By Olayinka Ajayi
AS opposition spear-headed by the National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole move against him, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has said that he would not allow selfish politicians distract his Administration from improving on the fortunes of Edo people.
Obaseki, who is eyeing re-election, next year, believes his achievements in the last three years will speak for him.
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His opponents in Edo want to experience the Akinwunmi Ambode treatment. Ambode was denied a second term in Lagos by political heavyweights led by National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu
Although, his supporters said he executed many landmark projects, Ambode’s critics described him as a ‘bad politician’ and his second term aspiration was cut down by party leaders and faithful whose interest he allegedly undermined.
Like Ambode, Obaseki’s traducers want a similar fate for him in Edo. The feud between him and Oshiomhole has become full blown leading to rash of suspensions and counter suspensions.
On Tuesday, the Edo APC State Executive Committee, SEC, led by Anselm Ojezua suspended Oshiomhole over his role in the crisis rocking the Edo chapter of the party. However, chairmen of the party in 18 local councils of the state passed a vote of confidence on Oshiomhole and urged the NWC to expel Obaseki. In response, a faction of the party suspended Ojezua. On Wednesday, the NWC in a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, upheld the suspension of Ojezua upon receiving a notification of Ojezua’s suspension by 11 of the 16 members of Edo State Working Committee, SWC of the APC.
Also, a newly-appointed Edo State chairman of the party, Col. David Imuse, suspended Governor Obaseki; his deputy, Philip Shaibu and the Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, for alleged anti-party activities.
Few months to the Edo 2020 elections, it is still early to tell how the roforofo battle for the soul of Edo APC will pan out and who between the Obaseki and Oshiomhole will lose out.
However, Obaseki said he is on the side of Edo people, who he said will determine his fate. The governor who was saluted for his reforms and achievements at the just concluded ‘Alaghodaro submit, reiterated his commitment to transform Edo State.
“We are mapping out our economy. We are looking at the future through our 30 years development plan and we won’t allow selfish politicians distract us. Independent power supply would soon be available to power the street lights and production centre.’’
Reeling out his achievements in the last three years, especially in the grassroots, the governor said he created 157 thousand jobs through job tracking for organizations, job matching and placement, skill acquisition, entrepreneurship and through the Edo Innovates programme, adding that he is optimistic that Edo people would determine his fate.
Civil service reforms
His projects include Civil service reforms with new Secretariat blocks, and regular and timely payment of salaries of civil servant and pensions.
To reform the judiciary, he built a new high-rise building and is partnering with Power Company to generate 60,000 mega watts that would power all government offices from Olopo to Ringroad.
The governor addressed the menace of land grabbers through effective use of Edo Geographic and Information Service, GIS, whereby related issues on Certificate of Occupancy, C of O can be addressed in 30 to 90 working days.
The governor re-equipped the centre and provided steady power supply, a move that has improved the activities of artisans, who converge there to handle projects that are time bound due to the steady power supply.
To transform and make Edo sons and daughters compete with the rest of the world, Obaseki revamped the old Canadian Government Science and Technology College with a plan of replicating the project in many communities in the state to attract investors targeting to invest 200 billion dollars in Benin industrial parks.
According to Obaseki: “We want to change the mindset that education is not about certificate. That is why we introduced Edo jobs to help the youths retrace their steps.”
Primary and secondary schools reform
Obaseki who revamped public schools to admiration of residents, while fielding questions from newsmen said: “The embarrassing video of a teacher in Edo State who can’t read was what prompted me to reform public schools in our dear state. “Now we can monitor the attendance of both pupils and teachers through handy Teachers Computers, TC, we even send messages to parents when we find out their child is absent in the school.”
CAN hails Obaseki
Speaking on the projects, the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Edo State chapter Bishop Oriname Oyonnude Kure, at a thanksgiving service, said Obaseki’s projects had touched the lives of Edo people.
Bishop Kure described Obaseki as the David sent to transform Edo State adding that CAN would continue to collaborate and support the governor, as he begins his campaign for second term.
“You have done well in the state in the last three years as your developmental strides in the area of infrastructural development are laudable. You have created jobs, empowered the youths, revamped the education sector. The Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium is wearing a new look. We urge you to continue to break new ground.”