Efosa Ewaenigho an Obidient based in Benin City, Edo State has expressed his feelings through what he identified as the new turn of events in the nominations of the TC Chairmen in Abia state and others.
His statement reads:
“Open Letter to Dr. Alex Chioma Otti (The Executive Governor of Abia State).
22 September 2023.
His Excellency Alex Otti,
Re: Appointment of Local Government Transition Chairmen.
The Labour Party and ObIdient Movement was a populist movement championed and driven by young Nigerians who were disgruntled with the state of affairs in the country. Abia State in the South-East is the luckiest State in the entire federation and became the only mirror through which Labour Party and the Obidient Movement will be evaluated or assessed. All eyes are on Abia State and every action of your government will echo and re-echo around the federation from East to West, North, South and to my Midwest. The hope of young Nigerians is embodied in the new Abia under you. The survival of the Labour Party and ObIdient Movement is on you and the State you lead. The satellite of the entire Nation beams on you and your State. I am an Edo man and we no dey carry last. We are proud to be identified as the headquarters of the ObIdient and Labour Party Movement and proudly defended the movement. It is not an accident of history because we were a Labour Party State under Adams Oshomole (Oshobaba) though we came out of it seriously bruised. Oshobaba turned out to be what he preached against. Abia State is the only eye of the Labour Party and ObIdient Movement and is indebted to blindness if you alienate movement’s critical demography. Please, let the seed of the Labour Party and ObIdient Movement germinate from Abia State and spread across the Nation. As Governor, do not only listen to the voice of the people but be seen to be listening to the voice of the people because your landslide victory was driven and secured by the people of Abia State. The feedbacks from the streets is that you have alienated those behind the victory of the Labour Party in Abia State in preference to people and your associates that you imported from outside the State. The stakeholders are speaking in hush tones over how you have sidelined them in every decision making process and may be tempted to start realignment. Who do you have if you lose the foot soldiers and the stakeholders who are on ground and have great influence on their communities and clans. 4 years is just tomorrow. The imported ‘Technocrats’ are scarcely on ground in their communities. As career people, they operate in a closed-circuit group and does not have electoral value in their communities and clans. The moneybags and super-rich hardly put their egg in one basket during Election to protect their wealth. They donate money to all contenders and hardly commit openly to any campaign or party. Therefore, you will always need all the demography in the next 3 years and should not be seen to be alienating the most critical groups; the ‘talakawas’ and the stakeholders in communities and clans. When you appointed your kitchen cabinet and commissioners, it was more of a one man show exercise. However, it was applauded as the right step in the right direction aimed at using the best hands at the State level. When you asked stakeholders from the 17 Local Government Areas to consult and nominate people for the TC positions, it was received as a gracious offer to help the stakeholders gain and retain the respect of their people and be seen as part of your government. The new turn of event in the nomination of TC Chairmen is humiliating to the stakeholders whose remaining ego and influence in their localities will be bruised to shame. The worst hit are the youths who does not qualify and meet your new criteria to be appointed TC Chairmen of the Government nearest to the people. The 360⁰ reverse to assemble moneybags, Old men and the super-rich to serve as TC Chairmen is a complete departure from the spirit of the Local Government Administration as a breeding ground for emerging leaders. The hope of young people will be dashed and wounded. The opposition will have a field day in branding Abia State, the Labour Party and ObIdient Movement as Gerontocracy and Elitetocracy under you. Local Government is the nearest government to the common people and needs emerging leaders that can be accessible to the people. It requires leaders who can sit, feel free and interact with the people. Leaders who possess the strength and energy to function from morning till night. Leaders who can wake up in the night to attend to emergencies. Leaders who will listen and attend to the people without contempt. You are too busy as a Governor and cannot be accessed by all. The Local Government Chairmen should be individuals who can be easily accessed as your go between. They should be people that can learn from your leadership model with the chances of mobility to higher calling. The Local Government should not be a retirement home. It should not be a resting place for people who has done well and handed over to their children. If they can hand over their businesses to their Children, why not allow their Children manage the last stage of Government. Mr. Governor, where is the place of the younger people if they are not good enough for the Local Government. What is remaining if stakeholders is denied input in the nomination of TC Chairmen of their Local Government. Mr. Governor, the young people and stakeholders are feeling completely alienated from your Government. They are feeling like strangers in a project they worked and laboured for. They see no place and space for them in your government. Mr. Governor, re-think and reconsider your choice of moneybags and super-rich as the most suitable for the Local Government TC Chairmen. The signs are not good for the Labour Party and the Obidient Movement. It is a complete opposite of the message of the Labour Party. We must be seen as a party and Movement that practiced what they preached. The people are watching”.
Benin City – Edo State.