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Asue Ighodalo’s quest to govern Edo

NESG NESG

“The price of greatness is responsibility” – Sir Winston Churchill.

This profound statement by British statesman, soldier, and writer Sir Winston Churchill, who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom twice, from 1940 to 1945 during the Second World War, and again from 1951 to 1955, resonates deeply on the premise of this treatise. The race to emerge as the next occupant of Dennis Osadebey House, Benin has started in earnest with gladiators throwing their hats into the ring as gubernatorial aspirants.

In the face of this development where there’s an unwritten agreement on the transition of power between the senatorial districts of the big heart of the nation; the meat of this submission is hinged on the quest of the well-respected lawyer, corporate titan and public figure christened Asue Ighodalo who’s known for his expertise in corporate law, finance, and investment banking, as he takes a deep dive into the murky waters of politics laden with intrigues, conspiracies, alignment and realignment, and nocturnal locomotion in his quest to govern Edo state as the helmsman as the tenure of incumbent Godwin Obaseki winds downs.

Fortune can be determined by one’s adeptness to navigate the intricate spaghetti of human existence. Despite these circumstances, there are persons who have experienced trajectories that shaped who they morphed into today, and over the years, they have proven themselves as true models of prominence. Asue Ighodalo is one such illustration. From his early years studying at the beginning of where nurtured boys transited to global men, King’s College, to where he sits today as chairman of several top-notch business entities like Sterling Bank Plc, Nigeria Breweries Plc, Levene Energy, Dangote Flour Mills Plc, Asue has had a remarkable voyage, successfully led numerous high-stake negotiations, advised on critical legal matters, and directed strategic initiatives that have transformed organisations and achieved remarkable outcomes.

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He has also been involved in various public and private sector initiatives. However, whether he is the “round peg in a round hole” for Edo state would depend on several factors and the specific context in which his potential role in Edo is being considered. Some considerations include leadership skills. Ighodalo’s leadership qualities, managerial abilities, and track record in various capacities would be critical in determining his suitability for a leadership role in Edo state. All things said, politics is not a mathematical equation where one plus one equals two.

Understanding of Edo state dynamics is key in the forthcoming off-cycle political contest. Knowledge of the local dynamics, culture, challenges, and opportunities would be essential for effectively leading and contributing to the development of the state. It’s stranger than fiction that Asue Ighodalo has been blackmailed in certain quarters that he’s not a son of the soil, as he’s unable to speak and converse conveniently in the local Esan dialect. The corporate titan and eminent legal counsel has dispelled this smokescreen being bandied around by naysayers and fifth columnists in the public domain.

Ighodalo’s vision and plans for the socio-economic development of Edo, as well as his alignment with the aspirations of the people, would play a crucial role in determining his suitability. On paper, he fits the bill of who can ascend to the top seat of the south-south sub-national entity, but there are factors that might militate against his ambition in the short, mid and long term if he clinches the much-coveted ticket via the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform.

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The legion of party faithful who have an axe to grind with the incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki, might truncate the ambition of Ighodalo. The current deputy governor, Comrade Phillip Shuaibu, is daggers drawn with his principal on the forthcoming gubernatorial contest concerning his eligibility and the cold shoulder meted to his ambition by the governor. On the periphery, there has been a groundswell of support and endorsement for Ighodalo’s quest for Dennis Osadebey House with eminent candidates in the fold of PDP stepping down for his candidacy.

One needs to take a cursory look at Ighodalo’s prior experience in the public cum private sector as chairman of the Alaghodaro Economic Summit and his stint as helmsman of Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) come in handy, his strides in community development of Esan Land further enhances his suitability for a role in leading or contributing to Edo state’s development. Asue also has a high hurdle to surmount to engage with diverse stakeholders, including government officials, community leaders, business entities, and citizens that would be important for building consensus and collaboration in his quest to lead the heartbeat of the nation.

In the realm of ethical standards and Integrity, Ighodalo has paid his dues beyond comprehension. The importance of upholding ethical standards and integrity in public service cannot be overstated. Any individual considered for a significant role in Edo state should demonstrate high ethical standards and integrity. His alignment with the development priorities and policies of Edo and the ability to work within the existing governance structure would be crucial and will be a key factor as the race for the gubernatorial contest gathers steam.

It’s important to note that determining whether someone is a “round peg in a round hole” involves a comprehensive evaluation of their skills, experience, vision, and ability to address the specific needs and challenges of the role they are being considered for. Public perception, consensus among relevant and key stakeholders, and the overall context of politicking via democratic tenets of emergence as the candidate of the PDP also play significant roles in determining suitability for leadership positions. Time will tell where the pendulum will swing and as they say: “One day is a long time in politics.”

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Ayoola Ajanaku is a communications and advocacy specialist based in Lagos, Nigeria.



Views expressed by contributors are strictly personal and not of TheCable.
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