Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki


By Kassim Afegbua.

I read one Right of Reply from one Governor Obaseki’s scruffy bootlickers, trying effortlessly to rake up unrelated issues to the very subject matter I addressed penultimate week. I spoke about Obaseki with-holding the monthly allocation due to the Benin Traditional Council, this cretin of a spokesman was busy telling me how revered they placed the Oba. Do you with-hold the allocation of an Oba that you supposedly hold in high esteem? He also mentioned that my discourse was informed by attention seeking. How does appointment in President Tinubu government correlate with the issues I raised? It is understandable. When they are caught pants down in their unholy distribution of rebarbative idiocy, you see them trying to clutch at flotsam to stay afloat and safe their punctured faces.

Former Commissioner for Information in Edo State, Kassim Afegbua
Former Commissioner for Information in Edo State, Kassim Afegbua

I am wondering when it has suddenly become a crime for anyone to seek for appointment, the same way the writer was hurled at Obaseki after his election to become his mouthpiece.

I will address a couple of other issues that have reduced the person and office of the Governor to a ridiculous level since he came into governance.

I am even shocked that a Spokesman does not know where his boss comes from, a little rustic village called Eke, forced into the boundary of Edo, when it was created. Otherwise, Obaseki should be from Delta state.

A true Benin man should not behave like a loose Canon and treat a highly respected Monarch; the great Oba of Benin, uku akpolokpolo, with such disrespect and odiom as Governor Obaseki has done.

You with-hold his statutory monthly allocation illegally, you proceed to start building a Museum outside the jurisdiction of your office, you promote rebellion within the Kingdom, making some Enogies to raise dust where there is none. You are surreptitiously fanning the embers of division within a Kingdom that long survived Western invasion, and making frantic efforts to balkanise what remains the beauty, allure, heritage and symbol of our collective sufferance as Edo people.

The mention of Edo invokes that surreal feeling as a City of Culture, where the Monarch is held in awe, respect, elegance, quintessence and celebration. When an insider, the Governor, a supposed Benin man, has been trying to demystify the culture and tradition of the Great Kingdom, an outsider, who understands the beauty of tradition, a well brought up Omoluabi of a President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, taught us all how to dignify, respect, and celebrate a Monarch of such magisterial stature.

The social media was abuzz with commentaries about how President Tinubu clenched his fist while he bowed to receive the Benin Monarch. When you see a man who is well brought up, who has respect for African tradition, who understands the importance of royalty, you don’t need any crystal gazing. By their background, we shall know them!!.

Governor Obaseki is making frantic effort to desecrate a Kingdom that has survived all manner of conspiracies, betrayals, sell out and knavery. In about 16 months from now, Governor Obaseki would become past tense in the exalted office of being Edo number one citizen. His actions would be reviewed and some of his decisions would be upturned.

Some of his Certificate of Occupancies would be revoked, his lapdogs would be fired, his paraphernalia of office that presently makes him behave like a conquistador would depart from him. I do know he will return to his Afri-Invest Company that was literally dead before he became Governor but that has now built its 8-floor Headquarters on Gerald Road in Ikoyi.

All stolen Edo money would be retrieved and all the blackmail would stop at his doorstep.

The reality of life will dawn on him, and the ephemerality of power and its crazy aphrodisiac would become manifest. If he so chooses, he can still retain his present mouthpiece, Crusoe Osagie to continue his trade with him.

Crusoe might be able to defend him when the decayed pot of soup he had cooked for himself begins to pollute the air in the state. We will remind Governor Obaseki that he might be sleeping inside a thick cottoned duvet, but we can still see the loose end of his backside, exposing the rotten underbelly of his governance.

The chicken will surely come home to roost.

In trying to situate the Governor Obaseki persona, I need to raise some posers to undress/unveil his stained underwear. How come that Governor Obaseki has ditched those who laboured so hard to birth his governorship?

Those who truly assisted Obaseki to climb the exalted position of Governor have simply abandoned him? Take a roll call; Senator Oshiomhole, Odubu, Patrick Obahiagbon, Henry Idahiagbon, Dan Orbih, Nyesom Wike, Ogbeide-Ihama, Lucy Omagbon, General Cecil Izekaigbe, and many others too numerous to mention.

