Stories from Tony Osauzo, Benin
Since his interest in vying for the governorship position of Edo State became public knowledge, the once cordial relationship between the Deputy Governor, Dr. Pius Odubu and his boss, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole appears not to be rosy, as fifth columnists are said to be having a field day to drive a wedge between the two men at the helm of affairs of the state.
As part of the campaign of calumny, Dr. Odubu was alleged to have plotted with native doctors to kill Oshiomhole.
But yesterday, the Deputy Governor, debunked the allegation in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Kelly Odaro.
He said the allegation was being fuelled by mischief makers and blackmailers who are bent on destroying his cordial relationship with his boss, even as he raised the alarm over alleged plots by some persons to circulate fliers round Benin City with a view to further destroy his image and fuel the crisis between him and the Comrade Governor.
“As a practicing Catholic, Dr. Odubu will not do anything that is unbecoming of a true Christian in the name of politics. God knows that he has never had any pact with any witch/native doctor to kill anyone or avenge for him and he will never condescend to that extent as long as God lives. It is against his faith.
“The Bible teaches that even when the innocent suffers and mischief makers and traducers appear to triumph, by their chief blackmail, it is for God alone to avenge.
“The Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Pius Egberanmwen Odubu will, by the special Grace of God, continue to disappoint the dubious expectations of those who are bent on driving a wedge between him and the Comrade Governor. It is his nature and character to be loyal to those who God has set over him because they are His instruments.
“At times like this, blackmailers are at their best but the Deputy Governor has decided to take solace in God who knows the hearts of men, trusting and believing as always that God will vindicate the just. He wishes to reiterate that he has no rift with the Comrade Governor who he reveres and deeply appreciates”, the statement said.
Expect more dividends of democracy –Obaseki
A governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has assured the people of the state of more dividends of democracy, if elected governor.
He gave assurance in a town hall meeting organised by Street to Street initiative with the theme: “The role of the Youth in Governance” where he encouraged the youths to be value creative to encourage the production of goods and services for the sustainability of the states’ economy.
He said what the people of the state need is a government to continue the democratic dividends already started by Governor Adams Oshiomhole and harped on the need for agriculture to be sustained by youths in the state.
Mr Obaseki who said rural communities should not be seen as the “dejected and forgotten” part of the society, explained that government needs to synchronise development in the rural and urban areas.
“You can’t isolate community development from our general development because if you have policies that are well grounded, those policies will be implemented in communities. We must move out of the thinking that these communities are substandard sections of our society.
“If you have a large scale agricultural investment in any community, most of the communities will benefit; there will be electricity, and the cities will be developed, so let us stop thinking about communities as some dejected and forgotten part of our society. So, the general policies of development will affect our communities”, Obaseki said.
He added: “We have started receiving the dividends of Democracy under Governor Adams Oshiomhole. We have to see government as a continuum, it doesn’t stop and start, you have seen in the last seven and half years, we have built schools and roads. What we need to do is to extend and build more of those and then make sure we get more people to work by creating a business friendly environment for people.
“As youths, we should not lose hope, the future is great and bright, provided we have people in government who are serious, informed, committed and passionate about governance, making sure that these opportunities happen”.
Election impacts on state economy
Activities of the Edo State governorship election scheduled for September 10 this year, is having positive economic impact on the State.
Several buildings that were left fallow and not put to use, are being rented by governorship aspirants as campaign offices for the Guber race.
Consequently, owners of the buildings are smiling to the banks, after many years of waiting for prospective tenants.
Landlords are not the only ones smiling, courtesy of the governorship election. Sign writers, advertisers and painters are also having a field day from the activities of the governorship aspirants.
Everywhere in Benin, the State capital, bill boards of different sizes adorn strategic locations, just as painters and other artisans are daily being engaged to provide services.
Besides, whether on a temporary basis till after the parties’ primaries, many of the aspirants have provided employment for some of the unemployed as office cleaners, secretaries, security guards, etc.
Similarly, some of the aspirants who may not have paid taxes, are putting their tax papers in order, providing income for the state and fuelling the economy.
Apostolic Christian leaders pledge to market Edebiri
The Edo State Apostolic Network for Christian Leaders in Benin has pledged to sell the policies and programmes of Chief Solomon Edebiri, the PDP governorship aspirant ahead of the election.
The state coordinator of the Christian group, Apostle Aigbiremlon Jerrylaw, made the assertion at a forum in Benin to present Edebiri to members of the Christian congregation in Benin.
Jerrylaw likened Edebiri to the Biblical young David, who was ignored and underrated even by his parent, Jesse, but emerged as God’s anointed through Samuel as King over Israel.
“We have prayed and will continue to pray to God to favour this man, Edebiri, who people have variously described as too gentle, too kind and one not politically violent to emerge as governor of Edo State.
“As Christian leaders, we are looking at the spiritual wellbeing, the heart of men and not the physical appearance of the aspirants.
“And we have come to terms that Edebiri, is like the young David in the Bible, whom even the priest, Samuel and his father, Jesse, never gave a chance to emerge as the chosen King.
“God does not look at the physical but the spiritual wellbeing of the individual”, he said. Apostle Aigbiremlon said it was high time Christians leaders and their followers, be actively involved in politics, especially in the choice of who emerges as Edo governor this year.
“I urge all of us to genuinely seek the face of God in this enterprise to favour Edebiri, whom we see as the David of this generation when he becomes governor’’, he said.
Earlier, Edebiri, who addressed the congregation, called on Christian leaders to be involved in the process of promoting good governance.
While he urged Christians and their leaders to pray for a peaceful electoral process, he argued that Christians should not be docile in the political arena.
“We need men and women of God who can at all time stand on the path of truth and should not tolerate evil, otherwise, we as a people will never get it right.
“So in that respect, we must partake in the process that will institute a proper government that will put smiles in the faces of people of the state.
“It is our responsibility as Christians to get good men and women into office by voting.
“And I therefore ask you to pray for God to favour me in my quest to be governor of Edo State,’’ Edebiri said.