By Henry Okpamen
There is jubilation all over Edo state over the bold decision of Governor Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, to join the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) after fighting off all attempts to truncate his re-election bid by the Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole-led Edo People’s Movement (EPM) in Edo State and All Progressive Congress National Working Committee (NWC).
This courageous and bold step is no doubt a response to the persistent and unrelenting call on Obaseki by the Esan Youth Coalition and indeed all well-meaning Edo people, who meant well for the state to lead Edo people to another platform when it became obvious that Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole was hell bent on frustrating the governor out of the APC governorship primaries.
To achieve his desire, Oshiomhole was determined to circumvent the APC constitution and all known rules of the party, and this he did. Gov. Obaseki’s fight to seek re-election for second term, was not a fight for himself but a fight for the present and future of Edo People. Governor Obaseki’s foray into political leadership in Edo State has not only brought new meaning to leadership, but also opened a new vista of what governance is all about, which is the people. The event of Friday, June 19, 2020 at the People’s Democratic Party secretariat is a turning point in the history of Edo State political journey.
The news of Governor Obaseki’s registration with the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP reverberated across the state with spontaneous reaction from citizens across the nooks and crannies of the state, all celebrating the dawn of a new era.
This has never happened before. No doubt, Edo people recognised that Governor Obaseki’s fight against anti-progressive, anti-good governance and anti-decent society forces was a fight worth it. The governor’s decision has nailed the coffin of attempts to bring back thuggery to Edo State; reintroduce land grabbing in the state and stoppage to bring back tax merchants to oppress market women and traders in Edo State.
It is an attempt to truncate Obaseki’s laudable programmes and policies in the state, that has continued to redefine the welfare of Edo people and to stop entitlements of pensioners in Edo state and divert the money to private pockets.
Before now, Edo people knew two options were placed before Gov. Obaseki: to be on the side of the Edo people and continue in the development of infrastructure, construction of public schools, payment of workers’ salaries, pensioner’s entitlement,training of workers etc and lose his re-election ticket; or betray Edo people and have his re-election ticket effortlessly.
Governor Obaseki however, choose to be on the side of the people, to defend them, even at the risk of losing his re-election, which we and indeed the people of Edo state are grateful and proud of. We, Edo people are committed to your re-election and we intend to do that by putting our resources together, contributing our time and energy to ensure your re-election to continue your good work. Once more congratulations.
*Okpamen, Director-General of Esan Youth Coalition and deputy chairman of Edo State Indigenous Contractors Forum, lives in Benin City