Correcting Godwin Obaseki Error with Osagie Ize-Iyamu: Why Edo Should Vote APC for Governorship (2)

By Sebastine Ebhuomhan

As Ize-Iyamu explained days ago, The Simple Agenda is a smart document describing how Edo State will be governed under his leadership. As the Heartbeat of Nigeria, with multi-ethnicity, multi-language and uneven development, the complex state of Edo State is neither near the easy contraption of Confucius, the Chinese philosopher nor justifies the rudderless drift in four years now.

The 48-page half-A4 sized white paperback print is complete with author’s vision, mission, preamble and content, organized under each letter of: S-I-M-P-L-E. With vision and mission that explain the author’s idea of what good governance is, the preamble describes his personality and principles for achieving lacking good governance in critical sectors of economy.

In Ize-Iyamu’s manifesto, S stands for Security and Social Welfare; I for Infrastructure Development and Urban Renewal; M for Manpower Development and Training; P for Public, Private Partnership; L for Leadership by Example; E for Employment Creation and Social Empowerment. It provides the platform for measuring Ize-Iyamu’s government from 2020 to 2024.

This writer recommends the manifesto to all Edo State and Nigerian people, including Obaseki. The Simple Agenda is not a bullet for all socio-political and economic problems in Edo State. But compared to the convoluted guesswork of four years now marked by the abandonment of pivot projects of the Oshiomhole era, it is a template for the renewal of Edo State development.

Read Also: Correcting Godwin Obaseki Error with Osagie Ize-Iyamu: Why Edo Should Vote APC for Governorship (3)

The non-anchorage of Governor Obaseki’s campaign on a tranquil bark exposed his re-election bid to evils such as: looting, lies, threats, violence and impunity in the face of intangible achievements in four years. After laying a false claim to Ize-Iyamu’s manifesto, Obaseki began his campaign with another falsehood that President Buhari has rejected his own party’s candidate.

Riding on the crest wave of Buhari’s platform for free, fair elections, Obaseki circulated the falsehood to divert public attention from the billions his opponents alleged he used to obtain PDP ticket for himself and his running mate after APC disqualified them for certificate infractions. Whatever body language the governor misinterpreted, Mr President has since endorsed Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu after which he handed Edo State campaigns to Kano State Governor, Dr Umar Ganduje, to lead.

Seeing the public endorsement of Ize-Iyamu, Obaseki’s followers have changed their slogan from “Buhari and APC governors have distanced themselves from POI’s campaign” to “Buhari will not support illegality.” What does an ingrate that immorally bought a party’s tickets with billions of naira few hours to its primary after disqualification for criminal offences know about illegality? President Buhari needs not attend mere campaign flag-off ceremony. He will come to close all campaigns for a resounding APC and Ize-Iyamu victory as he did in 2016.

Obaseki had thought that by conspiring to remove Oshiomhole from office, relentlessly demonizing him and adopting a derailed, irrelevant Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) instrumentality to continuously taunt and ridicule him, Oshiobaba would recuse himself from leading Ize-Iyamu’s campaign.

In Chapters 8 and 9 of The Acts of the Apostles, Saul “consented” to the murder of Stephen through stoning. He led “great persecution” against the church at Jerusalem, breathing murder against men and women, resulting to their scattering throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria.

He goofed. As impetuous as Oshiomhole might seem to be, he acts and takes responsibility with humility, unlike Obaseki, whose obstinacy seeks who to blame for failures. So, the shock of seeing a humble Oshiomhole on his knees begging Edo people for unintentionally selling a bad product to them in 2016 coupled with continuous resignation of his trusted aides has left Obaseki, his government and campaign organization disorganised, paranoid and violent.

Oshiomhole’s remorse has earned respect from sworn adversaries while attracting goodwill of citizens, to the extent that sea of heads accompanies Ize-Iyamu rallies. Judging by the aggressive campaigns of Ize-Iyamu to nooks and crannies of the state, led by the indomitable Oshiomhole, President Buhari is very proud to make Edo State a marked improvement in credible, fair and free election in Nigeria.

