By Ikhili Ebalu Benin City
Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki, has promised to mobilize contractors to work on the vital Ugboha/Ubiaja road in a week. The governor made the promise on Monday while addressing supporters of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Ubiaja, headquarters of Esan South East local government area.
Obaseki, who was in Ubiaja to solicit and mop up support for the party’s candidates in all coming elections, including President Muhammadu Buhari, John Inegbedion (senate), Joe Ikpea (House of Representatives) and Sunday Ojiezele, Ikpenomhen (state house of assembly) also promised to begin work on the bridge linking Ohordua with neighboring Emu, two major towns in the council area.
Governor Obaseki, who revealed that construction of the bridge was a major part of his campaign promises, urged the affected communities to forgive him for the delay which he attributed to too many competing projects lined up for implementation.
Popularly referred to as Wake-and-See-Governor, Obaseki urged Esan people to stand firm behind the APC and its candidates as that is the only way to ensure that projects intended for them suffer no still-birth as a result of opposition party politics. He added that with the APC firmly in control of local, state and federal offices, it will have the benefit of applying effective collective bargaining power meant to induce more federal projects to the people.
According to the governor, Esan people must elect APC candidates because that is a sure way of giving his administration the required persuasive development leverage to convince the federal government on the need for more people oriented projects in the state. He noted that this all-important support is presently non existent following the refusal of most of the state’s representatives at the national level to cooperate with his administration just because they are members of the opposition.
The governor posited that the situation in Esanland is even more dire as non of its federal representatives is of the ruling party. The anomaly, he revealed, made Esanland more of a lone voice in the wilderness. He advised that the position must change without any delay.
“Let us send John Ilegbedion to the senate. I know him, I’ve worked with him for 10 years and I can assure you that I’ve never seen any person as committed to Edo state as he is. He will not embezzle any fund as I’ve known him to use his own resources to work for people. So with him at the senate, in charge of appropriation, for instance, Esanland will have reasons to be grateful because he will ensure that you get what you deserve,” he said.
Obaseki, who spoke mainly in pidgin English, added that the era of Esanland being represented by the opposition must change because it negated the inclusive politics of their illustrious sons like Enahoro, Shaka Momodu, etc, who saw wisdom in aligning with the ruling party at both the state and federal levels.
“I can’t be a governor and remain quiet when wrong things are in Esanland. I won’t keep quiet. Esanland is an integral part of Edo state. The politics of Edo state began in Esanland, from the time of Anthony Enahoro, with Shaka Momodu and the rest of the strong political icons but they never played politics that placed Esanland in the opposition. When this democratic journey began, PDP formed the government in power. Were you not there? Which party is in power today? Should you be in the opposition,” he asked as the people responded with a loud applause, assuring him of their commitment to align with the rulings APC at all levels