Tuesday, January 5, 2016 7:01 pm
The Benin Leaders of Thought Tuesday warned against the re-introduction of political godfatherism in Edo state, which they said Governor Adams Oshiomhole fought hard against in the past.
The warning came on the heel of the alleged imposition of a governorship aspirant by Governor Oshiomhole, for the 2016 gubernatorial election in the state.
TheNEWS reported earlier that some aspirants have kicked and expressed their displeasure over rumours that the the governor has ordered his aides to ‘go and market’ the Chairman of the State Economic Team, Dr. Godwin Obaseki, popularly referred to as Dangote man, to the people of the state.
Chairman of the group and Enogie of Obazuwa, Prince Edun Akenzua, while addressing journalists in Benin, said though the group disbelieved the rumour of Oshiomhole’s alleged imposition of an aspirant, the issue has excited the imagination of observers of Edo politics in recent times.
Quoting Governor Oshiomhole in the Vanguard of Thursday November 12, 2009 as saying that “what makes governance difficult is that some leaders are imposed on the people. That situation creates absence of support. And people will become cynical about you,” the Benin Leaders of Thouhgt said it was against that background that they were taken aback by the rumour that the Governor has anointed his successor in this year’s gubernatorial race.
While praising Oshiomhole for his achievements in the state, the Group said the Governor, like other citizens, has the inalienable right to support any aspirant of his choice even though that right would be exercised in a manner that also respects the right of other people to freely choose who will govern them.
The Benin Leaders of Thought therefore, said it believed “that godfatherism in Edo politics was detrimental to the social, economic and political development of the state. Godfatherism is not acceptable to BLT and the good people of Edo State. It should not be reintoduced under any guise.
“The people of Edo State should be given free hands to determine their next governor. Popular participation bestows responsibility for governing one’s own conduct, develops ones character, self-reliance, intelligence and moral judgement. In a democracy there is no substitute for popular participation. Even if a benevolent despot could govern in the public interest, he would be rejected by the classic democrat. Man can omly know the truth by discovering it himself”, the Benin Leaders of Thought added.
While pledging their continued collaboration with the State Government and other stakeholders, to ensure that only gubernatorial aspirants with clean past records, who have made tremendous success in their chosen fields who can consolidate the achievements of Oshiomhole and conceive innovative ideas for the betterment of the people are considered for the position of governor of the state, the group called for proper screening of aspirants to ascertain if by their antecedents, they could further lift Edo State to the next level.