By John Mayaki
Today, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole has laid a golden-egg in the person of Governor Godwin Obaseki with his life honored in moving eulogies by party faithful, fans, and well-wishers – all expressions about him did something to me; they knocked some sense into me about hard-work, integrity, character and humility.
All who knew him personally spoke stirringly to an audience about an illustrious Edo son who handed the baton of state-craft to another quintessential eminent son – Governor Godwin Obaseki – a humble, selfless, compassionate, humorous, and religious man with high moral conviction.
Sure, we all will miss Comrade – because, sooner or later, in a new administration, you start to miss the preceding one – however, in all we shall miss of him, we shall receive in manifold, from Governor Godwin Obaseki in terms of participatory and people-driven governance, free speech, and accommodation of alternative opinions as elements of democratic governance.
Those who know him cannot agree less that the first part of his life was dominated by the triumph of his unique gifts especially those that challenge. Every single one of us have gifts of mind and heart just that he found ways to release them in both large and small.
Pointedly, Edo people credit the stream of knowledge which constitutes the concept of “Oshiomhole’s finishing well” to Governor Godwin Obaseki. It was his school of economics and governance which provided the verve and lifeline with which workers in the state go home monthly, with their pay-cheques to date and this also provided the basis of my understanding of values in governance and service to the people for which the Comrade is now famously known in Nigeria.
We owe a particular debt of gratitude to him – Obaseki. His brilliance and selfless service to fatherland and common sense illustrations of how governance should work during retreats is unparalleled. He’s been an inspiration to all those who came across him.
What about his tradition of clear thinking and simple exposition? Aren’t they admirable? No doubt, he has influenced our modern generation positively just as we urge everyone who has come across him to imbibe these core values wholly.
Let’s add quickly, that the development of specific ideas which this government has successfully implemented and of which we are better today as a state, was enhanced by discussions at the various retreats. The Team leader’s careful and methodical analysis of the ideas and achievements today, not only made him a perfect and compliant successor but will make these policies more consistent and cohesive, thereby helping us to better understand the larger picture that Comrade espoused abinitio.
Thus far, Obaseki has proven that his love for the growth and development of the state and her people is worth every sacrifice. Quietly too, he made more sacrifices for the state than most people can ever imagine.
For others who are yet to meet him, let it be said, even for the umpteenth time, that he has been an invisible but prime player in the Oshiomhole administration that is generally said to have reconnected the state to the path of real growth and development.
As head of the economic team, the brainiac introduced the policies that shaped the administration’s enviable economic and managerial conducts which produced its highly commendable development initiatives. He is here today with a mind that understands prudent fiscal management required to block all leakages beyond political rhetoric and have no difficulty scaling all development-impediments hurdles.
His contributions were instrumental in steering the state away from recession despite the debilitating national financial malaise that rendered more than 70% of the states in Nigeria practically unable to meet their monthly obligations. And he did all these without receiving a salary throughout his service – this is as good as he gets with sacrifice.
This quintessential personality is not the type to hurl insults. He is not the type to attack ad hominem. He is not bombastic and fierce but rather humble, pensive with eyes-fixed on the goal. His essential humility and succinctness simply defines his charisma and persona – a man of self-control and determination who is prepared to collaborate and foster his team’s confidence.
With an intimidating resume – and as an insider in government of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, he parades a huge record of achievements with the-can-do-spirit. And for those who may have chosen to ignore some facts about him, a reminder may be imperative.
The APC national chairman, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, is easily the first to come to mind – “Obaseki is resourceful and intelligent”, Oyegun posited. Continuing, he said, “Obaseki is the software while Oshiomhole is the hardware that regenerated the state into a national development yardstick”.
As head of Oshiomhole’s economic team, the same organ that acted as the administration’s now celebrated brain box, Governor Obaseki engineered a number of key and strategic investments already operating around the state. This is in addition to the fact that as an investment banker of repute who has the eyes and ears of investors that matter within and outside the shores of our great country, more investors will have faith in him with executive powers.
Indeed, it goes without saying that they will feel secured to have their investments in the hands of a man they have learnt to trust, particularly now that he has the powers to call the final shots on and supervise the implementation of sensitive investment policies.
On several occasions, Obaseki made it clear that governance is not and cannot be an avenue for making money. Instead, it is one for rendering services – selfless services.
This is where he is different from career politicians whose major interest lie in replenishing depleted personal resources, leaving the people, the ultimate losers.
Even President Muhammadu Buhari can testify to Obaseki’s personality, “…Mr. Obaseki is a seasoned person. I assure you and I recommend him to you so that you will continue to grow”, Mr. President, a man with few words witnessed.
“I know Godwin Obaseki, he is people-friendly”, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode attested. He didn’t stop there on Obaseki, “he is reliable, he is trustworthy, and above all, he has the fear of God. You all need Godwin Obaseki now. He will bring his financial expertise to turn Edo State around for the better”.
As if to verify what his successor attested on the character of Governor Obaseki, Babatunde Raji Fashola, Minister of Power, Works and Housing said, “Godwin Obaseki is truly a remarkable figure with limitless talent, a big heart and a self-effacing, down-to-earth personal style that gives no indication of his extraordinary accomplishments.
We are convinced in Edo state just as we can bear witness to the testimonies above that Governor Obaseki has the credentials and needed qualities – the Godwin Obaseki gift especially those needed in these days of recessions and economic downturns by helping to redefine and assist on how ideally the little resources we have can be creatively redistributed for the general good of the people. With him in control, we can, with great hope, look forward to a greater future for the state and her people.
Mayaki writes from Edo