The re-election of Governor Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki has reignited the hope of citizens and residents of the state, that the developmental strides of his administration in the areas of education, health care, agriculture, civil service reforms, infrastructural development, sport development, electrification, industrialization and so on would all be sustained and continued till the impact of all these projects and programmes are eventually felt by all and sundry.
Most noticeable was the massive support he got from the youth, who formed a solid base during the pre-electioneering period, as well as post election. This was because they believed and shared in the vision of “Making Edo Great Again (MEGA).”But, just as it is the norm in democracies all over the world, “the minority would have their say, and the majority carries the day.”
Even at that, some disgruntled or dissatisfied individuals within the minority would still find it hard accepting the decisions and wishes of the general populace, and so may resort to all manner of anti-social behaviours to disrupt the peace and hinder the positive developmental strides that have and is being recorded in the eighteen local government areas of the state. The youth of Edo who are the engine room of a prosperous state, must not allow themselves to be bought over by these agents of darkness and destruction, seeking to thwart the future. This is because the governor fully recognises the role the youth play in every facets of our collective existence, that is why he has been committed to engaging the youth more vibrantly and purposefully.
The United Nations (2018) report states, “that the active engagement of youth in sustainable development efforts is central to achieving sustainable, inclusive and stable societies.” This helps in averting the dangers of poverty, unemployment, conflict and migration. Governor Obaseki, by his actions during his first tenure, has proven that he understood all these facts, and this has been the reason for creating strong and vibrant institutions, and not creating strong men in politics or servicing godfathers as the case may be in other societies.
The governor has reiterated that he has no godfathers except God the Father, and Edo finances must be judiciously used to create a better life for Edolites. An example of such vibrant institutions created to harness the potentials of the youth is the Edo innovation hub, whose core mandate has been to incubate technological startups and empower the youth with vital information and communication technological skills. Also, the Edo State Skills Development Agency (ESSDA) was established by the government to tackle the massive job deficit existing in times past, turn the tide of youth restiveness, irregular migration and other negative vices that had hitherto been linked to the the state.
The African Union (2019) report, listed 5 key areas for the youth decade plan of action, for successive governments within the region to adopt and follow, they include; education and skills development, governance, peace and security, youth health and sexual reproductive health rights, youth employment and entrepreneurship, agriculture, climate change and the environment. Governor Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki shares in the vision of the African union. He believes that if Edo must move forward, there is an urgent need to improve capacity, knowledge and skills of the youth through development programmes that will help them meet the challenges of life and fulfill their potentials. This is currently being done to raise their level of competence, confidence, character and compassion. Edo youth irrespective of political, cultural and religious background must play their part in joining hands with the government of the day in ensuring progress is attained, maintained and achieved.
They must not join hands with dissatisfied criminal elements, who have shown and proven to us that they are agents of political instability, as was noticed in the level of carnage orchestrated during the peaceful #ENDSARS protest that was hijacked by paid saboteurs, causing violence and destruction across the state. It is the duty of the youth to assist in providing evidence that will help in curtailing the level of criminality, thuggery, cult clashes, violence and murder witnessed these past weeks. To secure our collective future, we must report these individuals with parochial interests to security agencies in the state, and collaborate with the police and the criminal Justice department to ensure that these individuals causing mayhem are brought to Justice. This is because where there is no law and order, no meaningful development can take place.
The piece was written by Arthur Kriste Mbonu from SOTHAWACA