Tony Osauzo, Benin
As the battle for next year’s gubernatorial election begins to gather momentum, Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has warned those he described as political detractors not to mistake his humane disposition for weakness.
The governor who stressed that he was not a weakling, said he was aware that tolerance of aggression would bring more aggression, promising, however, that he would respond to opponents of his second term bid with positive works.
“Never again will the food of the children be given to the dogs,” Obaseki said when the Nigeria Labour Congress, National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) National Butchers Union, Market Women, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) youths and women held a protest march to endorse him for a second term.
Represented by the state Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Barr. Paul Ohonbamu, the governor said the social contract he entered with the people in 2016 was being fulfilled across the state.
“Obaseki is a development warrior. He wants to create an alternate society where honour will be given to men and women who deserve it and not those who bought them. That is the society he wants to create where there will not be primitive accumulation, where there will not be wastage.
“Obaseki believes that the wealth of a state is not measured by the opulence of rulers of that state but by the productivity of the people of the state. People are not comfortable with the process he is adopting.
“The process of changing the fortunes of Edo people is being opposed. It is a system that can create winners and losers in the political arena and the economy. They are not comfortable because the type of politics Obaseki is playing is too sophisticated for them.
“Obaseki has said he would continue to be an agent of the people. You must see the government as your agent to do that which you desire in line with legitimate expectation. Those who threatened that they would let hell loose, I want to tell them that no governor is a weakling. Every governor can sting, every governor can strike. We are fortunate to have a governor who is an unwilling serpent.
“This fight is not Obaseki’s fight. The people put him there. He has the legitimate votes from the people and he cannot betray the trust. The goodwill cannot be squandered,”, he said.
Chairman of NURTW, Comrade Odion Olaye, said the massive road network was beneficial to the drivers and promised that the union would support Obaseki for a second term.
Two factions of NULGE leadership in the state led by Comrade Lazarus Adorolo Comrade Gideon Akpata also agreed to support for Obaseki, saying that the increased IGR for the 18 local governments had led to prompt payment of salaries and arrears.
Comrade Barry Osayande who spoke for the NLC said they were satisfied with his performance, adding “we live in Edo and we see the developmental strides of Obaseki. We are with him. The working class of the state are with Obaseki.”