A socio-political group, Edo North Political Forum, at the end of an emergency meeting in Benin City, has lambasted critics of Governor Godwin Obaseki, who referred to him a curse and disservice to the state due to his refusal to visit private homes to render account of his stewardship to individuals and share the fortune of the state.
The group said in a statement made available to News Express: “We wish to take exception to the position of some sponsored critics against Governor Obaseki and his deputy, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu.
“Those who seek to sow conflict or blame their personal frustration on the Governor should bear in mind that the society will judge us on what we build and not what we destroyed.”
Co-ordinator of the Edo North Political Forum, Mr. Benjamin Atu, a veteran journalist and Special Assistant Media and Publicity to Senator Francis Alimikhena, representing Edo North, described the publication against the Governor as “evil and misleading.”
He accused the writers of making blackmail their tools of the trade.
“These detractors and political jobbers refuse to tell the public the truth about the achievements of Mr. Obaseki in turning the once pedestrian State into an industrialized city, due to their covert and overt moves to cause confusion and breakdown of law and order in the State,” he said.
He called on the security agencies to take a close look at the intents and purposes of these individuals in order to avoid tension and unrest in the state.
Atu maintained that “the second term re-election of Governor Obaseki and Rt. Hon. Shaibu is sacrosanct irrespective of high-level blackmail.
“We can’t stop the wailers from wailing. It is their right to express themselves as minorities. But we caution them from making unguarded utterances that could unwittingly incite the public with their unprecedented capacity for lies and blackmail.
“We hereby call on them to tread cautiously in their unguided utterances.”
He condemned the malicious campaign of calumny by forces that are determined to hold Edo state captive.
“These same people had once accused Governor Obaseki of Islamizing Edo State, three years into his first tenure Edo State is yet to be an Islamic state. All ongoing criticisms against the governor are sponsors by political jobbers without substantial evidence. We must desist from practicing practical politics which consists of ignoring facts.”
The leadership called on politicians in the state to break away from the old understanding of governance. Good governance is all about public good and not parochial considerations. Obaseki has been acknowledged as the brain behind the success of his predecessor. If he could draw the road map for Oshiomhole to succeed, why can’t he show himself the same road that he showed his predecessors?
How can we accuse a man who thinks for others that he suddenly can’t think for himself? The APC National Chairman has not directed anyone to undermine the office of the Governor because Adams Oshiomhole won’t do such. Those hiding under the disguise of the National Chairman to ridicule the Governor and his deputy should prepare their legal defense for their actions and unguided utterances.
The Edo North Political forum frowned at the ongoing war of words where no weapon including lies and fabrications were too sacred. The deployment of massive propaganda against Governor Obaseki has become a source of lively hood for some factional group who wants the wealth of the state to be hung on their neck as an inheritance.
“Obaseki has broken the jinx of inequality in the state, granted equal access to the commonwealth of the state through infrastructure, good governance, science, and technology as well as restoration of nightlife to Edo as a commercial nerve center.
“Obaseki has aggressively promoted public-private sector partnership as a means to achieve rapid economic growth and development. It is the intention of these critics to squander the overwhelming goodwill and confidence the people of Edo repose in Obaseki as their governor. Old habits of conducting government business must give way to new energy. We all have equal votes and should also have equal size of benefits and accountability.
“Why should the Governor render an account to individuals rather than the entire state,” Atu queried.