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Residents and people of Edo state with access to the electronic and print media woke up on the morning of Wednesday, October 28, 2015 to an advertorial-cum-article by a certain group with an amusing appellation, “Coalition of Edo Transparency”, published on page 56 of The Guardian Newspaper on same date. The advertorial entitled “Oshiomhole’s Ill-Advised Steps In Imposing A Successor!” was signed by the group’s President and Publicity Secretary, Monday Egharevba and Abdul Zakariyau, respectively, names that appear fictitious and clandestine.

In the said advertorial, the group set to malign the hard-earned integrity, reputation, credibility and capabilities of Barr. Osarodion Ogie, a senior legal practitioner and one-time Chief of Staff Government House but who presently serves as a Commissioner for Works in the Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s administration. The group’s attempt to rope in Mr. Obaseki, the Head of the Economic team of the administration was an act of subterfuge. Their target was Barr. Osarodion Ogie. None other than him!

Curiously, in a clear attempt to do the biddings of their paymasters (who they perhaps revealed at the conclusion of their write-up in the poser contained in their penultimate paragraph which was: “or is Pastor Ize-Iyamu destined to rule Edo state after all?”) they went to town with a multitude of falsehood, birthing tissues of lies mainly to hoodwink the unsuspecting good people of Edo state. Yet again, perhaps the allusion to Pastor Ize-Iyamu is another act of subterfuge, with the aim of employing the art of indirection, trying to shield their real paymasters.
The crux of their publication is the laughable allegation that Barr. Osarodion Ogie was not a Bini man but one of Urhobo ethnic descent, so not fit and proper to be governor of our great state.

Fortunately, in a response to the shameless lies bandied by this group, Chief Michael Edorodion Ogie, the head and Oka-egbe of the Ogbebor/Ogie family of Benin Kingdom, which Barr. Osarodion Ogie belongs to, caused a rebuttal to be published in The Guardian Newspapers, of October 29, 2015 on page 9. In his rebuttal, he provided an avalanche of background information, presenting the genealogical tree of his family. The summary of his recital/historical review revealed to the world and all discerning minds that Barr. Osarodion Ogie is a Bini man, born to Pa Ogie Igbinigie, who was sired by Chief Ogbebor Osifo, a grandchild of a great Benin Chief, Ehonwa, who was birthed by the Ezomo of Benin Kingdom at that time.

Chief Micheal Erododion Ogie further explained that Chief “Ehonwa was a man of stupendous wealth whom the Binis complimented with the remark Ogbe ma gue Ehonwa ere onado zuroladiasn vbo ore nokhua. That part of the kingdom that Ehonwa’s estate occupied is today known as Unu-Abehe, a shouting distance from the Oba’s palace.”
To further dispel the blatant lies of the writers, the Oka-egbe also stated that: “ Pa Aghariaha and Pa Igbineweka although now of blessed memory still have their houses at Ogbe Quarters Benin City as at today and these houses are occupied by their children and grandchildren. Osarodion’s father built his first house in Ogbesasa Street, Benin City and later built two more houses at Ugbekun (Upper Sakponba Road) where some of his children, grandchildren and his third wife Inaba (the mother of Osarodion) are effectively in occupation as at today. Pa Ogie Ogbebor our dear father passed on to eternal glory on 11th March 1990 and was buried in one of his houses at Ugbekun quarters, Upper Sakponba Road, Benin City.”

What is wrong in a man’s ambition to serve his state and people? Why this cheap attempt at discrediting his candidacy while openly promoting that of another? Is the political space not wide enough for a plethora of gubernatorial interests? What the people of Edo state deserve at this point of our existence is good leadership and governance, massive socio-infrastructural development, better healthcare, improvements in security, reduction in the cost of living and better life for all.

The pertinent questions should be: does Barr. Osarodion Ogie have the physical, mental and intellectual wherewithal to deliver? Does he have the firm belief and conviction that his plans for his people can be actualized? Is his integrity and love for his people enough to garner their trust and votes?

Barr Osarodion who was birthed with his twin brother Osaguona (Teddy) at the Anglican Maternity, Awo Street, Benin City on September 24, 1960, is a legal practitioner of repute, haven been called to the Nigerian Bar over 29 years ago, with his law chambers located in Benin city and Lagos, unlike other political office holders who are bereft of business or professional addresses other than that of politics. He is certainly a technocrat who has a firm view and grasp of the regnant issues, policies and actions that need to be executed to better the lives of Edo people. Over a considerable period of time, he has brought his legal and technocratic wealth of experience to bear in the service of Edo people, in different capacities and forum. His abilities and quality of work speaks volumes. He is fit to govern our dear state, and if God Almighty wills it, no group’s antagonism can prevail.

It is highly unfortunate that in this era where issues should be on qualitative and people-oriented concerns, this group elected to descend so low into the murky waters of mudslinging. It is inferior minds that excel in discussions of mundane nature; matured minds focus on germane and humanitarian issues.

The good people of Edo state will determine who leads them, and not to be influenced by the infantile rants of deluded minds who have been thrown monetary crumbs by their paymasters to mastermind the publication which has done nothing more than heighten the curiosity of our people as to who the man of the moment is. Fortunately, due to the fact that he has nothing to hide, his approval ratings increase by the day.

The royal fathers of Edo state are persons of knowledge and deep intellect, the good people of Edo state are discerning minds who cannot be swayed by this comedic retort by losers who fear certain failure. In this era of the internet, selling cheap lies have become increasingly difficult; a click on Google opens up a wide range of information for a discerning mind to fathom the truth or falsehood of any allegation.
While nursing and executing his gubernatorial ambitions, Barr. Osarodion Ogie should certainly bear in mind that the pathway to Edo State Government House is surely riddled with thorns of calumny.

Fredson Ojo is a graduate of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma and hails from Ohordoa, Esan South East of Edo state.

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