Edo State’s Arduous Journey to Redemption (Episode 2)

The Long and winding journey to the house of my then in-laws to be, went on for quite a while and at some point, in the confusion, we realised that there was no way we could get to the place in our vehicles.

So we all had to abandon the commercial bus and other private cars we were travelling in, and we finally got to the venue of my traditional marriage, but we all got there on foot.

We arrived the event about two hours late. My wife’s family was lenient, they handed us a small fine to serve as penalty for our irresponsible behaviour, we paid the fine and the rest as they say is history.

That said, what is important to note here is the fact that all the anxiety and apprehension we suffered doing what was supposed to be a short drive within Benin City was caused by an irresponsible PDP government which held the realm at that time.

The penalty I had to pay for arriving at my traditional marriage late was annoying because the fault was actually that of the PDP government in the saddle at the time, but I guess just a few cartons of drinks as penalty was nothing compared to the price some other Edo people had to pay on account of the indolence of the PDP-controlled state government at that time.

Speaking of people paying the ultimate price as a result of the failure of government and the system, the heart wrenching story of a young man, names withheld, who was a few years younger than me and was raised in my neighbourhood comes to mind. Every time I recall how this blossoming young man was cut down abruptly, I can hardly hold back tears.

 If you ask me who is responsible for the loss of the life of this young man, I will state unequivocally that the PDP and all its leaders who ran this state in those years are accountable.

Although the PDP government did not physically carry out the killing of this man, they set the stage for his brutal murder. How so? You may ask. I will explain. In those dark years, the political class, led by the PDP and its horde sustained the decadence in the education sector that was bequeathed to it by the military juntas.

For the politicians, the youths were more useful to them as thugs than as responsible citizens with sound minds that comes from good education. Cultism was subtly encouraged by the PDP government, top government officials who were not already members of cult groups went ahead to get initiated.

So you had situations where sitting public office holders will call on cultists either in higher institutions or in the streets and ask them to help initiate fellow political leaders into popular cult groups.

Thereafter, they started engaging the help of these cultists to intimidate people in the society. They ensured they were armed and used them as enforcers before, during and after elections.

This way, they kept the people of Edo State subdued and these cultists after doing the bidding of their paymasters (government officials), went ahead to terrorise any person they considered disloyal or a rival. There was senseless bloodshed in the state, not by foreigners or outsiders but by proxies of the PDP government.

My young friend was an unfortunate victim of those dark days…



Jonathan Omoruyi

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