Olorogun David Edevbie did not lose, The Society lost

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Olorogun David Edevbie

By Andrew Edevbie

I have seen many of the comments on the race for the governorship in the Delta State of Nigeria since the ruling of the Nigerian Supreme Court on Friday, October 21, 2022. Many felt betrayed by the ruling and for good reasons. David for me did not lose the contest. The people of Nigeria especially those of Delta State and Urhobo land in particular have been duped once again. The system of governance has become so corrupt that it is near impossible to grow good leaders. After all, maggots do grow when there is filth, more so when people refuse to clean around their homes and environment. I laugh when people blame President Buhari and the Northern Establishment for the problems of Nigeria. And I always ask those who disagree with me: If a southerner or an Urhobo man, for that matter, can be corrupt, why does one think the northerner would not be? Is the President and his kinsmen expected to be angels simply by virtue of their residence in a certain region of Nigeria? Many of our people, truth be told, do not accept any responsibility for what they do but prefer to blame others in order to justify their actions. Everyone seems only to want to grab what he or she can get from the system and damn the consequences.

A number of powerful people in Nigeria especially politicians and those in the judiciary, for example, do not appear concerned about the interest of the society that they are elected or appointed to serve. Politicians overpay themselves and break their own laws whenever it suits them. It has also become a standard practice for some judges to look for loopholes in case filings to undermine critical evidence, deliberately choose not to do a proper interpretation of the law, and shamelessly justify sidetracking the interest of the people for personal gains. The courts are supposed to be the last hope for the common man but too many judges have instead constituted themselves into cults that work only for the privileged, the highest bidders for their service, thus emboldening criminal elements in the society to depress the system, the more. As a result, the combination of unethical activities of politicians and judges has now, for example, obstructed the rise of the most qualified, and experienced candidate in the governorship race, leaving the contest to con artists to fight it out. Why? Because some judges, as well as politicians, like to raise the money they need to send their children to school overseas, travel with their families to Europe and America for vacation and medical check-ups and build huge homes, all for personal comfort, at the expense of society. Many of my Urhobo friends, just as I feel, are embarrassed and humiliated to note that the gladiators still standing in the race are now the face of the Urhobo people who are well-known for producing many well-educated individuals and high achievers. It is indeed sad that many of these good people have been forced to flee the state for their life, leaving thugs to take over governance and who now wreak havoc on the life of the people in the most despicable manner. Many have in fact lost their lives in efforts to help bring about some semblance of sanity into the system. Is it any wonder that the ruling political party in the state, like some others, has been referred to as a nest of killers?

 But how does one go about solving the problem of bad governance that confronts all of us? The short answer is the need to grow good leaders who will submerge their personal interests into that of the general public. Most importantly, everyone in the system has to take some measure of personal responsibility for his or her action and stop blaming others for it. Without such requirements, no good leader can emerge, let alone lead. It is a well-known axiom that a leader will emerge only when the people are ready. It is therefore important that we all become more responsible. So clean up your home and beginning from there, attack the twin evils of corruption and injustice whenever you spot them in your neighborhood. Charity begins at home. It is foolhardy to expect a corrupt government whether in Asaba or Abuja to come to your aid?

And here I come to my nephew, David, the eldest son of my late older brother. David and I do not see eye to eye on a number of issues but on this issue of good governance that will bring security, stability, and progress for our people, I stand with him. He has conducted a brilliant campaign that can serve as the gold standard for future politicians for years to come. He was always polite, and issue-oriented and has circulated a clear message of goodwill, so widely for many to know, understand, and appreciate. Among the people, I have talked to, and there are many, I know of no one who questioned David’s credentials and his ability to lead. He is a true statesman, well-polished for that matter. His message touches on the life of the people and will live on, even though the joint efforts of politicians and judges have created some bumps on the way to implementation. Although the enemies of the people, those with vested interests who are afraid of change that will reduce their capacity to steal from public coffers, delude themselves into thinking that they have blocked the message, the message cannot be blocked and will not die. The battle for the soul of the Urhobo people and others in Delta State has just begun. There will be more Davids, each with the ability to chip away at the obstacles that obscure access to the good life for all. They will be bolder to challenge the system more vigorously and shake it to its very foundation. The issue was never about David himself but about the interests of people who are seething with anger and reeling in pain. The enemies of the people will find no place to hide. They will eventually be defeated and taken off the road to victory for the people. This is the 21st century, and not the 12th century when barbarism and lawlessness once reigned. David has set the stage, at least for the Urhobo people and many applaud him for his initiative and the courage to confront the obnoxious and debilitating political system in Delta State that robs the people of their life. David is my hero and I call on all peace-loving people of the world to help thank him for his courage.

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