by politicians in the forthcoming gubernatorial election for mundane and parochial issues like the unremitting clamour for ‘homeboy’ and others of its uncreative siblings. There is enough room for political nuances and complexities of issues than the narrow space of homeboy we seem to be pursuing with vigour at the moment.

We need to ably capture the Edo State that we have always thought we want for its citizens; all we need to do is to up the ante, deliberately. We cannot deny ourselves this privilege. We can do this with a sense of purpose, unity, duty, responsibility and open-heartedness if we are not enraptured in the little things that cannot help or define us. It is the politics and politician that we will embrace as own that we should be seeking, not necessarily the one that lives in our nook and cranny which we rationalize away as homeboy. I do not believe in the decadent sentiment that the next governor should rise from our beds, just as I do believe he should be Chinese, Hispanic or a Mormon.

Yes, appealing to base instinct has always worked for politicians seeking office, but I think it should be based on the ability to relate with critical issues that the people are physically and emotionally faced with. There should be no lack of consensus on this matter, especially by the ever expanding elite.

At this moment, we must not fall for the pretenders as if we do not know what the critical issues are. We cannot afford not to loath those who are deluded over the quagmire the next governor is going to be confronted with. There is so much to repair, restore and basically revive as so much have since collapsed. It is difficult to disagree with me that we need some measure of urgency in attending to so much in the state. The squandering of so much opportunities since 1999 when we entered another democratic phase makes this urgency more pressing. It will be uncceptable if we develop the complacency of homeboy revelation in place of major issues.

We must be desperate in search of who will make things work again, who will make things right, who will lead us through the path of redemption. We necessarily do not need a candidate who can move mountains with alacrity, all we need is one who can rekindle that our sense of hopeful possibilities that abound in Edo State. For this, we wont wait for fate in a homeboy to play such a role, we must choose from the quality of candidates available with known capacity and capability. We must be curious over who has the combined urgency of vigour and certainty to inject fresh ideas for solving problems. The job is going to be tough, so stooping quickly to the task of restoring Edo State to greater height is required.

We need a candidate who will allow ideas and solutions to flow like a bridge from the people too in decision-making, not one who will through fiat impose ‘distancing ideas’ on the people.

The critical issues that we are faced with are numerous and even debatable. Any office seeker to the position of the next governor must think outside the box on how to cut taxes that go to the poor who barely can survive this unremitting economic hardship. The candidate must be able to match education reforms with the actual improvement of the education system that is in throes at this moment. There must be conscious effort to secure lives and properties of the citizens from kidnappers and other criminal elements that invade homes, highways and even farmlands. We need a candidate that will fix his mind in the deteriorating conditions of our infrastructures.

We need a candidate with a thorough mind for whom the boltering of the Edo vein is but a requirement for the task ahead – which is to lead Edo State in reinventing itself as a better place for its citizens. We need a candidate that is capable of dislodging highly placed politicians and hangers-on who peddle misguided ideologues and fan political hatred. We should be in search of a candidate who is willing to author our own story of progress and prosperity.

We need a candidate knows what the issues are. The needs of farmers in the hinterlands, out-of-school kids, teachers in failing public schools, pensioners who cannot survive on their stipends. We need a resourceful candidate who can inspire hope, forge collective responsibility with the people and build a prosperous state.

One might look at the call as unrealistic dream and a far-fetched clamour. But we cannot exchange the simple, small, timid,lethargic idea of homeboy for this valid concern for a better candidate. We must look for someone who can fashion new ideas. We need someone who can take bold and ambitious steps going forward. We need someone who can inspire persistent experimentation in governance for the general good of the people. We need someone who is hostile to this notion of “can’t-do, won’t-do and wont even try” mentality that has hindered so many bright ideas in the past.

We should be interrogating a capable candidate who do not think the election is about him, but one who has the notion of asking the people to join him in service to the state as active citizens when he becomes the governor.

So the debate I will propose will be strickly on issues, not tomboy, tomgirl, homeboy or zigzag… The debate must be on skyrocking cost of food in the state, working class struggles, loss of jobs, indecent pay, housing and mortgages, Small and Medium Scale Businesses, healthcare, modern skills for the youth, training of professionals, land grabbing, cult killings, drug addiction, farm equipments and hybrid seedlings, school boarding for the poor and middle-class families, dysfunctional education system of failed public schools where the teachers are helpless, rule of law, social injustices, Artificial Intelligence, research…We should be looking for a candidate who have the ‘map’ of the state and who knows what is happening everywhere.

We need to remind whoever is offering himself to serve that we are not interested in his homeboy pose, or such seeming brilliant rhetorical proclamations, but his sense of vicious urgency in handling the task ahead. We want a commitment to make urgent promises and action plans for the dividends of democracy. Now is the time to wake up from the slumber of economic hardship and general social injustice, to the vision of prosperity.

Elempe Dele
Elempe Dele

What we need is a good candidate with track record of performance, capacity to perform and capability to handle complex issues.

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