The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has reiterated the need for political leaders at different levels to honour the social contract with the people, calling for a paradigm shift to douse rising tension across the country.
Obaseki, while addressing members of Edo State Transition Committee and other stakeholders at the Government House in Benin City on Wednesday, noted that the 2023 general election will not be business as usual as more Nigerians have become politically enlightened.
He said: “The key message today is that there is a paradigm shift in Nigeria and Nigeria’s politics as it was clearly demonstrated on September 19, 2020 in Edo State.
“We went through the 192 wards in the State and made promises to the people and they believed us, came out to vote for us and we won. As a government we don’t have money to share but money to work for Edo people.”
Noting that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) used the state’s election to redeem its image, Obaseki said, “The body used technology to ensure that the result was not easily changed at the INEC’s portal. Subsequent elections will experience a larger turnout because the Edo election has shown that people’s vote can actually count.”
He continued: “Politics is changing in Nigeria as the electorate have begun to vote rightly using the Edo election. We should all know that the 2023 election will not be business as usual.
“Nigeria will not disintegrate. There will be a lot of crises but the country will not disintegrate. We need to manage the politics right or else, we all will suffer. We need to fix the politics by keeping the social contract between the leaders and the people.
“There is a social contract between the governed and the people in power. As leaders, you should provide sustenance for the people to live right. This contract creates the room for the people to live well but it looks like the leaders have broken that contract.”
We need to change the narrative and ensure we keep the contract with the people,” he advised.
Calling for the support of all to ensure the success of his administration, the governor stated: “Politicians come into office for just four years, take over duties of Civil Servants, leaving the system worse and making the service weak. Our administration is focusing on strengthening it for optimum productivity.
“Political appointees have been confused not knowing what to do, encroaching into other people’s responsibilities and duties. We need to put all the structure back to ensure we move forward in development.”
On his part, Chairman of Edo State Transition Committee and Edo State Head of Service, Barr. Anthony Okugbowa said the committee was set up “to set an agenda for this administration, taking cognizance of ongoing projects for both developmental and transformational purposes and electioneering campaign promises.”
“The purpose of this meeting is to have interaction with the political class and seek their input in developing the governance framework of identified problems,” he added.