The current action of the state Governor in walking out the MD of BEDC and her entourage from a meeting in his office though commendable is, however, a knee-jerk reaction. It is arguably a reflex that is not unconnected to the sustained protest and incessant petition against the handlers of electricity (BEDC) in the state. The Governor went further to say that BEDC had been an obstacle all the way, frustrating the effort of the government in providing stable electricity for the people of Edo State.
The bane of our woes in this country is lack of proactiveness in leadership. The Governor would have been justified and applauded if he had taken this bold step earlier. The romance between those that held us in darkness and the government now makes it difficult for the people to believe the reaction of the government at this point in time. The altruistic intention of the state government is now been questioned as a vast majority sees it as a face-saving tactic to score political points due to its proximity to another electioneering year.
While one might be tempted to give the Governor some commendations for the efforts he has made to get alternatives for the state, the Honourable members of the state House of Assembly deserve all the knock they can get. A proactive house would have helped this government by organizing town hall meetings across the state, communicating the current situation of things to the people. These meetings will not only keep the people abreast with the challenges on the ground, but it will also let them know the effort been made by the government to alleviate the problems while seeking lasting solutions.
For example, if there had been adequate communication between the people and their representatives, the allegations that some members took ‘Ghana-must-go’ bag of money worth over thirteen million would not have arisen. This is because proper communication clears suspicion and doubt.
Going forward, the governor should tell the people the efforts been made so that the people can appraise these efforts and know who is really keeping them in darkness. If the solution lies with those outside the political circle of the governor, he should not hesitate to seek their support for the betterment of us all. Rhetorics and blame trade will not take us out of darkness. The productivity of a place is largely dependent on the availability of power.
Again, the state government should as a matter of urgency set up a committee to probe the allegations of fraudulent practices between the Management of BEDC and some elected members in the state House of Assembly. Those culpable should be brought to book, and if it was a false alarm, the alarmist should be made to pay as permitted by legal interpretations.
Edolites cannot continue to live in darkness.
God bless Edo State!
God bless Nigeria!
Eghosa Asemota Agbonifo writes from Oredo West.