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The Edo rumour mill

WHEN did telling lies become honourable? That is the  most relevant question those familiar with politics of Edo State are struggling to find answers to at the moment.

The search took a worrisome dimension early this April, when a group known as Ohomwan Mandate Group, OMG, published reports in newspapers in a manner that appeared to have brought the ethnic factor in politics to a ridiculously low level. The group attempts to play the Binis against their compatriots from the other senatorial zones of the state, particularly the North from which Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, the state governor, hails from.

A cursory look at the identity of the authors speaks volume about their intention. Oghomwan in Edo language means my own. Ostensibly in a bid to sell lie as truth, they want the Bini people of the state to distance themselves from the aspiration of Comrade Oshiomhole and indeed, any other aspirant in the state who is not of the Bini origin.

Interestingly, they picked on the statement purportedly made by His Royal Highness, Alhaji Aliru H. Momoh, Ikelebe III, the Otaru of Auchi, as a justification for their ethnic agenda.

Dubiously, the authors, led by one Barrister Osahon Ahunwan portrayed the Otaru’s statement as a deliberate attempt to make the Binis look like fools. It is sad that at a time the quality of ideas as exhibited by Oshiomhole, which has brought development to our state, ought to be elevated about all consideration, ethnocentrism is being accorded podium status in the consideration of who govern our state.

Before going further, let me quickly point out that I have no commission to represent the Otaru except, of course, that I am concerned about what some mischief makers are trying to achieve by deliberately sitting truth upside down.

That done, let us go straight into the matter by putting the said Otaru statement into proper perspective as it is relevant in helping to understand what the royal father said against what Ahunwan and his cohorts want people who are as gullible as they are to swallow.

Recall the Otaru, in his usual blunt manner, told the Peoples Democratic Party that paid a courtesy call on him that there is in Edo State a governor who has been adjudged to have performed creditably and evidently well. For that reason, it was appropriate to support him rather than rock the apple cart and indeed, risk undermining the development which the state has witnessed in the last few years.

In other words, everyone should support the sitting governor in order for him to accomplish the remarkable job he is doing. That, in a nutshell, is what the Otaru said.

The totality of the Otaru’s argument is that his senatorial zone already has a governor who has done so well, a reason the zone is satisfied with retaining him instead of being swayed by PDP’s offer of a deputy governor slot. It is important to also note that the Ataru did not stop at that, he equally praised the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba Erediauwa, for his unflinching royal support for Oshiomhole.

“Yes, I openly campaigned for Adams Oshiomhole in 2007, joined by other traditional rulers. Even the World Bank chief and Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia, the foremost performing governor in this state have said positive things about him…

That is why we, traditional rulers from Edo North, want to thank the Omo N’Oba Erediauwa for his support for Governor Oshiomhole. Should we not be grateful to God for giving us such a person who is performing?” This quote is taken from page 10 of the Punch newspaper of Thursday, March 29, 2012.

If Ahunwan and his hatchet group are sure that the monarch’s statement is intended to make the Binis look foolish as they mischievously inferred in their divisive advertorial, I dare them to reproduce that portion of Otaru’s exact quote for everyone to see.

Recklessly, Ahunwan further advertised how undiscerning he is. According to his release, no zone should contest any position of authority with the Binis because the Binis constitute 60 per cent of the state population and “the Edo South senatorial district which is the core geographic base of the Binis constitutes about 57 per cent (I am not sure of where they got the figures) of the state population”.

Even an unlettered fellow would remember that Obama is the President of the United States of America today, not because he is from the majority of the American tribes. He is there because of the quality of his mind which, in a micro manner, is the sole reason everyone believes in Oshiomjole’s ability to do a better job than Airhiavbere, OMG’s mentor.

Not done, OMG postulates that the oil minerals on which the state depends on for its share of oil funds is completely domiciled under its soil. Further more, they add that the zone provides 70 per cent of the state’s internally generated revenue.

The clincher is that Edo North ought to be grateful to the generosity of the South for graciously allowing the North to produce a governor by offering what they termed “enormous, moral, financial and spiritual support to the party that brought in the Governor while humbly accepting the second position. Besides being impudent, a position as portrayed by this anonymous group is patently arrogant and I am sure no Bini or anyone from the south senatorial district worthy of his or he name will project them because it is sheer blackmail.

 

Mr. ERNEST OMORELOJIE,  a public affairs analyst, wrote from Benin City, Edo State.


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