Obaseki desperate, blackmailing Edo teachers, others for support, APC alleges
The Edo State All Progressives Congress, APC, Media Campaign Council has accused Governor Godwin Obaseki of blackmailing teachers in the State to support his re-election campaign as canvassers or lose their salaries.
A source in the education sector said the ‘Edo Teachers Mega Rally for Obaseki”, scheduled to hold in Benin City, the Edo State capital on September 10, 2020, is being stage-managed by the Obaseki campaign organization to give the impression that teachers are in support of his re-election.
Besides, some personnel in the Sports Commission also claimed that they were coerced through text message to attend a rally yesterday purportedly organized to drum support for Governor Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
A statement by the Chairman of the Campaign Council, John Mayaki stated that “Obaseki has introduced desperation and blackmail into our body polity. He now coerces teachers under state pay to canvass for his rallies in the buildup to the September 19 elections.
“This report was revealed after aggrieved teachers in the state cried out protesting the threat to withhold their monthly pay if they resisted the imposition.
“Teachers were compelled to attend the rally dressed in Edo BEST blue t-shirts. They were also mandated to attend the rally with their teacher’s tabs. Other members of the school non-teaching staff were also given colour-coded uniform to appear in. It was reported that if the teachers were absent from the rally, they would be denied their pay.’’
A directive from the education authorities mandated all teachers to report at the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), the take-off point for the rally, with two passport photographs and permanent voters’ card (PVC) by 11.00am today.
The memo reads in part: “This is to inform all teaching and non-teaching staff that the much-awaited rally is scheduled to take place in Benin City on September 9, 2020.”
The directive also enjoined all teachers to come along with their “Edo BEST” blue T-shirt and their tabs while other categories of staff were also asked to come with their respective T-shirts and technological gadgets to grace the rally.
Meanwhile, Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy to Obaseki, Crusoe Osagie has said that the governor and his team have no reason whatsoever to coerce people to support him because his works speak for themselves and the people, especially teachers in the state, who have been immensely impacted by the governor’s policies.
His words: “The governor does not need to coerce teachers to support him. That is preposterous. No such thing happened. Obaseki’s following is organic and real. There is no such thing as threats for anyone to support the governor.
“The strongest supporters of the Governor are teachers, whose lives and careers have been transformed by the governor’s reforms. As against what obtained in the past when teachers were ridiculed, we have made them more marketable, improved their skills and introduced them to more exciting ways of teaching and learning.”