An Oshiomhole-Obaseki tussle is one between a maker and a faker.
TWO days ago, exactly a year before another round of gubernatorial
contest in the Heart Beat of the Nation, it’s shocking the entire Edo
landscape boils with political tensions like Papua New Guinea jungle
bristling with head hunters and primitive bloodcurling human vampires.
This is the time the governor should have been reeling out all his
achievements, three years down the road but the opposite is the case.
In all, Edo people are the victims. It’s most tragic and a matter of
conjecture how a peace-living state becomes a furnace of a state with
the image of blood embracing government, orchestrating incendiaries
and banditary by street urchins.
The polity is not helped by counter measures from sidelined APC
warlords who have positioned themselves militantly to do battle with
the governor unto death. Most shockingly is how the APC has suddenly
become wracked by tension and mutual hostilities in less than four
years of Obaseki’s tenure in office. That’s the dark ironies and a
compelling tribute to the governor’s elitist grandstanding; acclaimed
technocratic superiority over politicians and the tyranny of politics
I cautioned at the twilight of 2016 governorship race where Comrade
Adams Oshiomhole threw caution overboard, curiously throwing democracy
and its majesterial ethos under the bus for Godwin Obaseki to ride the
roughshod. I titled the piece, “Edo 2016: Clowns In Search of Crown”.
Governor Oshiomhole’s reaction to the article where I suggested to him
to allow a level playing field so that liberated individuals like
Engr. Chris Ogiemwonye who is a profile in excellence and integrity to
emerge earned me the Comrade’s caustic tongue: “Comrade Erasmus why is
it that militancy runs in your family?”. “The other day, Comrade
Ikhide Ifidon your cousin and president of Student Union Government
presided over the burning of three Comrade buses inside University of
Benin; now you’re writing trash about Obaseki”, he roared.
That piece erupted unprecedented anger in Comrade Oshiomhole and
shattered over two decades relationship we had built because I noted
certain prinpricks that suggest that Godwin Obaseki will throw him
under the bus, just the same way he did to democracy. Now, Governor
Obaseki is shouting himself lame that Edo people detest godfatherism.
The question is since when did Oshiomhole become godfather and how?
Obviously Governor Obaseki has set the machinery in place to use the
APC National Chairman as burnt offering. The Second question is how
far can he go? Governor Obaseki is simply testing Oshiomhole’s
capacity to navigate his ways out of political crisis; or his talent
for absorbing the heat; or his mastery of the mechanics of negotiating
skills. Even in the midst of overwhelming public supports Obaseki
enjoys outside APC party structures, the governor is not helped by his
less-than-charismatic speaking style; a known inherited reputation for
destroying his benefactors; his mindset as a scold who glories in
others travail as a self-parading master-of-the-universe and a
As we speak, the charges of deceit against Obaseki’s government is
stronger and infinitely evidential than those levelled against his
predecessor. Besides, under the deliberately fractured All
Progressives Congress (APC) the governor’s feeble and unelectable
streak tarnishes his awful strategy to whip everyone into line. Strong
man or arm twisting political opponents is not a leadership strategy,
it’s a sign of political impotence.
The governor seems to be acting like a typical slave raider who puts
the entire state to sword because of his second term ambition. His
government has been dishing out crumbs to political touts who go about
cracking protesting activists skulls for demanding to know the actual
owners of the allegedly sold Central Hospital, instead of creating
sustainable jobs for the mass of Edo people.
Edo State virtually under siege. Only two days ago while the governor
was at the New Era College churning out half truth about his
achievements at the ‘Ala Gho Daro Submit’, over 200 newly recruited
political thugs took over King’s Square and the State House of
Assembly’s premises shooting sporadically into the air from 6am in the
morning till 6pm in the evening to show his maximum power of political
How Governor Obaseki who once prided himself as a technocrat suddenly
abandoned the course of governance, settles for scam, brigade,
touts-buying, violence and bloodfest will ignite thorough research in
the political fields of study in due course. Even though the governor
has performed credibly well by renovating dilapidated structures in
parts of Benin City one of the biggest scams of Mr. Obaseki’s fraud
that has constituted a museum of misgovernment is the 200,000 jobs
scam he promised to create at electioneering in 2016.
