By Pharez Okpere.
I read a recent article by John Mayaki where he gave out one of his now daily dose of falsehood, claiming that Governor Obaseki and members of his Administration had abandone governance in Edo State. In my candid opinion this is taking propaganda too far, John Mayaki has transcended from a critic of the government to someone who is now driven by hate, prejudice, and malice. The very reason why nobody should take him serious.
On Saturday, I saw governor Obaseki at the burial ceremony of late High Chief Onogo Okogie in Benin City, he was in company of the Deputy Governor of the state and some other key members of the executive, these are the same people that John Mayaki maliciously accused of deserting the state.
Governor Obaseki was in UNGA last week where he was commended for
EdoBEST (Basic Education Sector Transformation) an innovative flagship education initiative in Edo State, Nigeria that aims to transform the public education system and improve learning outcomes. This innovative programme ordinarily should excite us, but the likes of Mayaki will attempt to ridicule the very things that they should celebrate.
I cannot remember Governor Obaseki embarking on any personal voyage this year, not even for holidays, so what is the basis of John Mayaki’s false accusations?
I know John Mayaki has to do the job for which he has been paid millions, but there is a thick line between genuine criticism and expression of sheer hatred for an administration from which he was relieved of his job as an image maker.
Now let me break it down and look into the complaints and anger against the Governor from some notable members of EPM.
Only recently, the star boy of EPM had made several threats to the Governor in his now weekly release of home made music videos. What is his grouch against Governor Obaseki? His company a registered venture who was in charge of collecting revenue from Oba market and some parks around Benin city was terminated by the state government replaced with a new innovative system that makes it easier for the levies paid by traders to go directly into the state coffers. This has not gone down well with a man who blocked the then dilapidated ugbor amagba road to celebrate one billion naira in his account.
Today, the ugbor amagba road is now undergoing total reconstruction there is improvement in revenue generated by the state, one mans pains is the peoples gain.
Nobody is harassing, traders in the markets, nobody is throwing away or confiscating items sold by petty traders in the name of trying to squeezed out revenue from them, large chunk of revenue that never got to the state coffers before now.
Nobody is engaging and patronizing thugs to collect revenue for the state. It is clearly a new dawn, but this is an unimaginable and unwelcome new dawn for those who believe that their personal interests supersedes the interest of Edo people.
Let me also remind my readers the harrowing experience it was for Edo people to acquire and develop properties in Benin city, in every part of the city thugs held sway in the name of community development associations, operating with recklessness and promoting gross impunity, today the story is different, there is relative peace for property developers.
The EPM who have now taken the role of the ruling opposition in the state have not been courageous enough to state genuine grievances against the Governor, it has only been one issue of not sharing money to those who helped him to power or abandoning those who worked for him.
They haven’t said that Governor Obaseki did not built roads or renovate schools, it is not about performance, but about stomach infrastructure, they are not holding meetings to talk about how to better Edo state, they are not congregating to share ideas on how to reduce our infrastructural deficit, the meetings start and end with songs of hunger and abandonment even though a large number of the members of EPM have been feeding on government money all their political lives, they will never welcome this new dawn.
The EPM will not tell you, that Edo State has emerged second best-performing state in the Nigeria Portfolio Performance Awards organised by the World Bank Nigeria Country Office for state governments and federal institutions.
They will not talk about the fact that Edo state has been commended for the improvement of Technical Education.
They will not tell you that the Uromi Ugboha water project will give 500,000 people acess to fresh portable water in Esan land something that they haven’t had easy acess to in decades.
The EPM and its key actors must redirect their energy, rediscover and develop new ideas, so Edo people will not see it as a hate group of disgruntled members who are unhappy because they couldn’t achieve their personal goals of pursuing and promoting their personal interests over the peoples interest and general welfare.
Finally, I say it again that it is a new dawn for Edo state, an Edo state where a Governor will not tell a petty trader to GO AND DIE, a state where opportunities are abound for those who are hard working and creative. A new state that is no lo ger defined by the huge number of thugs that she parades in the city centre.
May God continue to Bless Edo State.