The Edo State Government has described the viral pictures of Governor Godwin Obaseki, who was caught sleeping while President Muhammadu Buhari addressed the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, United States of America, on Tuesday, as a mischievous campaign designed to smear his image.
A statement signed by Obaseki’s Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, yesterday, explained that the governor only succumbed to fatigue, momentarily, after a long flight, preceded by a chaotic itinerary in the state before he headed to New York for the meeting.
Osagie described the brains behind the internet photos as mischievous and unserious.
“The internet is awash with photographs of outstanding world leaders, who have, at one time or the other, yielded to fatigue at meetings.
“The list includes the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel; Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe; former United States President, Barack Obama; his Economic Adviser, Larry Summers; Pope Benedict XVI; and former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown; among others.
“Those who are familiar with the daily work schedule of governor Godwin Obaseki have attested to his rare and unique work ethics, devoid of fanfare and trivialities,” Crusoe stated.
He presented a long list of the governor’s activities before he entered the UN meeting to back up his explanation that the governor, like any other human being, only succumbed to fatigue.
“On that same Saturday between 12:00-3:00 a.m., Obaseki met with overseers of the Health Improvement Programme (HIP), along with his Chief of Staff, Chief Taiwo Akerele; Osagie; Executive Assistant, Ethan Uzamere; in Fugar, Etasko Central LGA.
“He left Benin City for New York, around 6:00 p.m. and was scheduled to arrive New York between 11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon, Sunday (New York time) for the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly,” Osagie explained.
Regardless, the state chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) discarded Osagie’s explanation.
PDP Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, insisted that the governor’s action was embarrassed Edo state.
Orbih, who made his position known when he received defectors from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), to the PDP, in the state, said instead of Obaseki to sit down and tackle the problems facing Edo people, he was busy travelling around the world signing Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs), which never saw the light of the day.
At the ceremony, which witnessed the defection of a top APC member and former chairman of the Edo State War Against Indiscipline, Chief David Olukoga, the PDP chairman advised Obaseki to wake up from his slumber and deliver on his promises of job creation to the army of unemployed Edo youths.
He said: “Obaseki, wake up from your sleep.
“It is embarrassing that Obaseki travelled to the UN Assembly in New York to sleep.
“Obaseki should wake up and address the issues affecting the state.
“He promised to create 200,000 jobs for Edo youths but has not created more than 200 jobs.
“There are bad roads. Instead of tackling the problems of Edo state, he is sleeping.
“This is no time to sleep. Obaseki, wake up!”