…No need for such, teachers my greatest supporters —Obaseki
By Ozioruva Aliu
THE Edo State All Progressives Congress, APC, Media Campaign Council yesterday, alleged that it was in receipt of credible reports from multiple teachers across the state detailing how the Governor Godwin Obaseki has been making forceful attempts to coerce them to either join him for campaign rallies or forfeit their pay.
Besides, some personnel in the Sports Commission also claimed that they were coerced through text message to attend a rally yesterday purportedly organised to drum support for Governor Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
A statement by the Chairman of the Campaign Council, Mr John Mayaki said: “Obaseki has introduced desperation and blackmail into our body polity. He now coerces teachers under state pay to canvass for his rallies in the buildup to the September 19 elections.
“This report was revealed after aggrieved teachers in the state cried out protesting the threat to withhold their monthly pay if they resisted the imposition.
“Teachers were compelled to attend the rally dressed in Edo BEST blue t-shirts. They were also mandated to attend the rally with their teachers tabs. Other members of the school non-teaching staff were also given colour-coded uniform to appear in. It was reported that if the teachers were absent from the rally they would be denied their pay.’’
Dismissing the allegations as balderdash, Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy to Obaseki, Mr Crusoe Osagie, said that the governor and his team have no reason whatsoever to coerce people to support him because his works speak for themselves and the people, especially teachers in the state, who have been immensely impacted by the governor’s policies.
His words: “The governor does not need to coerce teachers to support him. That is preposterous. No such thing happened. Obaseki’s following is organic and real. There is no such thing as threats for anyone to support the governor.
“The strongest supporters of the Governor are teachers, whose lives and careers have been transformed by the governor’s reforms. As against what obtained in the past when teachers were ridiculed, we have made them more marketable, improved their skills and introduced them to more exciting ways of teaching and learning.”