One terrible thing about going the wrong way is that it doesn’t always matter how long or short one stays on the path and the speed he goes on; the endpoint is always predictable—one of sadness, frustration, and regrets.
As the race for the next occupant of Dennis Osadebey Avenue heats up in Edo State, with intrigues and drama of both the absurd and the rational, the import of making the right choice as to who calls the shots in Government House, Benin City, over the next four years comes to the front burner.
Amid the political theatrics and maneuvering, this is critical because the wrong choice could mean a journey down a regrettable path, marked by retrogression, degeneration and missed opportunities, especially given the remarkable strides and progress that have been recorded in the State over the past decade.
It is noteworthy that this progress has been marked by a remarkable journey with economic revolution in agriculture, technology, manufacturing, and the creative industry, among others. One in which the decline in education has been put to a halt and the State transformed into one of Africa’s accelerator States in education, as well as a seismic shift from a civil service State to one attracting billions of dollars of investments from the private sector.
Edo State today has moved from a dark, drab, and dangerous State to one of light, safety, and security, reflecting an environment where citizens can thrive and live life to the fullest, businesses can flourish, and the quality of life is elevated.
It is therefore imperative that the choice of who takes over government in 2024 is essentially hinged on proven track records of performance, particularly in the various aspirants’ private and personal endeavours. Because, as it is often said, ‘he who is faithful with little is most likely faithful with much.’
The selection criteria for the next Edo State Governor should border on vision, pedigree, knowledge, and expertise to navigate through the political and economic headwinds and put the people on the path of much better life.
It is on this pedestal that the candidacy of Dr. Asue Ighodalo, a seasoned lawyer, banker, and accomplished boardroom guru shines through the dark as an array of hope, offering Edo State and its people a trajectory that leads away from despair and towards a future of progress and prosperity.
No doubt, Asue Ighodalo’s profile is quite staggering and his candidature is already unsettling the political stratosphere in Edo State, sending jitters in the camps of other candidates. The grapevines have it that the All Progressive Congress is already wooing a business tycoon and entrepreneur from Owan, Edo North Senatorial District in a bid to find a candidate capable of matching the impressive corporate profile of the former Chairman of Sterling Bank Plc and Chairman of Nigeria Breweries.
Ighodalo, easily appears to be the most prepared, qualified, and competent of other candidates with a clear vision and roadmap to elevate the State to new heights and proffer innovative solutions to the peculiar challenges faced by the people of the State.
With about 40 years of experience in project finance, securities and capital markets, energy and natural resources, mergers and acquisitions, and banking and securitization, Ighodalo strikes out uniquely equipped to safeguard and build upon the foundation laid by Governor Obaseki having been a part of the vision and its realisation over the past 16 years as a member of the Economic Team under former Governor Adams Oshiomhole and now as Chairman of the Alaghodaro Investment Summit, an annual platform to rally investors into the State and showcase the progress being recorded in transforming the state into an investment haven.
Possessing a boardroom expertise arguably akin to the incumbent’s, Ighodalo brings with him a rich reservoir of knowledge and a demonstrable history of steering organisations toward success.
His profound experience in law, banking, and corporate governance uniquely situates him as a competent executor and one with the adeptness to navigate the complexities of various sectors and propel the State forward on a trajectory of accelerated and sustained growth. While acknowledging that other aspirants are distinguished and eminent sons of Edo State, each possessing qualifications and outstanding qualities befitting the role of governor, it becomes crucial for Edo people to see through the augury what lies ahead, scrutinise with discernment and choose the best of the bests-one who is rightly equipped and capable of credibly leading the State over the next four years. The focus should be on identifying a leader who can actively foster the desired progress and bring about a transformative impact on the socio-economic landscape of the State.
In concluding this piece, let me emphasise that while good and effective governance relies on building strong institutions to serve as the framework for politicians to operate in public’s best interest, it also depends on the selection of competent and trustworthy politicians who have the strength of character to uphold the values of the institutions they serve in the first place.
As the momentum continues to gather ahead of the 2024 gubernatorial election, Edo State and its people have the opportunity to choose a leader who is synonymous with experience, integrity, and a commitment to progress. Ighodalo has shown that he is the ideal and right candidate to steer Edo State to greater heights.
Edo people must not overlook the chance to choose and support this one man who truly represents the aspirations, desires, and values of the people—a leader in the person of Dr. Asue Ighodalo.