By Paul Useni
He never left any one in doubt about his ability to deliver when he assumed the mantle of leadership as governor of Edo State on November 12, 2016, after a campaign which saw his immediate predecessor in office, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, selling his candidacy across the nooks and crannies of the state.
To Oshiomhole, Obaseki was not only the best among the persons that indicated interest to govern the state, his background and training had also prepared him to continue from where he (Oshiomhole) will stop.
It is worthy to note that Oshiomhole’s confidence in Obaseki was borne out of the fact that the latter had been part and parcel of the successes recorded by the government of the former number one labour leader in the country.
However, after emerging victorious in the September 28, 2016 poll, Obaseki, in his inauguration address, promised that his government would be meticulous and prudent with every kobo generated by the state administration.
However, less than three years into his administration, the question is if Obaseki has failed in any of the numerous promises he made during his campaign and in his inauguration speech.
While he needs not sing his praises that his administration has achieved a lot of transformation and reforms in many sectors of government, like, they say, “The eye can see”
His administration has holistically transformed the education sector, putting in place a framework that has brought about institutional transformation in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.
“We are improving infrastructure in our schools, trained over 7000 teachers on digital learning in our basic education sector, completed the revamping of Benin Technical College, as well as consolidation of our College of Education’, the governor once said.
In the heath sector, Obaseki’s administration has strengthened all aspects of the health value chain, including that of the Primary Health Centres, which ise ongoing.
The government has rolled out the remodelling of 20 PHCs across the state and says it intends to do 200. The government has also initiated the Edo Healthcare Improvement Programme to achieve improved health structure and the well-being of the citizens.
To achieve this laudable programme in the sector, the state and local governments saved one per cent of their federal allocation.
On assumption of office, the governor had promised the creation of 200, 000 jobs, and as at November 12, 2018, just two years into the administration, 77, 200 jobs had been created in both private and public sectors of the state.
In spite of this monumental achievements however, and while the generality of the people hail the Wake and See Governor, some few persons that have always placed their personal interests before those of the populace, have seen reasons to heat up the polity with a view to distracting the hard-working governor.
Unfortunately, these people, who have turned themselves to landlords of the state, were front runners in the fight against godfatherism and have also campaigned vigorously that the people must be allowed to lead.
These people, who are sponsoring various campaigns against the government of Obaseki, have openly told the world that their grievance is the governor’s refusal to share the peoples patrimony with them.
These few, who have distanced themselves from the people by orchestrating their plan from Abuja, their new base, are using the state House of Assembly, not only to unsettle the administration, but possibly to impeach the governor as a last resort.
While these people who are unfortunately members of the same party with the governor, have continued to be indifferent towards his government, other segments of the society: Market women, industrial unions such as the NLC,TUC and NULGE, NUT, NURTW, RTEAN, NANS, among other bodies, have openly lent their support to Obaseki to continue with his laudable projects across the state.
The governor has also, recently, received solidarity visits from members of the opposition party in Edo including Chief Gabriel Igbinedion and Chief Tom Ikimi, who praised Obaseki for the good job he is doing.
While the governor has continued to enjoy goodwill from majoity of the people, it is wise to counsel these dissenting voices to retrace their steps and join hands in moving the state forward because just like he said in his inauguration address, “We do not have, do not claim to have, and, for that matter, do not wish to have, a monopoly on what is good for Edo State and its people.
“Edo State belong to all of us, wherever you hail from, whatever your pedigree, whatever your ideology, or for that matter, your political affiliation, our destiny is defined by our common purpose and any good leadership will after a hard- fought campaign, take the trouble to gather all the ideas that have been articulated by all parties l, crystallised them and integrate them into the grand agenda for the transformation of our common good and well-being.
“The task is not government alone, we are in this together to bring enviable change to Edo State devoid of political, religious and ethnic differences.”
- Useni is resident in Benin-City.