When the English playwright William Shakespeare wrote The Merchant of Venice, he wove a complex plot that took the breadth of theater goers and readers away. The intrigues which constituted the plot were so complex and so impossible to resolve that they kept the audience and readers on edge. Anxiety and suspense had the better of them. But Shakespeare’ genius threw up a deus ex machina which even the villain Shylock recognized by declaring “A Daniel has come to judgment”. Thus the knotty plot was resolved and the play and its envisaged humanity lived on happily thereafter. The reference to Daniel was itself symbolic and pointing to an earlier episode in human history as recorded in the Bible. Daniel was a wise judge among the Israelites and to his name was credited the book of Daniel in the Bible. His emergence as a judge was in the nick of time when Israel faced many challenges. Daniel’s endowment of wisdom and discernment birthed visions which charted a new direction for the people. It was this uncommon sense of discernment that Shakespeare brought to bear on The Merchant of Venice by way of the allusion “a Daniel has come to judgment”.
The world as it is today is confronted by challenges which need Daniels in every corner to resolve. A new world order is upon humanity and such new orders as history has shown often throw up cataclysms if not difficult times. What usually navigate societies through such moments of transition are men and women who are Daniels in their own right. It was for this that the Renaissance order had Queen Elizabeth I, the Victorian world had Queen Victoria, while the cataclysm of the modern era which occasioned the First and Second World Wars had Winston Churchill and Frank Delano Roosevelt. But for Roosevelt, America would not have emerged as the world power that it is today. The first four decades of the last century were so tumultuous that only the genius of a Roosevelt could conjure the New Deal which stirred America out of depression, woes of war and put her on the path of greatness. Even when Roosevelt died two months before the end of the Second World War, his vision sustained America and brought her to where she is today.
As the world settles down into the present century it has become more contracted into what is now called the global village. ICT has bridged time and distance. Thus the emergent world order knows no boundary and neither does it see distance and time as barriers. There is a global discomfiture which is affecting Third World countries as COVID-19 is doing. The global economic recessions of the last one decade has also taken a huge toll on Africa and other Third World countries. The lot of this countries range from poverty, hunger, conflicts, unemployment, death, lack of infrastructure, political instability and looming failed state status. The countries are also held down by massive debt burdens. Yet, we are being told that this is just the beginning of a more harrowing experience for Africa if a new paradigm of political cum economic engagement does not evolve. Africa’s population is bursting, resources are thinning out, climate change and conflicts are ravaging the continent.
The future is grim and as the world envisages a brave new world as from 2050, Africa does need her own Daniels to come to judgment. Nigeria needs them too. More importantly, Delta State and her people also need their own Daniel. And most people think that the Daniel of Delta State is out there in Chief David Edevbie, the foresighted development economist and astute technocrat turned politician. Edevbie by training, work and call to service stands at the bridgehead of those who understand the unfolding order and can take Nigeria, nay Delta State beyond the valley which demarcates the developed world from the underdeveloped. David Edevbie at a University of Ibadan Alumni lecture he delivered last year negotiated the role of the technocrat in government in a manner that would have made the audience throw the Nigerian presidency at him if they had the powers.
In paragraph after paragraph, Edevbie offered new insights into how technocrats can realign their societies on the path of recovery and greatness. Technocrats are usually interventionist agents who intervene at critical moments. They deploy their knowledge and expertise to pull out their societies from the brink. Edevbie did convince his audience. The standing ovation he received at the end of the lecture was phenomenal and largely due to the brilliance he brought to bear on the discourse. Edevbie has of recent taken his perspective from the podium to politics as he is in the race to becoming the Governor of Delta State in 2023. Edevbie is not just in the race, but he is offering Delta State and Deltans a new deal aptly named MORDENIZE DELTA. His manifesto which has become the rave of the moment even beyond Delta State outlines the development strategy he intends to deploy to take Delta State to greater heights and make life more meaningful and abundant for the people of Delta State.
David Edevbie has gone round the entire state consulting Deltans and offering them his development plnas for the state. The consensus among the vast majority of Deltans is that they have found a Daniel in Edevbie. A statesman who has seen it all about Nigeria and the world it was who on listening to David Edevbie heaved in relief and said “Let a David come to government”. As the PDP delegates cast their votes to elect who flies the party’s flag in next year’s governorship election, they must think and vote the aspirant who can positively develop the state into a haven for all and that aspirant is David Edevbie. The delegates should in one accord echo the statesman, “Let a David come to government”.
Imonikugbere wrote from GRA Effurun