By SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN CITY – THE Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, led by its President, Abdulwahed Omar, yesterday held a rally in Benin City, in solidarity with the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr Godwin Obaseki, urging all workers in the state to vote for the party in Wednesday’s governorship election.
Meanwhile, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State says the former governor of the State, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, cannot walk freely in the state owing to the failure of the PDP government which he led.
Speaking at the rally yesterday, Comrade Uche Obigwe who represented the President of the NLC, said labour had decided to adopt Obaseki due to the developmental strides of the Governor Adams Oshiomhole-led administration in the state.
According to him, “For those who are new in the labour movement, they will not understand but those who are old in the movement will know that Adams Oshiomhole has taken Edo State to a new level. When I was at the airport, I remember 8 years ago, if you want to come to Edo State for a meeting, the flight that comes to Abuja is about three times a week because nobody was coming to Benin.
“But today, two aircrafts land in Benin from Abuja every day. I remember when there were no hotels to lodge because nobody could invest in hotels in Edo State. Today Edo has so many hotels and people now come to Benin because somebody has transformed Benin. So we are backing Obaseki so that Edo will not go back to the dark ages. He has to continue from where Oshiomhole stopped” he stated.
Governor Oshiomhole, who spoke at the commissioning of the 22-kilometre Iguobazuwa-Umaza-Siluko road in Ovia South West Local Government Area, shortly after the NLC endorsed Obaseki, said Igbinedion is regarded as the sponsor and godfather of the PDP candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, and had said the next governor of the state will come from his political family.
Oshiomhole said: “by some co-incidence, this location is just adjacent the market and I decided to walk round the market, and I felt good seeing the real Nigerians, the real Edo people, the real Edo women smiling, dancing, waving, showing joy and happiness.
“This, for me, is my testimonial of service because if almost eight years on the job I can go to any local government and walk into a market that you find all kinds of persons and they are all clapping, expressing joy, showing gratitude, then to God be the glory. There are those who have governed this state who cannot come to this market, and they are there. The people’s verdict will reflect on their faces.”
Oshiomhole continued, “I want to thank all of you for standing by us for close to eight years. You have voted for me and re-voted for me. You have supported our party. You have helped us to defeat the forces that underdeveloped this state and this local government. It is the result of your power that enabled us to assume office, without which I would not have been able to do this job. As you can see, this is a typical example of our standard: well-built roads with concrete side drains, not blocks so that the water can flow out, so that we can have a place such as this even when the season for rain starts.
“So, whereas you appreciate what we have done, I am the first to say the gratitude goes to you for voting wisely and ensuring that those you have voted for used the money for the purpose. My heart is gladdened as I was driving through Oba market, through Siluko road to Upper Siluko Road and I was looking for the mammy water and I couldn’t find her; in a matter of minutes, I got here.”
He said, “And today, I am proud that we, the anti-mammy water forces as symbolised by our broom in unity, we have brought hope, joy and the renewal of our confidence in our state as the heart-beat of Nigeria. I am sure the economy of this part of the state cannot be the same again because these women don’t need to pay – empower women. We will continue to empower the youths, and together, we shall sustain the tradition of service to our fatherland.”
Speaking on behalf of the Ovia communities on the Iguobazuwa-Umaza-Siluko Road, Hon. Christopher Adesotu said, “We have thirty-three communities starting from Evbuoba, Igueogun, Ikotakpa, Ukuzuwa, the Yoruba camp, Ogbobaifo, Umaza and many others and Siluko, the last community on this road. We want to thank you for what you have done for us because there was a time when we were coming from Benin, it would take us four hours right from Textile Mill Road junction to Siluko, but today it is just one hour. So, we have to thank you for that.”
GOVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole has declared two days public holidays to enable people of the state participate in the Wednesday governorship election.
Oshiomhole stated that the purpose of the holidays is to enable workers travel to where they registered as voters to exercise their franchise. The two days are Tuesday, September 27, and Wednesday, September 28.