Focusing on job creation in 2016 from his manifesto at his inaugural
speech at Ogbe Stadium, the Governor intoned: “Within four years, we
will create over 200,000 new jobs across the state through
Agriculture, Entrepreneurship Schemes, Attracting Investments for the
development of Industries and Technical & Vocational Skills
Development. We will publish a template to be jointly used by the
public and the civil society to track the achievement of this
A few days ago, in one of the state’s media bizarres blushes comes
with this outright falsehood and mind manipulation gambit thus: “Edo
jobs was birthed as a practical and strategic step to realize his
Excellency, governor Godwin Obaseki’s campaign promise of 200, 000
jobs to unemployed residents in the state. Of the 200,000 jobs, about
90,000 jobs have been created so far”. With above statement, its
pretty clear that one is bound to suffer mental deterioration when you
call yourself “Excellency”. It’s a shame that Mr. Obaseki is already
campaigning for second term in office in spite of his woeful failure.
A check across the 18 Local Government Councils and 192 delineated
wards of the state exposed the technocrime in a supposedly
technocratic government. A break down of the fathom jobs created by
the Governor across the state would mean that 5,000 jobs were created
in each of the 18 Local Council, and 468 jobs plus created
respectively in each ward, going by the 90,000 media hype jobs!
There is no doubt that the governor has found himself in cul de sac
having erroneously misread a written script of 20,000 jobs for 200,000
at his inaugural campaign debut in 2016. The costly mistake which
ought to have been amended instantly has been the governor’s singular
albatross, aside the mismanagement of the relationship between himself
and his benefactor, Comrade Oshiomhole.
As the saying goes, when you tell one lie, you need a million more
lies to keep yourself temporarily on the spot to save your face.
Governor Obaseki alongside his handlers know that even the presidency
hasn’t created 90,000 jobs in the last five years, let alone in Edo
State where the capital city is virtually under water for lack of road
construction, where all the tertiary institutions, including College
of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi which has been shutdown indefinitely since
the Governor assumed office.
Two major pronouncements of the governor at electioneering would have
helped to furnish his job creation plans if he was prepared for
leadership or committed to his own words: “We revival moribund
industries within the first year in office, we will restructure and
resolve all outstanding debt obligations with Bendel Brewery, Edo Line
and any other State Owned Enterprise. “We will also conclude ongoing
efforts to complete and commission industries initiated by the PDP
government but abandoned before commissioning including Uromi Cassava
Factory and Fertilizer Factory in Auchi”.
Three-year down the road, it has been motion without movement and
empty twitches. On the 3rd of February, 2017, the governor inaugurated
power generation committee. The six-man Joint Development Committee to
implement the Edo Electrifying Initiative for electricity generation,
transmission and distribution in the state was a scam. It was the
first and the last time the Committee ever sat!
Again on the 11th of the same month 2017, the governor made another
pronouncement to make Edo medical tourism destination. Edo people are
still in the wilderness as to what the governor meant by Edo medical
tourism since no cottage clinic has been built ever since he took
office. More also because even the Central hospital that has been left
to decay for nearly three years has been allegedly sold to the
governor’s business interest.
Besides, Governor Obaseki is yet to explain to Edo poeple the outcome
of the constituted committee on the Tayo Akpata University. On the 2nd
of February, 2017 the governor set up the committee to kick off the
development plan to make Tayo Akpata University of Education,
Ekiadolor technologically driven and benchmarked on global standards.
Again, it turns out to be one of those fraud where the tax payers’
money dedicated to the educational needs of the people took flight and
birthed in privately owned company by those in government.
On the 13th of February Edo people were treated to yet another broken
promise by the Governor that he has already begun to construct 3,000km
of road using Concrete Technology. The statement in major newspapers
at the time read: “Edo state government is training youths who are
indigenes of the state in general road construction, surveying,
carpentry, masonry, safety, lab-technology, welding and road
supervision in fulfilment of the vision of the Governor Obaseki-led
administration to empower over 200,000 youths in the state.
A further check across the state revealed that nobody was trained
apart from minor experiment around Ugbague Street in the heart of
Benin. Rather, it is one of the usual MOUs future governmental dreams
of the governor meant to keep decieving the people. The governor’s
wish has been that the people should forget another promise he made
towards stable power supply. On the 16th of March 2017, he signed
power purchase agreement, promising uninterrupted power supply across
the state, especially in strategic areas, stressing that Edo State is
one of the transmission hubs and home of electricity in Nigeria.
“We should be able to deliver 24/7 uninterrupted power to all
government establishments located along Sapele Road axis including
Government House, Secretariat, Court Complex, Central hospital, House
of Assembly and also the Palace”, the governor said. It’s now dawned
on the governor that it has also become a promise gone awry as he
faces the ballot a few months from now.
What of the spirited advertisement that Edo Government is
collaborating with MAN to create industrial park? On February 2nd,
2017 Governor Obaseki declared that in the next twelve months the
state will establish a real industrial park with 24-hour electricity
that will enhance the development of the state. It’s obvious that the
industrial park is another costly MUO induced jokes.
