Does Edo state actually have a functioning government? This question could be answered in a manifold. But for the purpose of this write-up, let me narrow it to the present happenings in the state under the watch of the Emperor.
The salaries of workers for more than eight months are unpaid and there is no hope in sight, yet the governor has the effrontery to be all and about dancing "surugede" during campaigns in an attempt to paint a good picture of the present situation in the state or perhaps undaunted with the sufferings of the workers who go out everyday to perform their duties in the hope that at the end of the month, they will have reasons to be happy and provide for their families. Common sense demands that the priority of any government is to cater for the welfare of workers, pensioners and the well-being of the people, but what we see in Edo state is the height of callousness, indifference and utter abandonment.
The big question is: Where are we going as a people? One would have expected that the money lavished on propaganda and calumny of calumny for the emergence of the chairman of the Economic Team, Godwin Obaseki to emerge as the governor of the state would have helped offset payments of some months of workers salary. That cannot be because they will surely say that the state's penny is not involved in the campaign. Only time will tell!
Chairman Economic Team my foot! What has he been able to do with his "wealth of experience" as his apologists' claim? He has only succeeded in plunging the state into a total mess and collapse. If the state cannot guarantee the prompt payment of salaries of the existing workers, what is the fate of the jobless and students who strive everyday to study in the hope of being absorbed into work-force and inject their experience into the development of the state? The present situation is preposterous and alarming! I want you to agree with me that the state needs a "Saviour"
Nevertheless, it is obvious that he cannot pay owing to the fact that the bulk of the state's IGR is in the hands of his political pals and "godsons." No wonder they are growing fatter and the workers who constitute the bulk of voters are growing thinner by the day. What a paradox!
Sometime ago, the Comrade Governor tongue lashed a widow, " to go and die" because she sold her wares on the prohibited area. The woman was despised and relegated simply because she was a "petty trader." Oh dignity of labour, where art thou? It took the intervention of the good people of the state before the former labour activist apologised but not without pointing fingers to the opposition. When will the governor be contrite and come out clean to sincerely admit his fault?
Just today, local government workers and others came out, out of frustration to remind the governor through protest since he has refused to listen to their passionate plea, for their salary arrears. In the course of the manifestation a worker slumped and died. The probable cause of death, I believe, will be attributed to hunger when the autopsy is conducted. Verily! Verily!! I tell you, his salaries will not be paid to the family and even if it is done, it will take the grace of God.
As usual, instead of dealing with the fact in issue, all arrows of accusation about the workers protect will be pointed at Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu. They will even say that he wrote the placards, some will say that they started the movement from his house and many will say, I heard them discussing it in a hide out and POI was there.
I believe by now, no one can be misled because the truth is there and evident: the state is stagnated, salaries unpaid, workers dying with every passing day, yet the same government preaches "continuity." The sufferings and plight Of the people have reached an alarming crescendo and it is time to make a true change. A change that will endure the test of time and bring succor to the people.
On this note, vote for Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu for a better Edo state.
Iredia Osakue, JP is a Turin-based political analyst, social critic and public commentator on national and global issues.