Deji Elumoye in Abuja
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has given reasons why political godfathers are after his head, saying they were against his positive transformation of the state.
Obaseki, who spoke while receiving in audience members of the Benin community, Abuja, at Edo Governor’s Lodge, Asokoro- Abuja, said he knew from the onset when he started executing projects that some individuals were not comfortable with him doing that for the betterment of the state.
He revealed that in the course of gainfully engaging several youth that had been used as thugs and touts in the past, his government unknowingly stepped on some powerful toes.
His words: “We have a lot of boys who aren’t educated and were being recruited to cause violence, few people were given revenue base to maintain an army for violence and I said ‘why should we keep thugs to disturb the peace of the state,’ because without peace investors won’t come.
“Before, you can’t put a block on your property without being harassed. So when you see development today, it is the result of my bold decisions. I just didn’t throw these boys out, I tried to engage them. My first challenge was to take them out and engage them but unknown to me, I was stepping on toes. So, the crisis I am facing today started from there, that’s the genesis”.
The governor expressed concern at the desperation of certain individuals to remotely control the affairs of the state and vowed to continue to resist such moves.
He further added: “By the grace of God, nobody will turn us to pawn on his chess board. I am proud of my performance, even if I spend one term. What have I done wrong, my only offence is that I don’t share Edo money. I am determined to prove that the weight of the people is mightier than that of anybody.”
Obaseki, however, emphasised that notwithstanding the distractions, his government had been able to attract investors to the state.
According to him, the money we are getting from Abuja wasn’t adequate. So, given my background, I sought to bring investors so that they can engage our people.
“Dedicated Edo people are coming to invest in Edo but the hoodlums are saying we are bringing people from Lagos, forgetting that they are our people who are residents in Lagos”.
On education, the governor said teachers were being retrained to give their best to the students, adding, “Our educational system is a model for outsiders with the Minister of Education of Rwanda visiting our schools recently”.
Speaking earlier, President of Benin Community in Abuja, Mr. Dickson Omoregie urged the governor to resist being a puppet to anyone in the administration of the state.
“Don’t turn yourself to a puppet, Edo must witness development under you and we are aware of the various developmental strides under you and we appeal to you not to be distracted. Be conscious of your legacy”, he asserted.
He said the group was concerned about recent developments in the state saying “Edo people are known to be peaceful, we are known to be hospitable and we care for one another.”
Omoregie further stated that: “We pray that peace shall return and we are joining the voice of the Oba of Benin to call for peace.
“We crave for peace, we want Edo state to be in the good news for things that are good. We don’t want to hear news of rascals parading themselves to cause havoc. That will be good and cheering news for us”.