Opinion: Tony Iredia and his hatchet job in Edo

by Andrew Igbinovia


But like all bad losers, ever since, Oga Tony would not allow any opportunity pass without seeking to vent his anger and frustration on Oshiomhole even if that means telling bare-faced lies.

Tony Iredia is becoming difficult to ignore with his penchant for falsehood and illogic once the question is Edo State in an otherwise respectable Vanguard Newspaper.  Not too long ago, he wrote an article where for reasons that are not unconnected with his new found love for absurdities, he advocated for the enthronement of ethnicity as a basis for allocating public offices. Those who know him closely were not surprised as, according to them, he has always been an irredeemable tribalist.

In the countdown to the last governorship polls in Edo State, Oga Tony hardly hid his bias for the ethnic jingoists who believed it was either a ‘Bini man’ or no one else. Without shame, they brandished the ethnic card as their joker. But right -thinking Bini nation as well as others in Edo State would not be detained by their myopic considerations as they voted an Afemai man in the person of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to continue the good work he started in 2008. By voting massively for Oshiomhole on July 14, 2012, people of Edo South clearly demonstrated that merit deserved to be rewarded.

So, ethnic jingoists like Iredia were put to shame as the ‘Bini man’ they fielded not only lost his polling unit, but also his ward and local government.

But like all bad losers, ever since, Oga Tony would not allow any opportunity pass without seeking to vent his anger and frustration on Oshiomhole even if that means telling bare-faced lies.

Iredia was on the march again in Sunday Vanguard on November 3 following the defeat of his party in the council bye-election conducted in Esan North East on October 22. The council in question happens to be the stronghold of PDP’s strongman, Chief Tony Anenih. Iredia came close to sulking over APC’s victory. He would want readers to believe that the poll was ‘fixed’. But nothing could be further from the truth. In the governorship election conducted last year and supervised by INEC controlled by Abuja, ACN had defeated PDP emphatically in the same area. So, if Oshiomhole’s party could win in an election supervised by INEC in which all ‘federal instruments’ were arrayed, any surprise that APC won a local election conducted by the state electoral body.

Indeed, Esan North East is not isolated. In the earlier polls in April this year, APC won in the other 17 councils in the state. Of course, the reason was not far-fetched; Oshiomhole has continued to provide credible leadership in the state under the auspices of APC.

But in the said article, Iredia wants his readers to be aware that a new ‘Mr. Fix It’, in the derogatory sense, has taken over in Edo state.  He wants them to see the governor, Comrade Oshiomhole, not only as his new ‘Mr. Fix It’ but one that occupies the same level of profligate notoriety as his (Iredia’s) folk hero, the same one every citizen of Edo state and indeed Nigeria would rather run away from any day.

To an extent, perhaps one could say Iredia was correct, but only in the positive sense. Let us face it, what else do you call a miracle worker, one who has turned the fortunes of hitherto moribund state around so dramatically within so short a time, other than ‘Mr. Fix It’.

But the real difference between the governor as a ‘Mr. Fit It’ and that of Iredia’s mentor is that the latter fixes things negatively. In any case, only right-thinking people will appreciate the enormity of the job the comrade governor has done when one juxtaposes the short time within which he turned things around for the better against the longer period it took the other Mr. Fix It and his gang to wreck it.

In maliciously comparing the comrade governor with any other character, particularly in the same mode as those with records the people of the state would wish never was, Iredia committed a heinous crime against himself, the state and its people. It is worse because the comparison is with individuals known to have ran down every office unfortunate enough to have their imprints. Certainly, putting the  the comrade governor in the same mode as Iredia’s hero is nothing but a disservice to truth because you cannot equate an achiever with a profigate who orchestrated the decade of waste that brought the state on its kneels. If any comparison must be made, the comrade governor must been seen as one who not only reversed that profligate era but also registered his name as the best governor, in the realm of the venerable Chief Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia. Iredia, assuming he is in tune with reality, ought to be happy with that reality. He is not because like his paymasters, he finds peace in disorder.

There is indeed no cause for alarm if Iredia now refers to the Comrade Governor as ‘Mr. Fix It.’ Indeed, it is an ideal Moniker for a miracle worker like the comrade governor for the singular reason of his (the governor’s) wonderous peformance. It is a right description for a man who is tenacious, dogged and courageous. Certainly, he cannot be in the same bracket as apostles of Chop-Chop government where resources set aside for the betterment of the people are shared by profligates.

If Iredia must be told the truth, it is that Edo state is no longer for sale. The people are fed up with liars and thieves  parading as Messiahs. That is the message the people of the local government sent in vivid colours to Iredia and his like. For the first time in the history of both the local government and state, someone has decided to fix things in their proper order and the history of the state is changing for the better. Certainly, those whose wish has always been that its resources must remain the exclusive preserve of certain private individuals will, like Iredia, continue to remain as the forgotten lot. The only thing they will continue to do is amplify imagined shortcomings of people like the comrade governor who they should be praising for showing exemplary conduct in public offices. The time for ‘Chop-Chop’ politics is gone.




Read this article in the Leadership Newspapers


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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