June 20, 2024

Ighodalo-Okpebholo

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By Kassim Afegbua

Democracy and politics are two interesting engagements where citizens are allowed to flourish their interest and choices in a free and fair manner.

One of the PDP Campaigners on a platform I belonged had challenged me to market my candidate Senator Monday Okpebholo to him, instead of complaining about Godwin Obaseki and his godson, Asue Ighodalo.

He was saying it cynically as though I would be helpless in churning out the credentials of Akpakomiza, but he was shocked by my submissions, and by the time I finished, I didn’t hear “PIM” from him again. Here are my submissions on Senator Monday Okpebholo…

Senator Monday Okpebholo: A thoroughbred Nigerian who has respect for elders and the young ones. Easily accessible, kind and unassuming.

His subliminal humility is palpable. Not quarrelsome and combunctious. Not combative and bombastic.

He was nurtured back home, travelled to Jos in search for greener pastures. He was able to make meaning in life by getting involved in computer sales and services.

He later made sure he completed his education by acquiring a University Degree. He was a close confidant of late Chief Tony Anenih and stood by the late sage till death.

Monday is loyalty personified!

He shoulders a lot of responsibilities for people who are at the lower rung of the ladder. His humble up-bringing always nudging him on to serve the people.

Senator Monday Okpebholo came out from nowhere to dislodge Senator Clifford Ordia, of the PDP power oligarchy in Edo Central Senatorial District.

His moniker; AKPAKOMIZA, resounded across Esan land to the surprise of those sit-tight PDP monologues.

He criss-crossed the Senatorial District and trounced Clifford Ordia with political bruises all over the former’s face. Senator Okpebholo broke into the fortress of PDP’s stronghold in Edo Central and led his people out of a party that had detained her progress by sit-tight representatives.

As a private individual, he has built roads, provided several boreholes across many communities, and built schools while renovating some.

He continues to give scholarship to many Esan students, bought many vehicles to support Esan Security Network, and became part and parcel of the aspirations of the people.

He is familiar with the terrain, call him a son of the soil, with original native name ; Okpebholo, not AKINTUNDE, he has earned the recognition of being the Asiwaju of Esanland.

Senator Monday Okpebholo is an ELECTABLE material whose humility is infectiously woven around good neighbourliness.

As my neighbour for six years in Abuja, you cannot fault Monday where respect, candour, humaneness, selfless service, loyalty are involved.

These were the attributes Late Chief Tony Anenih saw in him that he practically called him; “my son”. My first close contact with Chief Tony Anenih was in Senator Okpebholo’s House.

And till date, Monday is not only proud to have associated with this great Leader, he has the Late Chief’s portrait at the ante room once you stepped your feet into his humble home.

Monday is genuinely concerned about the plights of Edo people and the hardship that Governor Obaseki has brought upon them.

He laments every day, but he told me, “please join me to uproot these economic predators out of Edo state.”

Aside from being a man with emotional intelligence, his ability to fix problems by proffering solutions is legendary.

Smooth talking with uncommon suave, people mistake his calmness and shyness to mean he can’t articulate issues in a most fecund manner.

How laughable. How can anyone imagine that an elected Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria won’t be able to discharge himself creditably well in the 10th Senate?

Aside from being the number one political leader in Esanland, he’s at home with all; youths, traditional rulers, artisans, transport owners, drivers, hair dressers, students and many others. He speaks with them in the native Esan language.

In summary, Senator Okpebholo is patriotic, humane, kindhearted, humility personified, calm and unassuming.

He’s a man who is ever ready to sacrifice for the people. He has ran a successful business in the telecom sector to the admiration of all.

His gigantic office in Area 3, Abuja tells the story even better. He won’t plant hatred in the minds of the people like the current PDP leaders in the state who are quarrelsome and always fighting.

Edo people, young and old will find him very prepared to lead them out of the present leadership quagmire such that even the PDP candidate, Asue Ighodalo is running away from his godfather, Governor Obaseki.

Asue Ighodalo: The first thing his supporters will tell you is that, the man can speak Queen’s English very well, that’s why he uses interpreters whenever he wants to connect with his people.

When he addressed his traditional rulers, he used an interpreter. When he spoke to leaders of thought, he used interpreter. There is no connection with the people.

When he was contacted to contribute to Esan Security Network, it was alleged by an insider that he contributed N100k, compared to Okpebholo’s many vehicles and millions which he invested in the security network.

Perhaps he didn’t know there would be a time when he would be needing his people’s support.

A stranger to Edo state by every consideration, he’s the type that visits his hometown once in 10 years, using the modest home built by his parents as point of reference.

As a speaker of Queen’s English and Adviser to Governor Obaseki, I was told he was the one who told the Governor to demolish the State Library for Shoprite.

Everything na business, profit and loss account. One of his supporters declared that a new Library is located inside the shopping mall.

Wonders shall never end. Putting a Library in a market place, na wa for AKINTUNDE oh, all these Lagosians. They call him AI (Artificial Intelligence); no wonder there is no originality in him.

For five good years, Ekpoma section of the Benin-Auchi Road was bad, Asue Ighodalo could not advise his boss, Governor Obaseki to fix it.

As soon as they saw Senator Okpebholo brought in the Minister for Works to start the repairs, ooh, they are now running “kati-kati-kati” to claim credit.

He’s also joining Governor Obaseki to kill Ambrose Alli University, Professor Alli’s legacy in Esanland. Comedians in government House.

Chai! Diaris God oooh!

Until Asue decided to run for Governor, he didn’t know where Ugboha in Esan was located. He didn’t know Igarra, in Akoko-edo or Ikpeshi or Atte.

I was told he was thoroughly embarrassed when he saw the road between Otuo and Agor during his familiarisation tour.

And even the one between Iruekpen and Ora. At some point, he threatened to pull out seeing the level of dissonance against the government of Godwin Obaseki.

Asked about how he found his way to PDP, he gave the credit to Chief Solomon Aguele, his Uncle, and not Godwin Obaseki, his boss.

How do you now compare such a person, an AKINTUNDE to an OKPEBHOLO, when election in Edo is involved?

My conclusion is that, Monday Okpebholo as a Senator is an ELECTABLE material, while Asue Ighodalo will be better off as an APPOINTABLE material.

Prince Kassim Afegbua, Journalist and Public Affairs Commentator writes from Abuja

Read Also: https://businessday.ng/news/article/nigerian-breweries-sees-n600bn-rights-issue-reducing-debt-burden-after-devaluation/

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