Obaseki falsely claimed godfathers wanted him to share Edo State money. He would rather import strangers who knew nothing about election and governance than appreciate the huge sacrifice people made to install him in power. Yet, he was paying the benefits of his jailed Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and the Diaspora, Mr Osaze Osemwengie-Ero 10 months after rumour of the latter’s jailtime in Europe surfaced with claims of INTERPOL’s seizure of millions of dollars allegedly laundered in a deal security busted when both men were allegedly travelling.

In addition, endless financial demands from PDP have almost grounded his campaign amid fears that without life-centred projects, Obaseki’s chance of winning the election is very low.

He has big billboards all over Edo State with rehashed promises of 2016. Particularly, he erected electronic billboards for videos of a state governor campaigning against him. In a classical case, one of such billboards shows American, Chinese and Indian films at Ring Road instead of the governor’s MOU projects.

In another classical case, he uses the crying picture of a widow, whose husband unknown assailants mowed, to appeal for votes. A picture taken when he went to sympathise with the grieving family. Curiously, the killers of the husband are yet to be apprehended long after he promised to bring them to justice. In yet another classical case, he begged for votes at Uhiele, claiming he has graded a link road he promised in 2016 to construct!

Meanwhile, Edo government PUWOV, Obaseki’s armed gang, daily unleashes terror, violence on people, especially APC members, destroying Ize-Iyamu’s billboards and posters everywhere. An end-to-end drive from Okpella to Ologbo will show the few remaining PAOI or APC billboards compared to the virtual defacing of the entire state with Obaseki and Shaibu’s faces.

You’ll also notice Obaseki’s fearful withdrawal of Comrade Buses. Will these wicked acts of a rebellious ingrate win him re-election? No! Edo people are prepared to exercise their democratic right to correct the error of electing Godwin Obaseki in 2016 with the election of Osagie Ize-Iyamu, a man who is more prepared for the challenges of governing Edo State now.

As Abraham Lincoln tasked Americans yoked by the burden of slave trade, “This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it.” That right shall be exercised in Edo State on 19th September, 2020.

Obaseki has continued his violent assault on institutions, groups and individuals intended to intimidate opposition, especially the legislature. It began with his deliberate exclusion of 14 lawmakers of Edo State House of Assembly from inauguration held at 9.30pm on 17th June, 2019. The lack of due process indubitably breached the law as per Danladi v Taraba State House of Assembly (2014), 11, SCNJ, 134.

Obaseki made himself an Oghionba when he extended his violence to the palace of the Ogidigan, Oba Ewuare II, leaving blood stains and injuries from a gun duel his aides unleashed there. After ridiculously forgetting to present His Royal Majesty with kolanuts and gin for a royal blessing, Obaseki turned his guns on the palace.

Days before the siege that recalled the historic armed invasion of the palace in 1897, a treachery against Oba Ovonramen that unsurprisingly bears footprints to the antagonist, Obaseki reiterated that he and his Deputy, Philip Shaibu, have constitutional immunity.

Not unrelated is Obaseki’s evil attempt against one of the kingdom’s most philanthropic sons, Capt. Idahosa Wells Okunbo, the Chairman/CEO of Ocean Marine Solutions Limited, for not supporting his re-election. Evidence shows his government has benefitted much goodwill and support from Mr Okunbo’s personality, influence, contacts, wealth and businesses.

Yet, Obaseki had gone after Okunbo, an investor with interests in agriculture, aviation, real estate, oil and gas, maritime, hospitality, entertainment etc. and one of the largest in Edo State after series of media attacks accused Okunbo of housing estranged state lawmakers in Abuja, sponsoring an aspirant in APC primary, recruiting armed thugs for election, and later, masterminding palace shooting.

Mere unfounded and baseless allegations without proof or evidence. As the billionaire’s singular media response pointedly indicated, the governor’s henchmen were looking for a reason to burn down Okunbo’s greenhouse farm, West Africa’s largest.

Sebastine EBHUOMHAN is a multiple award-winning journalist from Edo State resident in Abuja. He can be reached at: [email protected] or 08037204620. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.