By Ewansiha Aghama
As the race to the ‘Dennis Osadebey Avenue’, Edo State Government House heats up, all that the already weary Edo populace continues to see is brigandage politics, wherein anything goes.
Truly repulsive and condemnable, it signifies a bizarre political engagement of the sort, which the bombastic Patrick Obahiagbon (a.k.a. Igodomigodo) came to call “a state of filagaga filogo (a euphemism for fisticuffs in which bottles, seats and other dangerous cudgels are in free use).
Imperatively, Edo State needs a clear breakaway, instantly; from the circle of poor political undertakings accompanied by poor democracy returns. However, these setbacks necessitate that the political leadership and the electorate summarily address the processes of selecting elective representatives and appointing public officers.
Interestingly, an ample opportunity has come up, once again, for the Edo populace to correct the past errors in public governance, at the leadership and followers’ cadres, by rightly partaking in the ongoing process of choosing a governor and his deputy, to lead the people for a four-year tenure, in the election holding this September.
This is the reason why Hon Pius Egberanmwen Odubu, should be considered and encouraged as the ideal man, to fill the position and to re-jig the leadership architecture of Edo State.
In this governorship race, Dr. Odubu has some great Edo men as co-aspirants, especially those vying under the All Progressives Congress (APC) party. However, there is no doubt that he is about the most qualified and capable for the position if only excellence and credibility of the aspirants are the criteria for getting the job.
And this is with all sense of altruism, modesty, and respect for the other aspirants who would readily know where the truth actually lies that Odubu is the right man they should support.
Nevertheless, they are gentlemen who are also capable. But, there is always a first amongst equals.
Even now that the twist to the contest is to get a consensus candidate from the aspirants of the major Edo APC faction, the Edo Patriotic Movement (EPM), to fight for the ticket with the incumbent APC governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, leading the opposite faction, Odubu, without a doubt is still the man to beat.
Dr. Odubu had in the past easily put his academic disciplines to bear as a versatile Economist and Political Scientist. After his secondary education at the front-line Immaculate Conception College, Benin City, Nigeria, he in 1977 left the country to have a first degree in Political Science from Southern University, Baton, USA. He subsequently obtained a Master’s Degree in Economics and related fields from the prestigious Oxford University, UK.
These qualifications and experience had endeared him to his fellow APC party men and women, who see in him a stable and reliable politician, who doesn’t decamp at will to other parties.
He is also regarded as truthful, supportive, and robust ideologist. These factors have also made party members cling to him.
Within the APC, Dr. Odubu is a magnetic field that attracts most APC faithful, whether from his Orhionmwon Local Government Area or those from the overall 192 political wards of the state. And he silently and tirelessly ministers to all.
As a former Deputy Governor to ex-Governor Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Dr. Odubu is still widely respected as the second-in-command and immense contributor to the immediate past government, which is still respected as the best in the history of the state, in the terms of meaningful provisions for the people.
More so, he has goodwill and a solid support base, considering his contest for the same position four years ago.
For a great lawyer, lawmaker, politician, and community leader he is an enigma to behold. He was a former representative to the Uhunmwode/Orhionmwon Federal Constituency in the House of Reps, Abuja, who brought candour and vibrancy to lawmaking and advocacy in the Green Chamber.
In APC, a party, which he has since helped to nurture, even through the crisis which plagued the ruling party in the state, Dr. Odubu has been acknowledged as a formidable pillar, financing and supporting it. No doubt, a meticulous President Muhammadu Buhari saw the mustard seed in Dr. Odubu, as he made him a valuable Director of Logistics of the main President Buhari Campaign Council ahead of the 2019 presidential election. Dr. Odubu, is, however, a man of modest means but would not be seen as a governorship aspirant who would not have the financial means to run his campaign.
Barrack Obama, the immediate past president of America, once observed that “there is no man, no matter how rich he might be, who could have all the funds for his own electioneering provide by himself, without external supports”.
For a foresighted, sane, and liberal-minded personality, Dr Odubu’s humble background takes after his late father, a sage and disciplinarian, Chief Unweni Odubu of Urhomehe village in Orhionmwon LGA of the state.
*Ewansiha Aghama is a Public Analyst and lives in Benin City, Edo State