Ahead of Saturday’s elections and Having taken time to watch the debate organized by Channels TV for 4 Gubernatorial candidates in Edo State, I must commend the organizers for taking their time to go to Benin for the debate and getting all the candidates to be there. However, here are Some lessons that were learnt:
- TWO CONTESTANTS CLEARLY: it was crystal clear that the election is going to be between Obaseki and Ize-Ayamu. The other contestants were just there to make numbers and I will not be surprised if one of them steps down and offers his support to any of the leading two. Most questions were directed at both of them and
- THE PAST: The past administrations in Edo state played more part in the debate than the future of the state which was really bad. The Labour party and APGA candidates were left without answers most times because questions were being asked like –While you were there, what happened to so so and so – It is usually hard to separate these things but then, we must not allow them t be the basis for future debates.
- PERSONALTIES: The personalities of the top two contestants were clearly put through severe tests as questions regarding their personal issues were brought to open air. They both began the debate and got aggressive as it wore on.
- BEST QUESTION: After the debate, the organizers agreed to allow each contestant ask another contestant a question. Both Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu threw away the chance to ask each other what their major plans are and instead resorted to continuing their personal battles over state funds each allegedly had access to at some point. The best question of the night was asked by the Labour party candidate who asked pastor Ize-Iyamu the moral justification he had to contest after serving both previous administrations for lengthy period holding key positions.
- The purpose of the debate was however not met to the extent I expected. Pastor Ize-Ayamu of the PDP used any and every opportunity he had to criticize the administration of Comr. Adams Oshiomole, while Godwin Obaseki spent time trying to defend this administration, and also show some of his plans. I expected a situation where each contestant was judged based on his plans for taking the state to the future and not majorly based on something that was done in the past. I also expected a question like “would you be willing to accept the outcome of the election on Saturday and work with whoever wins to ensure we move the state to the next level?” – That was not asked.
Regardless of how the election pans out, I sincerely wish the state the very best as all indications have shown that clearly, the administration of Dr Igbinedion did not lay a good foundation for the state and although no one will doubt the relative development Comr. Oshiomole has brought, there is still room for improvement this elections will only do the state more good than harm in moving forward. May the Best man WIN!