Don’t take us for granted, Benins warn Oshiomhole

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A socio-cultural group, the Benin Solidary Movement, has warned the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), not to take the Benins for granted with his ongoing face-off with the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki.

The group in a statement signed by its president, Comrade Curtis Eghosa Ugbo, insisted that the signal it is getting from the recent attack on the governor was ominous, noting that if the incident was not carefully handled, “it could snowball into a small conflagration capable of consuming all the efforts that have been made to make the state a model for others.”

According to them, “The attention of the Benin Solidarity Movement (BSM) has been drawn to the recent acts of political gangsterism being exhibited by some disgruntled politicians and their hirelings in the political space of the state.

“These disgruntled politicians have gone as far as taking certain steps that are inimical to the rule of law and also capable of setting the state ablaze if not nipped in the bud.

“As the conscience of the society and also the voice of the voiceless, it is our duty to call these troublemakers to order immediately so that posterity will not count inaction against us.”

He condemned the recent attack on the person of the State Governor, Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki and some influential personalities from other parts of the country who had come to participate in the first convocation programme of the Edo University, Iyamho in Etsako West Local Government Area.

Ugbo stressed, “It should be noted that this action (attack on Obaseki) stands out as the second time in the space of three years that a prominent Benin man would be attacked in that part of the state (Etsako West) coming after the attack on another respected Benin man, Hon. Pius Odubu, the then deputy governor of the state, while on a political campaign to be governor.

“Also worrisome is the neo-godfatherism cloak that some politicians have worn even as in the days of yore their voice was loudest condemning those they accused of fostering decisions on the state.

“The same politician wanting to be a godfather in the state wanted to sell our Edo House in Lagos to himself using his cronies and we fought him to a stand-still not to sell that house our argument was that “if that house was sold before, will it be there for him to sell.”

Noting that it was a sad spectacle for an era of godfatherism to end and another creep in from the main opposition to the idea, he said, “In the previous era, Edo South (made up solely of Benins), which is the largest ethnic nationality in the state with seven local government areas backed by the largest land size, suffered the most in terms of having to abide with decisions forced on it by somebody from a minority ethnic nationality.

From all indications, the game which we all felt has come to an end has seemingly taken on a bigger and frightening dimension as a new godfather from another minority ethnic group has again started forcing orders on Edo South.”

He said BSM frowns at the action and will henceforth rise up against it, as they have now placed a searchlight on all the political gladiators and their pronouncements to filter out the effect of such on our people, noting “We are certain that God never made a mistake in placing the Benins in this location which we have been in for centuries.

“Our advice to some of our Benin brothers and sisters who are hirelings of these neo-godfathers is that they should take heed and be of good character. After all, when they had the opportunity to be our representatives in the political space for years, they did not justify the confidence reposed in them as they performed poorly. Rather, they were feathering their own nest to the chagrin of the people. We challenge them to avail us with the scorecard of their achievements while occupying political position.

“Never again will such under-performing politicians be allowed to force decisions which are anti-progress on Benin people. We have had enough of their scheming and placing our future in jeopardy as a result of their greed.”

He continued, “In due course, if these rabble-rousers refuse to turn a new leaf we will have no choice than to declare them enemies of the Benin Kingdom and as such persona non grata on Benin soil.

“On the much talked about Edo Specialist Hospital, we challenge the government to come out with detailed report of the establishment of the facility especially the alleged involvement of one Golda, said to be a side-chick of a politician in the state, in the wheeling and dealing that allegedly characterised it.”