Edo Obidients and the AiO2 Project, Principle-driven commitment

Edo Obidients and the AiO2 Project, Principle-driven commitment

By Austin Isikhuemen

The Obidients Movement is the agglomeration of youths and youthful thought leaders that believe that Peter Obi embodies altruistic Nigerians’ present and future aspirations. They showed and glowed in the preparations for, and during the general elections of 2023. A political leader dismissed them perfunctorily as “four persons tweeting in a room”.

There was one governor who assessed them and analyzed their potential impact and warned his fellow political class that the Obidients were ubiquitous and could retire them from the political firmament. Behold, it came to pass, as the two major political parties were panting furiously in the race to the Aso Rock tape

Obidients are like fanatics who know nothing about the play of politics.- SDP Presidential candidate

This governor, wisely, did not fight them. Instead, he accommodated them and let the people’s vote count without adopting the uncouth and violent methodology deployed by his colleague across his northern border in Kogi.

Governor Obaseki displayed a “live and let live” attitude towards the Obidient Movement – He was tolerant and accommodating. In these preparations for the transition to a new governor, Governor Obaseki has reciprocated the massive support of the Obidients during the National Assembly elections and latterly, the Local Government Area, LGA elections.

Appointing Engr. Godwins Marvelous Omobayo, an avowed Obidient, as Deputy Governor was a master stroke that has endeared him more to the Obidient Movement. But this appointment is not in itself a sufficient condition for the Obidient’s support in the coming gubernatorial elections even though it surely helps a great deal. The Obidients are principles-driven, fiercely independent voters.

They will not just vote for anyone fielded by Labour Party just because His Excellency, Peter Obi ran under that platform last year. Everyone is not Obi. The Obidients look out for Competence, Character, Capacity, Capability, Integrity and Track Record as the irreducible minimum for their support. This is called “Sabiness” in the Pidgin English of South South. Check Abia state under His Excellency Alex Oti!

In my previous article titled “Sabiness and The Asue-Ogie Unbeatble Team” I had averred as follows:
“Sabiness is capacity, capability, fitness for purpose and an uncanny arrival at the right time in the right place with just what is needed! It is a situation where adequate preparation meets opportunity. Round pegs in round holes. A team with enough chutzpa that even their opponents longingly, secretly, but forlornly, wish they were playing on their side!

A team that keeps saying the right things the right way at the right time to the right audiences across the world while first attempts at imitation by their main opponent has created a bumbling foot-in-the-mouth scenario! The Asue-Ogie team is sabiness personified”.

There is an “Obidients for Asue Ighodalo” group and several Obidients for the AiO2 ticket in Edo State today. As independent thinkers and voters, there are of course some Obidients that are with the Labour Party. What will influence their voting on Election Day is the sabiness of the candidates. The pendulum clearly swings inexorably in the direction of the Asue Ighodalo-Osarodion Ogie combination! This ticket ticks all the boxes in the sabiness characteristics enumerated earlier.

Take Barrister Asue Ighodalo for instance. A seasoned economist, lawyer, investor, boardroom guru, manager of resources extraordaire, investment banker, orator and growth coach, entrepreneur, philanthropist, sports enthusiast and technology advocate and practitioner – he comes with a track record of performance, success and integrity.

He has seen money and has money. Edo state treasury will not “enter his eyes and end up in his pockets”. His track record clearly bears this out. He will be coming with a beautiful, learned entrepreneurial wife as First Lady. She will bring to bear a work ethic and modeling of the right virtues that would impact our daughters positively. She will not be an aso-ebi coordinator.

Barrister Osarodion Ogie comes with an impeccable record of service across several governments and has played several roles and has never been found wanting. Not for him any pride and prejudice considering his loaded resume and antecedents. A former Chief of Staff, Commissioner for Works, Secretary to State Government who quietly goes about his work without the abrasive pride and in-your-eyes swagger of egoistic has-beens.

A grass roots mobilizer with deep contacts across various publics, his gate is permanently open to all who have a problem to solve or information to share. Generous to a fault, many poor folks had had free chickens on their tables at Christmas and Easters due to his large heart.

Recently, he had asked some Edo State citizens at a gathering whether they would give their car to a driver without a previous driving record and references. I think he was referring to the lack of track record and capacity (sabiness deficit) by one of the aspirants.

This Asue-Ogie team, which has been considered unbeatable, is the one that has the qualities deserving of the support of Obidients in this race. They come with experience required to drive the state in the right direction and ensure the 30 year Master Plan for the State (a revolutionary plan, if you ask me) is followed through.


A team that will not repudiate the newly announced minimum wage of N70,000 per month that has endeared that state government more because this is the second time it is taking the lead in worker welfare matters in the country. This team has solid education and genuine, stellar certificates and certifications. They will surely take a look at the state’s universities and institutions of higher learning and reposition them further for effective education delivery and staff welfare.

This is why many Obidients are convinced of the fit-for-purpose nature of the AiO2 ticket and the need not to play the 2nd eleven in this September 2024 race. Taking your second rate team to the olympics only guarantees a second rate outcome. Edo has had many performing governors with some having stellar achievements even from the Midwest and Bendel eras.

We cannot drop the ball now for whatever consideration. We will do well to listen to the candidates and assess them as they mount the soapbox and engage in debates to enlighten us about their plans and readiness. No one should accept silence and opacity from any candidate. Let them come out in the open and tell us, by themselves, what they want to do for the state should they get elected.

Those who say they have a jocker card to play from Abuja are missing the point. They are clearly saying they are not good enough to win on merit. Edo is not a vassal of any power outside Edo State. This was proven in 2020. Why would 2024, a clear four years of consolidation and performance be different? Who has assured them that Abuja is going to support rigging rather than transparent democracy?

Even the ridiculous issue of vernacular prowess being peddled by those without real issues to debate on is dead on arrival! When did anyone hear Edo, Etsako or Esan being spoken to present the budget or give a Christmas, Sallah or Easter address to Edolites by a Governor?

If Nogheghase did not run the State House in Edo language, why are they require Asurinme to do so in Esan? Not even the oaths are administered in vernacular!

The Asue-Ogie team is not about to turn Osadebe Avenue to an Speaking enclave, so those saying Asue’s Esan is not smooth enough should first repatriate their children and wives from UK and Canada or write to those Prime Ministers to insist that their children be taught in Esan, Estako or Benin language. The hypocrisy rankles!