Tony Osauzo, Benin
Edo Governor, Godwin Obaseki, yesterday, shot direct arrows at unnamed Abuja politicians he accused of being the brains behind the crisis rocking the state chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Obaseki, who spoke during a rally organised by pro-democracy and other groups in Benin City to protest godfatherism and draw support for his second term bid, noted that in states where they have released election calendar, they have not started to heat up the politics as they were doing in Edo.
In direct reference to the state Assembly inauguration crisis, the governor said: “Those people who are parading themselves, singing everywhere for themselves and their pockets, Edo people are watching you. Those of you who have gone to Abuja to say people should come and invade Edo and seize our House of Assembly, we are waiting for you.
“We have no fear at all. We have resolved to continue to do what is best for our state and for our country. We have no doubt that we are on the right course. We know that Edo is with us. We know that the people are with us. We know that teachers, traditional rulers, labour unions are with us. Anybody that try to stop us, come here and you will see.
“We dare you that nobody can stop the progress in Edo State. I assure that you have a government that is resolved to make Edo number one. Help us maintain peace. Without peace, there will be no prosperity.
“They know that if we continue to have the peace we had in the last two years, nobody will catch us. In a few years time, those of them parading themselves as democrats whereas they are not, people who say they represent us in Abuja no longer come. They stay there and start throwing stones at home.
“Those Abuja politicians who will we refuse to send back and those who got there by mistake want to disturb the peace of Edo. We will not let them.
“Go about your businesses peacefully. There is nothing they are doing now that will stop us from continuing to construct your roads. We will build our schools and create jobs for you.
“Whatever they try and do will not stop us. As long as you have us in government and in Government House, Edo will continue to move forward.”
Meanwhile, Edo Peoples Movement (EPM) has described the pro-Governor Obaseki’s rally as another desperate act of Obaseki.
EPM, a pressure group in the APC in the state, said contrary to reports that 12 Edo lawmakers were loyal to Governor Obaseki, only 10 were loyal while 14 members-elect were opposed to him and the illegal inauguration of the Assembly.
The group, in a statement by a former minority whip of the House of Representatives and EPM leader in the state, Samson Osagie, said: “We watch Obaseki’s hypocrisy once more when he spent millions of Edo State funds organising a solidarity visit in Benin as part of his desperation ahead the 2020 governorship election.
“We found it most embarrassing because this is the same governor who claimed he wants to end thuggery; that politicians are fighting him because he refused to share money.
“But we have observed how political thugs took over Benin under the guise that they are protecting the illegal speaker of the House and eight others who did inauguration at midnight,” EPM said.
Several millions of tax payers’ money was expended by the wake and see poverty governor.
“Nigerians have seen the kind of governor we have in Edo State when he openly threatened members of the National Assembly who are investigating the illegal inauguration of the House of Assembly. This show of shame and desperation have further proved his growing unpopularity in the state. Any governor who is popular will not lose an election in his ward, local government and senatorial district as witnessed in the last presidential/National Assembly where the governor lost his ward.
“Any popular governor will not pay people to organise solidarity rallies for him and the money he claimed he will not share to politicians are now being shared with reckless abandon. We call on the governor to toe the line of honour and resign because he is an embarrassment to APC and the people,” EPM said.