Edo 2016: Benin chiefs warn Oshiomhole

A group of people, who call themselves Benin Leaders of Thought (BLT), has vowed to resist any attempts by Governor Adams Oshiomhole to foist his successor on the state without general input from the people of the state.

They have also raises the alarm over what they described as “the re-introduction of god-fatherism into the state politics ahead of the 2016 governorship election.

The BLT, under the leadership of the younger brother of Benin monarch, Prince Edun Akenzuwa, gave this warning in a press conference organised by the socio-cultural group in Benin on Wednesday.

The decision of the chiefs may not be unconnected with the governor’s speculated endorsement of the Chairman of Edo Economic Team, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, as his preferred successor in the 2016 governorship election.

They warned that a re-introduction of God-fatherism in the politics of the state would be detrimental to its social, economic and political development.

According to Akenzua: “Adams Oshiomhole, 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.

“While not confirming the rumour, BLT’s position on this issue is that god-fatherism in Edo politics is detrimental to the social, economic and political development of the state. God-fathersim is not acceptable to BLT and the people of Edo State.

It should not be reintroduced under any guise.

“The people of Edo State should be given a free hand to determine their next governor. Popular participation bestows responsibility for governing one’s own conduct, develop ones character, self-reliance, intelligence and moral judgment.

“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 only know the truth by discovering it himself.”

While commending Oshiomhole for his feats, the BLT said that it would continue to collaborate with the government to do better.

“The fear of the potential return of god-fatherism, a phenomenon which dominated the politics of Edo before the entry of Oshiomhole and to which he also devoted so much time and energy fighting, is one issue that has excited the imagination of observers of Edo politics in recent times. Edo people have generally acknowledged god-fatherism as one evil that needed to be addressed before the state could achieve the goal of good governance”, Akenzuwa said.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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