Five years ago, Excellence Idemudia wrote his final examinations and graduated with a second class upper degree in Linguistics from the University of Benin. After his service year as a primary school teacher in Afikpo beyond the River Niger, he returned home to begin sending a deluge of unsolicited application letters to prospective employers all over the country. First, he began applying to the civil service and banks, then IT firms and finally secondary schools.
In March 2014, he settled for a job as an English Language teacher at a private primary school in Evwuotubu Quarters, earning a paltry N10,000 per month. After seventeen months of frustration, he was lucky to get a better job as a taxi cab driver.
“No job anywhere in this state”, he says, nestled in the back of his taxi, parked just outside De Brit Hotels, GRA. “In all his eight years as governor, Oshiomole did not employ one person in the civil service – except he did it through backdoor. Go and ask around.”
“Look at the campaign posters for Obaseki who is from the same party. He is promising industrialization and employment because he knows Oshiomole his guy, did nothing in that area.”
Two weeks ago, his car broke down at Adesogie (Plymouth) Road, because of the terrible nature of the road and a normal 5-minute journey through that stretch now takes as long as 20 to 30 minutes.
Right at the entrance to the Oba of Benin’s palace on the same street is a big ditch. Idemudia believes it is an eyesore, an embarrassment to the royal monarch and the traditional institution that was once the core of the ancient Benin Empire.
“I had to get a mechanic to come and fix it on the road. There’s a part of the road, just beside the Oba’s palace that has turned into an emergency mechanic shop for all the cars that pack up there.”
“Osho no get one single respect for Oba”, hissed a barbing salon operator on the street who asked not to be named, in pidgin. “How you go leave important road like this for this kain condition?”
Earlier this year, it was announced that Oba Erediauwa had joined his ancestors. The crown prince, currently the Edaiken of Uselu is to become the 39th Oba of Benin and the coronation, usually a colourful affair will end at the palace.
“What happens then?”, asks Idemudia rhetorically.