BETWEEN AFEGBUA AND OBASEKI
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BETWEEN AFEGBUA AND OBASEKI


Crusoe Osagie reckons that criticism of Obaseki’s statement on the state of the nation is unfortunate

While many Nigerians suffer under the weight of unprecedented socio-economic challenges foisted on them in the last seven years, it is quite regrettable that the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its hangers-on, while evidently denying the obvious, are falling over themselves to repudiate the frank take of Governor Godwin Obaseki on the state of the nation.

From the whimsical to the comedic to the ridiculous, all would rather the governor did not point to the ill-fate that awaits the country if the candidate of the APC makes it to Aso Rock in 2023.

Among all these characters is erstwhile spokesman to former Military Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, Kassim Afegbua. He called the governor’s advice to Nigerians inflammatory yet he described the times we are in as ‘such a delicate time” of our nationality. May I ask, why is this time delicate, Mr Afegbua?

Perhaps it is delicate because of the misrule of the APC, the new party where Kassim Afegbua is seeking economic refuge. It is delicate because the nation now has near-zero capacity to export crude oil having been overrun by crude oil thieves who the present APC government has allowed to run amok due to their incompetence.

Today, $1 exchanges for nearly N1,000 as against around N300 that they met it, all due to the APC’s ineptitude in managing the country’s economy. Due to galloping inflation under the APC’s watch, a bag of rice now sells for about N40,000 to N45,000 as against N8,000 in 2015.

Nigerians are now the most terrorized people on earth because the APC-led government supervises a free reign of bandits and terrorists. Abuja, the nation’s capital is now under siege. It is now a pariah state with the new incursion of terrorist elements. No one can travel safely across communities in the country without the fear of kidnappers.

So, one wonders why Afegbua will say the times are delicate, yet questioned the rationale for the governor’s warning to Nigerians.

In his self-seeking attack on the governor, Afegbua has made his lack of coherence bare. He continues to display his ineptitude and insensitivity, which make him incapable of appreciating the recent concerns that the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, iterated with regard to the parlous state of the nation.

As usual, every attempt to ridicule Governor Obaseki only elevates the governor, but leaves Afegbua in a shameless dance. In the lengthy write-up that was a clear reflection of his muddled thinking, not once did Afegbua address or debunk the failures of the APC. His only submission is that the Edo State Governor is not in a position to criticize the ruling party. If as a governor, and in a vantage point to assess the state of affairs, the governor did the right thing.

Afegbua was quick to lament the terrible condition of the entry points into the state, when even an elementary school pupil knows that the federal government run by Afegbua’s current political party of refuge is solely responsible for federal roads across the country.

If not for the ingenuity of the governor in integrating community participation in security management, which has made Edo one of the safest states to live in the country, the state would have been inundated with criminals, and left at the mercy of federal security outfits, who are already over-burdened.

It is not surprising that Afegbua would impugn Governor Obaseki’s ability to attract major businesses and investors to the state because he is unable to appreciate the process of seeking and accessing private capital. In less than six years, the governor’s strategic approach to governance has created a conducive climate that has attracted over $1.5bn worth of investment into Edo State, including the $500 million Edo State Oil Palm Programme (ESOPP); the commencement of the injection of over $250 million Saro Africa Integrated Farm with an ethanol processing facility; the establishment of an independent power generating company, Ossiomo Power Company; the 6000bpd Edo Refinery and the 2500bpd Duport Refinery, with the first energy park in Africa, among many others.

For the wanton wastefulness of the APC and the hardship they have inflicted on Nigerians in the past seven years, nobody with any modicum of morality can come to their defense. Even the most pessimistic of their critics could not have predicted that things would deteriorate so rapidly under their watch in the last seven and half years.

The APC government has failed abysmally on each of the three areas they swore to deal with – security, economy and corruption, and more. In the 62-year history of our nationhood, Nigerians have never lived in as much fear, hunger, pain and uncertainty as is the case today and cannot wait to get rid of this failed political party from government in 2023.

One, therefore, does not have to look so far to see why Afegbua misses the point over his hurried and ill-conceived response to Obaskei. But the APC product is and will remain a bad sell. It reeks of arrogance, deceit and soullessness. Pray, who would want to continue with the current state of affairs if such a person genuinely wants what is good for this country?

Afegbua can continue living in a fool’s paradise, but all those who want the best for Nigeria agree with Governor Obaseki and would ensure the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 presidential election.

Osagie is Special Adviser on Media Projects to the Edo State Governor

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