In development, there are clear-cut, unbending principles. These often drive the manner in which policies are formed, change is pursued and new habits and behaviours are espoused and championed to engender growth in societies. When such principles are lacking or disregarded, development is often haphazard, doom-fated.
When Nigeria began experimenting with democracy from 1999, it appeared that the rogues that ran government in Edo State cloaked in their uninspiring colours as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) hadn’t the faintest idea of what it meant to run a state and pivot it on solid strategic pillars for development and growth.
The symptoms of their failure to do this are still very fresh in the memory of the people of Edo State, who in the last few years have been inundated with the solid developmental strides of the All Progressives Congress-led government. Alas, it appears that Edo state came to know the true meaning of democracy only after the APC government came on board and put paid to the many lies that the PDP had claimed, mitigated development in the state.
The malfeasance of the PDP is advertised in many forms and shades. And it is not hard to see from their antecedents that they did not only have the capacity to lead or govern, but that they came into power with just three carefully-planned missions: plunder, steal, and plunder some more. Nothing escaped their litchy fingers. They did this and successfully too. So much so that the people were almost getting used to such as true hallmark of governance.
There is a case in point to buttress this point and to show how impunity was coopted as a tool to muzzle a people that had been deprived of basic dignity. There is the account of how a party chieftain was in the habit of disposing people of their properties in Benin City and deployed violence to intimidate those who dared challenge him.
This character was said to have singled out a man in the Airport Road axis to claim a property the fellow built with his hard-earned money. When this fellow learned of the plot of the PDP thug, he approached the court for redress, to claim what was rightfully his. However, on the day the court was hearing the case, the PDP chieftain stormed the court premises, descended on the plaintiff and beat him to stupor for daring to challenge him in court. Different anecdotes of this nature abound of the regretful years of the PDP in power in Edo State.
Trophies like these – earned from intimidation, theft and graft – that the PDP have to show for their years in office, years marred with the most unimaginable, record-shattering fraud that damaged the dignity of the common man in Edo, years hailed only for ignoble conduct and crass leadership.
So, one wonders why a camp that harbours such devious characters and antecedents still wants power in Edo State or would even summon the courage to challenge a government that is firmly-footed in its purpose to develop the state. If the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration or his predecessor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole had continued in the purposeless model of governance espoused by the PDP, maybe that would have given the party a fair chance at gunning for power or to lampoon the present administration.
But when the difference is clear as day, that these people have encountered a team that is way beyond their capabilities, they only need to concede to these superiors, and not go about shamelessly advertising their failure-ridden dossiers in phony tours and dispiriting engagements.
The progress being recorded in Edo State today is not only as a result of the caliber of the people at the helm of affairs, but because development is anchored on strategic developmental principles. At the moment, it is obvious that the rogues have run out of ideas, and are on a tour of shame. In the course of such shameless perambulation, the PDP tells us what noble thing they bequeathed to Edo people and not attempt to poke fingers at an aggressive and purposive team, that is going about doing good, delivering monumental, epoch-making projects to Edo people.