Our attention has been drawn to the rendition of falsehood by a certain Josef Omorotionmwan, which was published on page 31 of the Vanguard Newspaper of Thursday November 30, 2017, with the title ‘The Obaseki Administration: Wake and See What?’
While Omorotionmwan’s insidious motive to turn truth is on its head is evident right from his faulty start, we are compelled to correct his tirade that was designed to misinform the good people of Nigeria and Edo State and cast aspersions on Governor Godwin Obaseki.
To begin with, Omorotionmwan’s intemperate criticism of an administration that has been adjudged transparent, goal-oriented and committed to the welfare of the downtrodden, shows a clear lack of capacity to appreciate the hallmarks of good governance.
His philosophy of good governance must have been formed in the era when public good was subordinated to the interests of a few individuals that converged to exploit the majority of Edo people and shared our common patrimony that ought to have been used to build enduring infra and superstructures for robust socio-economic growth and development.
For the first time in the history of party politics in Nigeria, Governor Godwin Obaseki appointed his 192 Special Assistants from the 192 wards in the state and they were all nominated by their respective wards and screened by the All Progressives Congress (APC) party structure in the state.
Today, the 192 aides are integral part of the decision making and execution machinery of the APC-led government of Edo State. So one would wonder what Omorotionmwan meant by the expression ‘leaving the party behind and planning to buy them at the appropriate time’ in his article. It is either his memory has been held hostage by senile forces or he derives pleasure in dispensing falsehood.
It is ridiculous to even contemplate that APC as presently constituted in Edo State can be bought by anyone. Against all odds, including the deep pockets of the Peoples Democratic (PDP), members of the APC dislodged PDP from Edo State, not for bread or butter, but because we were committed to the redemption of Edo people from a cabal that foisted poverty on our people due to their excellent skills for grand looting.
All the organs of the All Progressives Congress-led administration in Edo State are working together daily, to deliver the real dividends of democracy to Edo People.
When Omorotionmwan claimed in his article that: “In scoring Obaseki’s administration abysmally low, we are not unmindful of the fact that all the feats recorded in its favour are easily achievable by any of the 18 local government councils in Edo State,” it is unclear what achievements he was referring to.
The ‘Wake and See’ sobriquet of Obaseki was coined by the Edo people who still marvel at the pace at which road and other developmental projects are being delivered across Edo State. Could the local council have embarked on a N200billion Benin Industrial Park project? Could the councils have embarked on a 60,000 metric tonnes Fertiliser and Chemical Plant?
Omorotionmwan’s reasoning is pure treachery to say the least, which must not stand, amongst right thinking men and women.
He claimed that The Government House has become a trade post for Obaseki’s friends from Lagos and elsewhere. Omorotionmwan surely hates Edo State and her people so much, that he wishes we do not make progress through collaborations and partnerships with the private sector, bilateral and multilateral institutions that are driving economic growth in other climes.
He wants the OBSERVER Newspapers to remain as it is even when he does not buy copies of the newspaper himself. He abhors the planned reforms for Edo Broadcasting Service that will transform the media house into a world-class institution that will make it compete with the British Broadcasting Service (BBC) in educating and mobilising our people towards growth and development. It is his desire that we retain near moribund enterprises as they are, without injecting a lease of life into them.
Omorotionmwan does not have to turn himself into an uninvited interloper in the relationship between the former Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and Governor Obaseki, over the Central Hospital project in Benin City. Such old tactics of inciting people against themselves does not work even for low intelligent people, how much more, clear headed and visionary leaders like the governor and his predecessor. Oshiomhole has reiterated times without number that both leaders (himself and governor Obaseki) are one, share same vision to transform Edo State, though their leadership styles may be different.
Obaseki’s rising profile locally and internationally was earned through hard work and dedication to duty as well as his respect for constituted authority.
That he is an astute manager of men and material resources has been acknowledged even by members of the opposition political parties who have in many fora, owned up to the fact that only an efficient manager like Obaseki could have steered the state safely through the turbulent condition created by the terrible recession from which the country is now emerging and still embark on delivering ambitious developmental projects like he has done in the last one year. We are however not entirely at sea as to what would have driven Omorotionmwan to such desperate measures of dispensing outright falsehood just to get the attention of Obaseki’s government. He may, like some other indolent actors in the polity, have been hugely disappointed by Obaseki who as a matter of policy does not distribute Edo people’s collective patrimony to the kinds of ‘politicians’ who Omorotionmwan suggested in his piece to have been shut out of Government House.
For the umpteenth time, we wish to remind Omorotionmwan that being a politician does not render anyone incapacitated and unable to earn an honest living through hard work.
If Omorotionmwan will only acknowledge Obaseki’s sterling performance when he is paid money that he has not worked for, then Obaseki is willing to make do with the approval of the over four million other Edo people who toil daily for their livelihoods.
For the records, Governor Obaseki, in one year, has done what several governors could not do in eight years. He has delivered several road projects across the state, the Edo Fertiliser and Chemical Company is up and running, he has flagged off the construction of the Benin Industrial Park, the Benin Science and Technical College, 75 mass transit buses have been procured to change the face of intra-state transportation in the state and thousands of jobs have been created in the various sectors.
The Edo Development and Property Authority has commenced the implementation of reforms that will restore sanity in the state-owned housing estates while several public schools are in the process of being reconstructed in the coming months. The design of the 20 new mini stadia in Edo State has been done and on completion, will serve as platforms for discovering and developing sporting talent across the state. Space will constrain me to mention several other developmental efforts for which Obaseki is now fondly called the Wake and See Governor by his people.
––Osagie is the Special Adviser to Governor Obaseki on Media and Communications Strategy