Against all odds, Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, has been re-elected for a second term. He stoutly fought the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, General Charles Airhiavbere and PDP godfathers, including Tony Anenih who were roundly defeated right in their wards.
Kudos must also go to the people of Edo State whose will was deployed on Saturday, 14 July to overwhelm the might of the PDP and gave Oshiomhole a landslide victory.
In spite of all the hitches which many believed were programmed to rig the polls in favour of the PDP, the people of Edo had their way to the delight of lovers of democracy and good governance which Oshiomhole has begun to enthrone.
However, the re-elected governor still has a daunting task ahead of him as he begins his second term in a couple of months. In the prelude to the election, he appealed to Edo people to give him their mandate a second time to enable him complete the ongoing people-oriented projects across the state. This they did by voting massively for him. Now is the turn of the governor to meet the yearning of the people in all ramifications.
Oshiomhole should not allow the ‘second term disease’ to afflict him as has been the case with some governors, both serving and former ones. The disease or bug is that when some governors are re-elected for a second term, they just go to sleep. They stop to make the kind of impact they made in their first term in the lives of the people. This is because they neither have anything at stake nor any election ahead of them. This should not be the case.
Oshiomhole entered into a social contract with the people of Edo State during his electioneering campaign. Now that the people have fulfilled their own part of the bargain, the governor must equally rise to the occasion by transforming their lives positively. The time of soapbox rhetorics is over. He must get back to work and shun all forms of distractions from his detractors.
When a governor is not working, it shows and the people know. Development is arrested and corruption is given a free rein. When a PDP governor was in power in Edo for eight years, the people suffered terribly as infrastructure in the state collapsed completely. That was why the people rejected PDP again and embraced ACN last Saturday because of the massive transformation Oshiomhole is carrying out in Edo.
He must sustain this tempo throughout his second term in order to leave a lasting legacy such as that of the former military governor of MidWest, Osaigbovo Ogbemudia.