By Simeon OSAJIE
Criticism is one of the most outstanding features differentiating a military regime from a democratically elected government. It is also what distinguishes a tyrannical regime run by a potentate from a democratic government with adherence to the rule of law and tolerance of all shades of opinion.
In a military regime, criticisms are not tolerated, while praise singing is accorded the highest form of reward whether the said praise singing is justified or not.
Criticism could be in form of a cerebral analysis to arrive at balanced judgement, or an outright hostile attack on a government to score cheap political point. Criticism from social critics who mean well for the society are constructive, meant to evaluate and improve governance process for the citizenry.
In the case of the criticisms against the present People’s Democratic Party (PDP) government led by Governor Obaseki of Edo State, there is nothing to show thus far that criticism of the policies and programmes of government by opposition elements are geared towards evaluating and improving governance for the overall benefit of the state and its citizens.
The criticisms that trailed and is still trailing the reforms initiated by the Governor Godwin Obaseki led government of Edo State is a case in point.
When this administration was birthed in 2016, far reaching policy reforms were initiated at the primary and secondary school levels of education in the state.
Implementation of these reforms spilled over into the second term of the administration which commenced in 2020.
The good thing about these reforms which have been undergoing silent implementation is that they have started bearing fruits which are now so loud that those with hearing impairment can hear. Just recently, the West Africa Examinations Council (WAEC) released the results of the 2022 May/June Senior Secondary School Certificate examination (SSSCE) with Edo State coming in the first position in Nigeria.
Edo State achieved this feat with 92.8 of the candidates passing five subjects and above at credit level, including English and Mathematics. For the understanding of the lay man on the street, it means that 92.8 person of all those who wrote the May/June WAEC SS3 Examination are qualified for university admission, which is five credits, including English and Mathematics.
Before attaining this feat, Edo State came second in the 2021 WAEC SS3 Examination with 93.5% of the candidates scoring five credits and above in five subjects, including English and Mathematics.
It’s noteworthy that Edo State has not come out below the third position in WAEC SS3 examination since the inception of the Governor Godwin Obaseki led administration in 2016.
This feat is surely worthy of commendation by all those who mean well for Edo State.
Public policy analysts and political watchers have been wondering why those who have criticized the educational reforms of the Obaseki government have not seen the need to congratulate the government on this achievement described not by a few as laudable.
These analysts and political pundits have admonished these critics to publicly acknowledge the good work the Godwin Obaseki led government is doing and the achievements therein thus far or risk being tagged by Edo people as those seeking the mandate of Edo people just to recline on the table of the people’s resources to appropriate them to themselves and their cronies.
They are also appealing to the warring factions in the PDP to sheath their swords and support Governor Godwin Obaseki to deliver the dividends of democracy to Edo people.