By Ozioruva Aliu
BENIN CITY – THE former Executive Director on Media and Publicity to Comrade Adams Oshiomhole when he was governor of Edo state, John Mayaki has carpeted Governor Godwin Obaseki’s position that Oshiomhole should steer clear of the coming governorship primary in the state and declared as false Obaseki’s claim that he worked with Oshiomhole for eight years without collecting salary.
Mayaki who is now the Director of Communication and Media, Ize-Iyamu Campaign Organisation said “Obaseki argues that by the virtue of his perceived feud with Oshiomhole, the Comrade will exert influence over the primary process to the disadvantage of himself, the governor. But that is a nonsensical argument, an unwarranted demand.
“Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is the party’s national chairman, one elected in a national convention, hence mandated by the party people’s will and constitution, to preside and oversee all activities concerning the party.
“How then will Obaseki, in his arrogant overestimation of his authority, demand that the National Chairman abandon his responsibility? But if we must follow Obaseki’s logic, then it will imply that he, as the State Governor who wields and can exert influence over the state, should as well stop being governor so he would not influence the primary election process to the benefit of himself or disadvantage of others. Already he is doing so through exaggerating the number of COVID-19 cases, using it as a tool to lobby for an indirect method of the primary election.”
“On the issue that he did not collect salary when he worked with Oshiomhole, Mayaki said “that is a half-truth, one deliberately invoked at this exact moment to attract admiration. However, what fact and scrupulous review reveal is different.
“While Obaseki, as Chairman of the Economic Team, was not placed on official salary, he collected allowances that were greater than a commissioner’s wage. He was the same man who embarked on several foreign trips on behalf of the state government, sometimes five times in a single month, and returned to claim an estacode of nearly five million on each trip, a figure that no government official, not even the governor, could lay claims to.
“What’s more: Obaseki, as leader of the economic team of the Oshiomhole-administration, abused the trust he enjoyed and used his position to propel AfrInvest, a company he owns or have a higher stake in, to source funds in the capital market, an effort he fraudulently rewarded with a 10% consultancy fee that amounted to billions of naira. Also, sitting in an intersecting position, Obaseki awarded contracts and other favourable privileges to the same company, AfrInvest. Therefore, when Obaseki is not collecting an official salary, he was taking rewards by far higher than mere salary. His pro-bono claim is pretentious mendacity employed to deceive and deflect.
“In the same appearance at the Secretariat, Obaseki making the same efforts to save his flailing leadership reputation, claimed he will need another four years to consolidate the works he had begun. This is an overused line by politicians of old who, fallen out of favor with the people, tweaks this cliched statement just to grab on purposelessly to power.
“For Obaseki, the people have become wiser and more enlightened, hence demanding more responsibility of their leaders. Days are gone when citizens lay aback and allow underperforming leaders to enjoy an 8-year stint regardless of performance. For Obaseki, a man who is not underperforming but non-performing, his lot is worse, and the people are not having it.
“Obaseki has done nothing, achieved nothing, and completed nothing. Well, except for one thing: intimidation and violence. For the past four years, Obaseki has set the state over the furnace of violence, intimidation, and tyranny. He has neglected the law, or at best contravened it. He has behaved with wanton impunity, uprooting structures belonging to political opponents, blocking individuals from accessing their home town. Or are these the things he wants to consolidate? No! We are not buying it.
“Ultimately, Obaseki, like a dramatic character he is, claimed to have been betrayed by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. This is a man who opposed and resisted all peace missions and the committee sent his way, the same man who went on TV mentioning how he will deal and show Oshiomhole hell. He is the man who declared that Oshiomhole must seek written permission from him before coming into the state and went ahead to send packs of thugs to lay ambush on the road leading to Oshiomhole’s home.
“So much for saving a party! Obaseki also claimed he visited the National Leader, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, alongside other State Governors, in a bid to save APC. One may ask, save the party from exactly what? What value has he added to the party? He is the witless governor whose constituency is represented in the House of Representatives and Senate by the opposition party. He holds the record of not only losing those zones in an election year as a sitting governor, but also down to his very polling unit, the center where he queued to vote.
“If the APC in Edo State needs saving, it is from Obaseki and his failure. Yet, no one should be deceived: Obaseki went to Marina in Lagos to beg and save himself, to save his sinking political career. It is on record and even Joe Igbokwe confirmed it, that Obaseki knelt on his two knees, begging!
“Apparently, as the curtain falls on the most incorrigible administration to ever behold Edo State, it appears the main and most horrible actor in the whole misadventure is yet to resign from his hubris and see that greatness resides in humility. But one thing is certain: Godwin Noghesaghe Obaseki will learn.”