• Tony Igele

Obaseki is Performing, Osakue

Aiyevbekpen Osakue was the Coordinator of the Godwin Obaseki Campaign Organisation. In this interview, he tells The NATION that Obaseki will fulfill his promises to the electorate.

Q.) Were you having any fears before the now favourable Supreme Court verdict on the petition filed by Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu against Governor Godwin Obaseki?

A.).I thank God for the vindication of the APC and Godwin Obaseki. We commend the judiciary for remaining steadfast and delivering on their expected role as the arbiter. As arbitrators, they have demonstrated that they can be neutral. Everybody on both sides of the divide will not deny that the tribunal, the Appeal Court and the Supreme Court have been very neutral and have done the needful, considering all the material facts to the case. You cannot change the fact the way they are. The PDP cannot change the fact because it is clear that Mr. Obaseki won the election. Every other imputation of malpractices was deliberate to deceive the public and to try a subterfuge for a selfish purpose. Even now that the Supreme Court has reaffirmed Obaseki's victory, the facts would always speak for themselves and the APC remains vindicated.

Q.) It has been eight months since Obaseki was sworn-in. Will you say he has lived up to expectation?

A.) The only way to assess the performance of Obaseki in the past eight months is to look back at our campaign promises to the people of Edo State. Obaseki promised to ensure that the developmental strides of Comrade Oshiomhole is sustained. He promised that the heritage of progress will be maintained. That is ongoing. He promised that things will be done differently and today everyone that is a key observer of this government will conclude that things are being done differently. There is a new governance philosophy that has been clearly defined and had also defined the actions of government. The most important achievement is that every sector of the life of Edo people has gone through thorough and seasoned analysis by experts in order to join new ideas to the novel ideas that the governor has brought to the state. This will in a short while explode Edo State to new heights.

Q.) His actions so far suggest he is not continuing where Oshiomhole stopped.

A.).Continuity does not mean that every way and method and every system that was introduced by the past administration will be continued in the same manner because the society of dynamic. On a daily basis, new ideas evolve, on a daily basis, new ways of getting results are found out by researchers. On a daily basis, you found out that the problem that was there yesterday is not what you confront today. Every government that is worth its salt will fund new ways to solve problem. The storm water programme will not be abandoned by the state government. Governor Obaseki had a lot of input in the idea of the storm water project. It is fundamental to solving the problem of flooding in Benin City and other parts of Edo State. The storm water is planned in such a way you have the southern sector and the western sector. This government is putting template on ground, analysing where we are and looking at the best way. The project will be tackled more vigorously. Governor Obaseki and Oshiomhole are inseparable. They are on the same page on virtually every matter in this state. Obaseki is very well appreciated by the youths of our party. The youths are more excited and happier. They looked forward to a better future.

Q.) Some party members are not happy with the Obaseki especially when he said government house is not a bank.

A.) I don’t see why anybody should be worried about the statement that the Government House is not a bank. What they should be worried about is whether Obaseki is prepared to deliver on his promises to the party and the people of the state. In delivering those promises, the party members stand to benefit substantially. The benefit that government delivers to the people is more important than any other pecuniary benefits. What he is saying is that he has gotten a program to empower the youths, to empower members of the party, to empower to the people of the state and ensure the youth take effective control of the party. The worry is that the programmes have not been role out. Obaseki is very experienced and his approach to issues are technical and technological. For every single action he takes, there is an explanation. If any decision has been taken, there will be a reason for it.

Q.) Edo Line was recently shut down at a time the governor said he will be creating jobs.

A.) It is naive for anyone to make such a statement about Edo Line because they don’t have the facts. The truth of the matter is that Edo State Government has sustained the workers of Edo Line for doing nothing. They have been paid up to date without doing the job for which they were employed. It has come to a point when government based on facts and to act in order to get the best out of the system, it became imperative to shut down Edo Line. Edo Line stopped being profitable since 1999.It has suffered severe act of mismanagement. We found out what they left behind was about N1.5bn in debt. For a long time, they collected loan and not putting the loan to profitable use. Everyone that was properly employed by the organisation will not be dropped. The government is interested in building capacity of its citizen. Edo Line will some bounce back on a sustainable basis.

Q.) Are we to expect the conduct of local government elections soon?

A.) The government came into office at a time of recession. It is not Obaseki’s priority to conduct local government election because it costs a lot of money. Having spent time in Oshiomhole’s administration, the governor is better informed. He has knocked local government into line and many of them are paying salaries as at when due. He is showing them what to do in order to ensure local government administration becomes viable. Once he has helped the local governments stand on their feet, maybe we can now talk about local government elections. It is needless to deploy resources to conduct an election when the same people will get there and will not know what to do. Government will not encourage more indebtedness of the local government but will help them rise above challenges.

Q.) The PDP has been accusing the government of …

A.) PDP cannot understand anything about development. They are not primed to understand it. They ran a stunted government and was blind to the people. This government is forward looking and proactive. The government has foresight to plan not only for the moment but to plan for tomorrow. This same PDP will query the government if due process is not follow.

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