Worried by the negative impact of the feud in the Edo State House of Assembly on governance in the state, a group of Edo professionals spread across the country, have charged the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole ‘to pour the oil of ‘Gilead’ on the troubled waters’
In a widely published letter addressed to Oshiomhole and signed by Emmanuel Ijewere, Dr. Chris Momoh, Keem Bello-Osagie, Osaro Isokpan Esq. and 31 others, they urged the former Edo governor not to bring down the house he built.
In the letter entitled: “Avoiding the Temptation to pull down the Solid House you Built for Edo People,” the group said: “We the undersigned are representative members of Edo State Professionals (ESP) and we are concerned and embarrassed by the unfolding drama in the political space of our beloved State and have therefore come together in-spite of our respective partisan affiliations, to speak out as lovers of our state before Edo State is rendered ungovernable.”
According to them, “We implore you (Oshiomhole) to rescue the Governor from the shark infested waters of Edo politics. Just a statement of support and reconciliation by you will be a solution. You have the capacity to pour the oil of ‘Gilead’ on the troubled waters. You once told us “I will not sit on the fence on issues”. Please, act now in the interest of the people you governed for eight years. Comrade Governor, “this boy called you father do not have a hand in his death.”
They stated: “We have a deep sense of nostalgia dating back to that evening in 2006 at the Lagoon Restaurant, when Mr. Godwin N. Obaseki then, Chairman/CEO, Securities Transactions and Trust Limited, introduced your Edo State gubernatorial ambition to a select group of Edo sons and daughters and called on us to mobilise funds for your expectedly vigorous campaigns and possible election.
“You (Oshiomhole) promised to ensure sanity in governance if elected the State Governor and when you eventually mounted the saddle as Governor you sat on the gubernatorial throne for eight years and you took the State through a refreshingly new experience.
“We thank you immensely for not disappointing us in the various sectoral strides you took during your stewardship. As you dismounted from the saddle of State Governor, in a strategic move to ensure the continuity of focus and efforts, you led the thrust to elect your dynamic and self-effacing adviser, Godwin N. Obaseki, as your successor.”
They noted that “Since Governor Godwin Obaseki took over, he has never wavered in actualising the dreams you both shared. Having been the Chairman of the State Economic Management Team for eight years under your reign he knew the direction and flow of your focus.
“We remember the countless times Godwin Obaseki came before our questioning eyes and minds at the meetings of Edo State Professionals to explain and defend the programmes and plans that your government had to implement. It was his deft understanding of the dynamics of project conceptualisation, financing and implementation that enabled the domestic financial markets to track and anticipate the focus of your administration and you recorded truly gigantic achievements. And you were the man of the moment. However, the development agenda by your team remains the backbone of Obaseki’s administration.”
The group noted that the current impasse may be linked to another purpose, fingering the Henry Idahagbon-led Edo Peoples’ Movement (EPM) of leading the campaign to deny the governor a second term, even when the consensus in the state is for the governor to continue in his excellent strides of developing the state.
According to them, “The statement in The Guardian of Sunday July 14, 2019 attributed to one Mr. Henry Idahagbon, a Benin-based member of the APC and leader of the Edo Peoples’ Movement (EPM) has provided a clue into how this potentially bloody war is being fueled. Henry Idahagbon said that the EPM was formed with just two cardinal objectives viz: “To strengthen the party to regain its winning ways, because during the last general elections, we lost woefully… The second objective is shopping for a credible alternative for Obaseki come next year”. This means that the struggle for the soul of the Edo State House of Assembly is being teleguided from outside the Assembly and it belies the often-quoted statement that the Edo State Governor wants to impose a Speaker on the Assembly. In truth, these Assembly members-elect are being remotely controlled by a third force. Our Edo people say that ‘if a man sees a stone flying into his eye from a particular direction, he will do all he can to avoid it’. This may be why the Governor is unrelenting.”
They urged Comrade Oshiomhole to intervene in the matter to prevent the National Assembly from plunging Edo State into crisis.
“In our opinion the NASS should rather reconcile the factions and not threaten fire and brimstone. We understand that 12 Edo Assembly members-elect have now relocated to Abuja staying in close touch with the party national secretariat and the House of Representatives. We urge them, for the sake of the masses of Edo State, to return to Benin and be sworn in as members of the House of Assembly. The absence of the 12 members now based in Abuja is inconsistent with the purpose of their elections and it is surprising that they want to allow their term to pass unutilised. And there are various problems to tackle in the State,” they said.
Listing some of the governor’s numerous achievements, they said, “Achievement of Governor Obaseki are legion. His promise to create 200,000 jobs in his first term are being achieved. So far over 90,000 jobs have been created in both the private and public sectors. He has revamped the Edo State Traffic Management Agency to put order in road management in the state. He has commenced the construction of 5,000 barrels per day modular refinery in partnership with a private concern.
“The Gelegele port is being linked to the Lagos deep sea port to lighter cargo from there to Edo and for subsequent trucking to the inland regions of the South-East and middle-belt. He has completed the Azura power plant whose output is fed into the national grid but the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) is yet to efficiently perform its duties. Roads like the 26.5 km Afuze-Erah-Iruekpen; the 10km Irrua-Opoji road; the 11.8km Ubiaja-Ugboha road; the 39.5km Ehor-Irhue-Ekpan-Umokpi-Orhua-Ozalla road; the strategic Ivioghe-Iviebua-Iviukha/Ivianokpedi-bhviegbeuei-Ivieukwe-Ekwosor road; Iyieku-Atte-Ebigbere/ICE road in Auchi; Ugboha-Ogwa-Ebelle Road; Abudu township roads, Iguobazuwa township roads and roads long abandoned are being brought back to life.”