As the political ferment in Edo State careens towards 2020 gubernatorial election, Governor Godwin Obaseki, who had before now played it cool, has begun to take decisive steps to consolidate on his achievements and assert his position as leader of the party in the state.
As the only All Progressives Congress (APC) party in the South-South before the election in Bayelsa State where David Lyon won on the platform of APC, Obaseki is worried that the ill fortunes that trailed Zamfara and Rivers States could well become the fate of the party in Edo State if steps are not taken to address issues plaguing it.
Obaseki blames the national chairman of the party and former governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, for the electoral misfortunes of APC in Zamfara and Rivers State in the 2019 general polls. He addressed journalists on the sidelines of Edo Economic Summit tagged Alaghodaro 2019 in Benin City.
“Given what we have suffered as a party on our own, how many states did we lose? He (Oshiomhole) is the one who is supposed to superintend the party, but he is the one creating destruction within the party. So, something needs to get worse to get better. It gets to a point you either fix it or it breaks. The house/party has been divided against itself since he became chairman. Divided in Zamfara the party fell; divided between Rivers it fell. If the owners of the house don’t come together to say ‘no, no, this virus that is making this house to fall has got to stop; if we don’t do something about the chairman’s behaviour we will have Zamfara on our hands. There has to be disciplined. People just can’t behave the way they like, disregard rules and expect that the house will stand.”
Obaseki has continued to affirm his contract with the generality of Edo people who gave him his mandate and not a few party bigwigs who he said were causing trouble for him. For him, it is to the people also that he would stake his electoral fortunes and not to about two dozens party chieftains who have fed fat on the meagre resources of Edo State.
“My concern is that I have a contract with Edo people; I don’t care what others think of it. I don’t care. What is my business with them? This is me and my Edo people. God has brought me to take care of my people and that is what I’m doing. The interests of Edo elite should not be predominant over and above Edo people as a whole. The typical politician is somebody who is committed to his people because people call him daddy. So there are people who are committed and connected to their people. What I found is that when people find a government that relates to them and helps them they hug that government. Governance is not about creating hype in the cities; it’s about connecting with the people. Most of these politicians don’t go to their communities