It is now open knowledge that all is not well with the Edo State APC led government even though the former governor and stay-put leader of the APC in Edo State (that has an APC governor who ought to take over), Mr Adams Oshiomhole, is now the factional National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Tony Kabaka is angry and has been making far reaching comments against the governor but has carefully curiously avoided any reference to the former Governor or to the Deputy Governor who is officially in charge of youths in Edo State.
A fortnight ago, the Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Hon Kabiru Adjoto, in apparent hysteria, set out to take steps to suspend the Deputy Speaker of the House and loyalist of the Deputy Governor, Hon Victor Savor Edoror until he was halted after the Esan Youth Leaders petitioned the House alleging marginalisation of Edo Central District and also urging the Speaker Adjoto to consider stepping aside for geopolitical balance to occur in the state.
Investigation by URHOKPOTA REPORTERS indicate that the Speaker had switched his loyalty to the governor to keep his office became afraid that the national chairman of the party, on assuming his new office, was no longer comfortable and wants to replace him under a pretext of restoring the geopolitical balance in the state.
The recent outburst by a popular Benin based political thug, Mr Tony Kabaka, against the Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, investigation reveals, has an insider influence on the planning and execution of the protest stage at the NUJ Center Benin City. Many political watchers in the APC, in hushed tones, are pointing accusation fingers to the Deputy Governor, Mr Philip Shaiabu, as the mastermind of the Kabaka protest and the rumoured Edoror ‘coup’.
Investigation by this newspaper reveal that during the Ekiti State Governorship election last week, the Deputy Governor, in his role as Leader of the APC Youths in Edo State, led a group of APC youths & some thugs and perfected a strategy to overawe the governor and peradventure arm-twist him into conceding more power and access to money and control to him.
The plan was allegedly hatched in Ekiti last week, in the decoy cover of attending a political rally in Ekiti by President, Alhaji Mohammadu Buhari.
During the secret meeting held at a hotel in Ekiti state, the Deputy Governor allegedly told the youths & the thugs that they were suffering financial hardship because the governor had refused to allow his deputy to manage the state Budget for Youth Empowerment programs. It is alleged also that the Deputy Governor lamented his disallowance to oversee the internally generated revenue (IGR) of the 18 LGAs council.
An insider in the secret meeting in Ekiti state, who confided in this newspaper, alleged that Hon Philip Shaibu later disbursed the sum of 5 Million Naira to the youths & thugs. This money allegedly was to mobilize them back to Benin to choreograph a protest against Governor Goodwin Obaseki.
The leader of the youth faction claiming to be aggrieved at Obaseki, Mr Tony Kabaka, took protesters to the NUJ office in Benin to protest alleged “relegation”. Kabaka donated the sum of 1 Million Naira, apparently to get the reporters on his side.
To corroborate the statement made by the Deputy Governor at Ekiti state, a former member of Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA), Hon Dele Budoge Oloruntoba, a close confident and ally of Deputy Governor, Hon Philip Shaibu, posted in a Whatsapp Forum that “Mr Godwin Obaseki is running a monopoly. Government.
Hon Charles Idahosa had also rebuked the governor, even suspended his party activities, accusing the governor of lack of consultation.
There is now a growing discontent among the APC members in the state who do not wish a destabilisation of their party, especially those from Edo Sout who see this as a plot to make Obaseki a One Term Governor.
“The question is that why will the people of Edo South allow other zones, like Edo North, that successfully completed their 8 year in two terms as Governor of Edo State, to harass their own son out of office the same way the harrassed another Bini son out of the National APC Chairman” a youth leader from Oredo queried on condition of anonymity.
“How long will Oshiomhole and Philip Shaibu continue to intimidate and blackmail the seating Governor of Edo State?” Another APC youth in Ikpoba-Okha said.
Urhokpota Reporters, in 2016, reported that the Deputy Governor has plans to unseat the governor.
The inducement is that the youths have allegedly been conditioned to believe that there would be reintroduction of revenue collection contracts and handing over to them to manage across the 18 LGAs of Edo State as the only means to oil the Oshiomhole’s political structure.
Before the coming of Godwin Obaseki as the governor of Edo state, the IGR collection in the 18 LGAs was a paltry N35 Million Naira monthly despite the heavy and multiple taxation and fines imposed on the people.
When Governor Obaseki took over he discontinued the services of thugs collecting revenue for Edo State. Instead he engaged the services of a consultancy firm. Today, the IGR in the 18 LGAs in Edo State is now N150million monthly even though no new taxes or fines have been imposed.
The different between N150 Million & N35 Million amounts to a total sum of N115 Million. This money may someday need to be explained in the wake of unprecedented debts that the past administration plunged the state into with little to show for it.
Investigation reveal that that amount may be why the deputy governor is allegedly backing the thugs to overawed the Governor Obaseki and have something to “share for the boys” at the expense of tax payers sweat.
Edo State cannot afford to go back to Oshiomhole style of robbing the state tax payers in order to pay political thugs for not adding value to the economic growth of the state.