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A fitting response to APC's Assistant Publicity Secretary's lying spree: Governor Obaseki remains focused on delivering good governance to Edo people

By Ikponmwosa Osamede

It is rather unfortunate that elements who ought to be apologetic to Edo people and Nigerians in general for the pitiable state of the economy that their principal President Tinubu has plunged the nation into have instead chosen to question Governor Godwin Obaseki's intentions for choosing to speak on the state of affairs between himself and his deputy.

One Victor Ofure Osehobo who is the Assistant State Publicity Secretary of the APC in Edo, has recently strayed into the web of mendaciousness. In his failed attempt to curry favor from the APC in the center, he has authored a brass-necked article titled: 'How Edo Governor Is Diverting Public Attention From His Failure'. In the grammatically poor piece, he said, "I will try to explain toohow (sic) Governor Obaseki, after placing governance on the back stage, is utilizing the friction between him and his deputy as a diversionary tactic. By bringing the altercation to the forefront, Obaseki hopes to shift the narrative in order to create an atmosphere of controversy and conflict that eclipses Edo State’s significant governance challenges and his own inadequacies."

Even though his article is baseless and contains no modicum of truth, it bears restating that Mr Governor has chosen to speak to avoid events and happenings which are already in the public domain from being misconstrued ad infinitum. Or does the governor lack the right to speak to matters concerning his own administration? 

It is shameful that the APC have chosen to label the Governor as employing diversionary tactics at a time when Edo is experiencing a revolution in terms of infrastructure and civil service reforms. In fact, Edo is reckoned as the next best place for investment to flourish given the steady power supply from the Ossiomo power plant, smart intercommunity road construction, and ease of doing business reforms emplaced by Governor Godwin Obaseki. In fact, Osehobo may choose to turn the blind eye but an APC leader, Mr. Valentine Asuen would beg to differ.

Asuen recently testified of Governor Obaseki's giant strides in governance. He said and I quote in part, "You can't talk about the civil service reforms without talking about Obaseki. Go to Sapele road. Drive along the Secretariat axis. Look at the highrise buildings. Who do am? Na Obaseki. You go think say you dey New York." Same Asuen went on to testify that truly Governor Obaseki has ensured that there is notable ease of doing business for newcomers and he has made it possible for businesses already established to continue to do well in Edo. If Osehobo needs more testimonials on Governor Obaseki's achievements, I would advise he listens to his party leader Asuen.

On the other hand, it is hapless that Osehobo has failed to question President Bola Tinubu who is truly employing diversionary tactics by utilizing every avenue to dabble in the fracas in Niger instead of proffering solutions to the war-torn northeastern Nigeria, the state of the economy, and the effects of the subsidy removal on Nigerians. Everyday, new and higher fuel prices are announced and food prices continue to rise, leaving poor Nigerians 'unable to breathe.'

Osehobo may choose to continue to play the devil's advocate in Edo but his superiors including former Governor Adams Oshiomole and Valentine Asuen know and acknowledge the good works of Governor Godwin Obaseki and his position amidst the current differences between him and his deputy. As a pen for hire, his biasness is not in doubt. However, it is caustic to label a Governor who has ensured that governance remains in the front burner instead of delving fully into matters concerning the 2024 elections as 'diversionary'. It is trite to reemphasize here that the reason for the differences between himself and his deputy is borne out of Governor Obaseki's choosing to place governance ahead of the politics of 2024 cum his successor.

How can a governor who recently commissioned the John Odigie Oyegun Public Service Academy be labeled as diversionary? This is an edifice whose standard his colleagues would shut down media houses and major city routes to commission. Yet, Governor Obaseki commissioned it for the good of the people without needless hullabaloo. This is a Governor that has finalized in this same period the electrification of streetlights in Siluko road and many others, promoting nightlife and boosting the State's economy. 

A Governor that has earmarked N500 million to be given to the poorest Edo State residents in a manner that beats the hasty and nebulous palliative announced by President Tinubu. Also, massive construction work was kick-started at the Education Hub in Iyaro in Benin City to consolidate efforts in revolutionizing the education sector in Edo State in the same period. In case Osehobo is unaware, two modular refineries are in operation in Edo at a time when the APC government at the national level is unable to make even one refinery functional. Governor Obaseki in a few years rebuilt from scratch the College of Agriculture in Iguoriakhi into a university standard ready to be commissioned.

As we speak Edo workers are truly enjoying what it means to have hope renewed in the administration of Governor Godwin Obaseki as their fares for a 5-day work week has been drastically reduced even when they continue to earn the highest minimum wage of N40,000 in the country. This not only beats that of other states but also that of the federal government. How can a governor who has done all these be said to have placed governance on the backstage?

At this rate and given the propensity of its spokespersons to dish out lies, the APC in Edo has lost credibility to speak on behalf of the good people of Edo State. The APC administration has midwived the worst 9 years in Nigeria's nascent democracy as the country remains the poverty headquarter of the world and atop the world's terrorism index. In fact, the APC has successfully placed Nigeria at the very top of many repugnant indices. At this point, they may choose to be seen but should never be heard.

I would advise the APC Assistant Publicity Secretary and his ilks to utilize what time they have to bring to the attention of Mr President the needless sufferings that Nigerians are going through occasioned by the fuel subsidy removal cum inflation or better still direct energies to demanding Edo's portion of the collective patrimony that their APC members who occupy the Senate leadership are frittering away in the name of holiday bonuses.

Ikponmwosa Osamede (Ik Osamede), a multiple national award-winning writer, writes from Egor
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