His former aides; John Mayaki, Taiwo Akerele and lately Adaze Ewanta, all left him when they could not endure the hypocrisy any more. Adaze Ewanta was particularly miffed at the many failures of the Governor in delivering performance for the good people of Edo.

The litany of woes that permeate the entire gamut of the State from fake projects to opaque initiatives that could easily pass for “Obubuyaya”, the more you look, the less you see kind of scenario, Edo State has been in the hands of a man without destination. He has a Commissioner for Roads and Bridges, such laughable nomenclature in a state where bridges are never built, where roads are in parlous state, it goes to suggest that the Governor is trapped in his own self-inflicted maladies.

He was tempestuous in APC, and succeeded in blackmailing the former APC chairman, his benefactor, to whip up sentiments. People thought that getting into the PDP would change the narrative. Alas, the worst case scenario reared its ugly head, and a man who begged to be accommodated suddenly became the party’s albatross.

His fan-fare about Education in Edo state is the most bizarre. His EdoBest initiative is at best EdoTrash, manned by persons who cannot connect to the state. There are so many schools without teachers.

There are yet others that could only boast of 2, 3 or 4 teachers depending on the stature of such school and whether the school is in the right book of the Commissioner. Many schools exist without chairs and learning tables. Yet, when you hear the noise from his social media urchins, you will almost think Edo state education has attained eldorado.

The World Bank needs a second thought on Edo and its involvement in gifting Governor Obaseki $75m grant for the education sector. The World Bank officials should create time to drive around Edo state, to ascertain what the Governor had invested the money on. At best, they will see that Edo education remains what Oshiomhole did.

The red roof revolution remains a positive impression in the minds of the people. They cannot forget in a hurry. While Obaseki’s business interest is growing, Edo State is getting rottened by the day. The Ekpoma end of the popular Benin-Auchi Road is an eyesore. Oshiomhole fixed Federal Roads while he was Governor, the state under Obaseki was refunded the sum of N18billion as a result of that. Where is the money?

Once the clouds are gathering, the people will begin to fidget because flooding has been a disaster in the state. The reclamation works that Oshiomhole started, Obaseki has simply abandoned them. The more flooding the state gets, the happier Governor Obaseki gets. Instead of facing the challenges, he’s busy fighting over artefacts.

Crusoe Osagie, Special Adviser to Edo State Governor on Media Project
Crusoe Osagie, Special Adviser to Edo State Governor on Media Projects

We woke up last week to hear the news of the Benin Port, another white elephant project like the SOBE FARMS that never saw the light of the day. They said Obaseki has broken a 75 years debacle, as if there was independent Nigeria by then. 75 years ago, there was nothing like Edo state or Bendel state.

Revisionists behave like under performers. They will turn a mountain into a mole hill or an anthill into a mountain, edify it to suit their poisoned narratives. Benin Port was conceptualized in 2017, when Obaseki freshly assumed office.

We all thought he meant business until his real character started unveiling. We suddenly saw the manifestation of deceit and subterfuge from a man who was a hard product to sell ab initio. When APC showed him the exit door, Senator Matthew Orhogide, Clifford Ordia, Tom Ikimi, and their collaborators hurled Godwin Obaseki at us like a poisoned chalice.

Today, they are all licking their wounds. Senator Orhogide has left PDP for Governor Obaseki. Labour Party, an opposition party controls Obaseki’s Senatorial District, ditto for his Federal Constituency. Power, has a way of making men blind to their intentions. If by now Governor Obaseki does not see the bogus handwriting on the wall of the Great Benin Kingdom that his reign has become a curse, he should at least understand that the people have departed him in his PDP.

He lost Presidential election woefully for his beleaguered candidate after he pronounced that “Nigeria will break if President Tinubu of the APC wins”. Tinubu has since become President, Nigeria has become stronger for it. I will come your way again. Another assignment for Crusoe to chew on.

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