By WILFRED JIBRIL
It is indubitable that Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo State is not only the oldest but also the largest and the most criminally neglected, thanks to the misanthropic, parochially minded and egotistic politicians in the area.
While other local government areas are recording meteoric progress, Akoko-Edo Local Government Area is on the reverse gear. It is not hyperbolical to say that as far as socio-economic development is concerned, nothing is happening there.
This reporter, who was in the area to monitor the last House of Assembly election in the state, observed to his chagrin that all the roads in the local government area are death traps. Only Igarra, the council’s headquarters, has a few motorable roads.
No other village or town has any good road, but the council parades prominent public office holders, who appear to loathe the idea of reversing the devastating and crippling socio-economic cataclysm which has befallen the area.
The roads are so terrible that the only mode of transportation for the downtrodden masses is okada (commercial motorcycles) and the fares are outrageous.
Sadly, the people keep voting for their oppressors on account of the peanuts they are getting from them, which is why the much desired liberation from these oppressors might remain elusive.
How else do you explain a situation whereby the state number three citizen, who is the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Kabiru Adjoto, cannot attract an ordinary road that will not cost him a dime to Ibillo, Imoga and Ikakumo, his village?
Yet, his bootlickers took to the social media ahead of the APC House of Representatives primary election last year, campaigning aggressively for him to secure the party ticket. Thankfully, he was deservedly defeated at the primary election by Hon. Peter Ohio Akpatason.
In June 2019, Adjoto would have spent 12 years at the House of Assembly without attracting any life-transforming development to his constituency. He became Speaker in September 2017.
Ibillo/Imoga/Ikakumo road is now a death trap; hence Adjoto now accesses his village through Ayanran near Isua-Akoko in Ondo State.
Hon. Akpatason, who hails from Uneme-Nekhua, a village adjacent Aiyegunle, the hometown of the former Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Tunde Akogun, himself has equally not made any impact in his constituency.
He, nonetheless, secured a third term during the recently concluded general elections in the country. His performance is much more felt on the social media than in his constituency
For instance, the federal road, linking his village with other parts of the state, is in a deplorable state. It is pretty difficult pinpointing his achievements in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area
Ostensibly owing to the abject poverty bashing the people, the electorate lack the political will to retire these self-serving politicians whose only agenda is to impoverish the people.
Despite the crushing adversities confronting them, they are willing tools in the hands of their oppressors to perpetuate their grip on them.
In the aforementioned election in Edo State, it was obvious and incontrovertible that the process was flawed as Naira ‘rain’ played a prominent role in the ‘tainted’ victory of the oppressive All Progressives Congress (APC)
If the party was popular as they would have us believe, why budgeting handsomely for vote buying? Why did they elicit the support of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to make things happen?
If the APC government in Edo State was performing, why did they have to converge on the premises of Senator Domingo Obende on the eve of the election, feasting and ‘empowering’ the people?
According to my source, there was so much to eat and drink and that the strategies for ‘winning’ the election were consummated at the event.
Observers opine that the local government area might not record any meaningful socio-economic development unless the present crop of politicians in the area is retired.
But the one million dollar question is: “Who will pull the chestnuts of the local government area out of the fire?”
An Igarra resident told EDO VOICE shortly before the House of Assembly election that one of the expired politicians once likened Akoko-Edo people to chickens that get satisfied once they are given some grains.
That explains why they have established a sort of suzerain/vassal relationship with the people. There must be a departure from this trend if Akoko-Edo Local Government Area must weather its current storm of socio-economic nightmare.
A word is enough for the wise.