How about the 15th of April 2017 Sobe Farm scam and others across the
18 local government councils that costs the state over N5 billion
without a single grain of maize harvested? All the grandstanding about
Accelerated Agricultural Development Programme (AADP) in Sobe, Owan
West Local Government Area of the state were hoaxes designed to keep
the people hoping which put more money in the hands of a few
individuals who have been massaging the governor’s ego that he’s now
his own new godfather.
Was the governor testing the resolve of the Edo people on the 5th of
April, 2017 when he said Edo was already collaborating with National
Library Association (NLA) to revive libraries Edo State liberay in
order to rethink and restore the library system in the state. Was
Obaseki joking when he visited Amahor waterside on the 14th of April,
2017 to explores tourist potentials to ascertain the tourism potential
of two rivers which formed a confluence at Amahor town in Igueben
Local Government Area of the state.
It must be what the governor’s transducers called technocrime or MOUs
conglomerates of fraud when Obaseki said on the 15th of May, 2017 that
Benin City central bus terminals in continuation of Comrade Adams
Oshiomhole’s government to decongest and clean up Edo State, after
inspecting the city centre, Ring Road and its environs, where he moved
to recover government properties. What can we say about his promises
on the 4th of May 2017 to decongest major roads in Benin City by
relocating illegal street traders and to build ultra modern markets
across Benin City? The same Governor Obaseki, last week handpicked few
women whom he called market women to endorse his second term bid even
when Uwelu and Satana markets were raised down few months ago without
a single fire service operative to the rescue.
The scam is even more gangly when governor Obaseki reeled out Edo
Housing Business plan on the 29th of April that his administration was
ready and open for housing business and ready to tackle the challenges
facing the sector to ensure that Edo people got affordable houses by
He made the disclosure at the close of a 2-day workshop on
Housing/Real Estate themed: “Quest for Adequate and Sustainable Real
Estate for Edo People”, organised by the state government.
It’s the same empty MOUs driven rhetoric that propelled the governor
on June 13th, 2017 to state a stoic but hollow promise to have
Mitsubishi, Sojitz, Toyota, Sumitomo, Yamaha, Yokogawa, Panasonic and
the Japanese Trade Organisation (JETRO) to have their plants planted
before the end of 2019. Edo people can’t locate the place where the
assembly plants have been planted by these automobile giants. Only the
governor and his team know where they’re situated.
Perhaps it’s only Edo State Government that knows that it is
generating 3000 megawatts in collaboration with Siemens AG or has been
generating 1000 megawatts of electricity annually when it held a
shareholders’ forum on the 10th of July 2017 to identify the
challenges in the power sector of the country.
It’s only Edo State branch of Nigeria Red Cross Society that is our
witness for Obaseki’s administration claim that it has actually built
emergency response system for providing First Aid for accident victims
across the 18 local government councils as promised on the 13th June,
2017 for the purpose of repositioning sports activities in the state.
The received truth is that democracy has no room for a leader that is
so detached from the people and party democracy. The governor should
stop blaming Comrade Adams Oshiomhole for everything that is wrong
with Edo State. Obaseki should take all the excuses off his manifesto
manual and face reality. In “How to run a country: A 10-point
manifesto for leaders who stand – and want to deliver,” The
Independent (UK), says, “The wrong way to achieve a legacy is to
claim: ‘My predecessor was an idiot and my successor is a traitor.’”
In Obaseki’s apathetic and primitive three years of misgovernment, Edo
State literarily collapsed. Cultism amd insecurity have laid the state
low; killings and kidnapping have been on the increase.
Who can doubt the Governor’s penchant for broken promises when on his
first day in office paid a visit to Benin Technical College to
renovate and fix the much needed vocational education centre. Three
years after, the government efforts at fixing the school hasn’t
yielded any result.
Oshiomhole’s major undoing as a maker of men is the fact that he has
majorly made more enemies who pretended to be friendly with him than
those who genuinely loved him. Godwin Obaseki has proved as a
disastrous faker not only by being sly and serpentine, but a betrayer
who has been striding and freezing state’s resources, even when
Oshiomhole was governor.
If Afri Invest, a company owned by Governor Obaseki could corner N9.8
billion naira in the first tranche of World Bank loan as consultancy
fee for securing the loan for Edo State Government as Chairman of
Economic Team under Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s administration, then
there can be no worse demagoguery than that. Edo people need a better
governor and a maker going forward, not a faker.
Follow me on Twitter @ikhide_erasmus1