On 15th August 2020, thousands of Edo residents and PDP supporters took to the street’s in a campaign road show dubbed the Umbrella Walk. This action was a public display of loyalty to the incumbent Governor Mr. Godwin Obaseki and a protest against the recent events in Edo State that threatened to undermine the democratic process. Yes, this defining moment by the public was their rightful response to political lawlessness tagged as godfatherism, the acts of violence perpetuated by miscreants of the opposing party and an opportunity to march for the common goal of accountable leadership and good governance. The best outcome of the march is that many more are reaching out and asking how to sustain the momentum that will bring about real change in Edo State.
Some may ask what is the Obasekist or Umbrella Movement?
It is made of Edolites who not only recognize and identify with the vision of Making Edo great again but are committed to working with the leaders: Governor Obaseki and Deputy Shuaibu in shaping strategies that best fit the times and address the next 30 years of the Edo State.
While this public optimism is noble, there are some basic lessons on how Obaseki and Shuaibu got to this point that is worth remembering.
First, there was the 2 years of silent but deadly war between the Obaseki administration representing accountable leadership and the old corrupt political system characterized by over 2 decades -long failure to take responsibility or address the issues in Edo State; the infrastructural decay, corrupt election system, barely existent public institutions and the deplorable living conditions faced by the everyday Edo man.
Secondly, there was a buildup. Corrupt systems have a modus operandi that remain unchanged through the years it seeks to buy, subdue, intimidate and ultimately silence good. A through look at the David and Goliath fight between Mr Obaseki and the “powers that be” saw the same pattern play out. First there was the offer to buy Edo State, followed by the dirt slinging and accusations about lack of gratitude, an attempt to suspend from the party, the disqualification and ultimately attempts on their lives.
If history is a guide, reformation always comes at the cost of personal sacrifice and a high moral code. However, on a positive note Mr Obaseki and Comrade Shaibu appear to have taken stock of the challenges ahead and are up to the task.
The overwhelming majority of participants in the Umbrella march recognize these leaders as not just wanting the perks of the office instead they are committed to a larger cause of restoring greatness to Edo State , therefore the march was to draw awareness to their aspirations for a Greater Edo and their allegiance to Obaseki /Shaibu in making the vision a reality.
Aledeh News is not liable for opinions expressed in this article, they’re strictly the writer’s.