Remember the Channel TV September 2016 Edo Governorship Debate between Godwin Obaseki (APC), Osagie Ize Iyamu (PDP), Osaro Oniawu (APGA) and Amos Arelogbe (Labour Party). All the hottest and highly anticipated questions during that debate centered around Okpilla cement, security vault and revenue collections at motor parks across Benin-city. Edos did not have much to talk about then, and that is being generous.
The truth is, in 2016 Edos have fallen so far behind the pace in Nigeria that our inspirations to catch up with modernity revolved around structures that have been dead for over 20 years and agberu mechanism of transport collection, not a good assessment.
Fast forward to 2 years+ of Edo State under Godwin Obaseki and Edo State is becoming the fastest developing State in Nigeria. Don't take my word for it, let us highlight what Edo State is becoming under Gov. Godwin Obaseki:
Edo State is set to become the most connected city in Nigeria in terms of fibre optics at the end of 2019. This means internet in Edo state will be stronger, faster and available for all. Why, because Godwin Obaseki has constructed a 400km of Fibre ring around Benin. Government buildings have electricity and will have more, building modern housing developments, Tarring roads without the Governor's parents or girlfriend living there, Materials to Tarr Edo roads are coming from Edo State, Forest commission, Forest guards, Benin Industrial park sitting on a Benin Gas field, Benin airport is now operating at Night, College of Education partnering with oil palm producers in Edo to create jobs when students graduate, retraining teachers, Building stadiums, Edo teachers with iPad, immunisation, vaccination of children, Health insurance, Specialist hospital opening, Revenue collected without violence, Edo geographical advantage is visible and there are time scales for everything. Look I must stop here, there is more but that is not the point. The point is reminding ourselves what our last election was based on and how this government under Godwin Obaseki have not only exceeded all targets we know, but also has taken Edo State into the modern age.
Anyone who has seen any of Godwin Obaseki's press conferences will see his passion, his humility to serve Edo people. He doesn’t gloat but instead speaks about things in the pipeline that will transform Edo forever, like Gele Gele, like the Benin Industrial Park. Never in the history of Edo state have we had a Governor like this, Never. Maybe in the old Bendel State which is almost 40 years ago but not Edo.
Obaseki has tackled high cost of road tarring contractors, upgraded the civil service, explained and improved electricity in Edo State, reclaimed Edo land back from other states, improved security in Edo State, improved dignity in the Edo people and even made time to come and thank the Edo diaspora for what they have been doing in Edo State for over 30 years.
Now let me tell you about the 1st Edo Summit UK. Governor Obaseki made the Edo people feel appreciated. He re-motivated those who have given up. He answered questions, he explained why he is starting with education and the financial help the state needs. The Edo diaspora are responding positively across the UK, Ireland, Europe and America. This is no -coincidence. Edos are back and motivated by this Governor. We can all see it and feel it. Edos are being respected better today by just looking at our great Oba Ewuare II and our Governor: This is our dream team.
Edos are not ungrateful people, but not everyone seems to be enjoying the change. A few people in Edo State want thousands of Edos to return and perish in the Mediterranean. To be raped, assaulted, killed, displaced from their families and end up as beggars in Europe or Russia, if lucky. They prefer Edos to be tortured, have their lives taken and their organs stolen on their way to find survival, Edos to go into armed robbery and to sell their brothers, sisters, wives and children into prostitution to survive. They think we have forgotten. News flash: let God punish these people and anyone thinking like them.
Over 90% of Edos in Diaspora regardless of tribe are supporting Godwin Obaseki, a man who has put us Edo State on the road to recovery, the road where we can plan, where we can work, see our children grow, where salaries are paid, where Edo is working for everyone, where Edos have a future in Edo State and Edos in diaspora can come back home to invest and live.
Edos have seen enough to know all Godwin Obaseki needs in time, support and encouragement from Edo people. We will give it to him abundantly and Yes, this is Edo state where they wanted us to believe we are not good enough for good things.