July 20, 2024

Edo 2024: Asue is a Third Term Agenda


Prince Kassim Afegbua

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By Prince Kassim Afegbua

Obaseki loudly told Edo people that he abhors godfatherism and frowned at any attempt by anyone to input that he was a godfather.

He blackmailed political leaders in the state, claiming that the reason they were against his politics of egocentricity was on account of his stance against godfatherism.

He whipped up sentiments to a comic height and led Edo people to believe a wrong narrative that some leaders wanted him to be sharing Edo money.

Today, Governor Obaseki has shown that he is a hypocritical persona.

He is pushing his agenda to install a successor; a clear third term project, to further his acquisition of major investments in Edo state. His choice, Asuelime Ighodalo, his long time friend fits the bill of Obaseki’s third term porn.

We have been gratuitously given a divine hint of their plan, seeing their resemblance; they both look like twins. In terms of business approach, they will surely wear similar garb.

Obaseki’s laughter is Ighodalo’s laughter. Obaseki’s frown is Ighodalo’s frown.

The primaries that threw Ighodalo up was similar to the negotiated primary that threw Governor Obaseki up in 2020 when he was eased out of APC’s fortress.

He was imposed on the PDP by the inchoate leadership of Uche Secondus, while the schedules for the primary were observed in the breach.

In fact, the official sale of forms had closed when the leadership of the party bent over backwards, broke the rules, and imposed Obaseki as the flagbearer.

From that day, Governor Obaseki pronounced himself as the Leader of the PDP. The centre has refused to hold since then, and up till now.

Governor Obaseki who was up in arms against his supposed godfathers in the APC as it were then, has today become the main character in the invidious plot to install his godson, to continue his stay in Osadebe Avenue.

Asue Ighodalo has never voted in Edo state, he was never known to have registered as a voter in Edo state; he joined the list of Edo voters barely two weeks ago when INEC opened the opportunity for Continuous Voters’ Registration, CVR.

It has become a tradition for Lagos based business buccaneers to unleash their venom on Edo state in continuation of their occupation of Edo’s collective patrimony.

When their businesses fail, they fall back to Edo state to recoup their losses. Godwin Obaseki’s Afri-Invest, a stock brokerage company was insolvent prior to 2008/2009 when Comrade Adams Oshiomhole assumed the mantle of leadership.

It remained so till 2016, hemorrhaging, and on life support, until Godwin Obaseki assumed the leadership of the state. That company has now bounced back to life and is now breathing soundly.

Go and check out Afri-Invest today, an afore dead company with a tangled relationship with Security and Exchange Commission, SEC- is now the owner of a bank, GLOBUS BANK, as its subsidiary.

That is how badly Godwin Obaseki has dealt with Edo people. So the desperation to install his bossom friend Asue Ighodalo as his successor is tellingly instructive and unmistakably self explanatory.

He has gone to Lagos to fish out his friend and business partner, Asue Ighodalo, under whose chairmanship Nigeria Breweries lost N106b in 2023 alone.

Such a failed, poor, blunt, and pallid business strategist who wants to climb the rostrum of leadership in Edo. Asue Ighodalo’s aspiration is actually Governor Obaseki’s third term agenda in disguise.

They have converted Edo state into a business enterprise, run like a profit and loss, public unlimited company, where Federal allocations are never applied in the most judicious thought-through manner.

We know those whose companies were paid N1.6b for mere consultancy services on the purchased Ritz Hotel now called Radisson Blue.

They have no mercy for Edo people’s money. Edo people are already conversant with the tricks of the outgoing Governor Obaseki, trying to hoodwink them with last minute palliative intervention on decayed infrastructure across the state.

A vote for Asue Ighodalo, according to some Edo stakeholders, is a vote for Obaseki’s THIRD TERM agenda. A third term that will further pauperise Edo people, and create a colony of beggars across the Senatorial districts.

Edo people have been saying NO, to THIRD TERM. They are saying never again to Governor Obaseki and his third term agenda.

Our traditional rulers are lamenting, our youths are teeming with rage, our women are cursing, over failed promises, and burnt markets were to be fixed; but Governor Obaseki has turned deaf ears to them; unemployment is high, our debt profile has risen to N549b, making Edo State the third on the list of the most indebted states in Nigeria.

We cannot afford to reinforce failure in Edo state. We cannot afford Obaseki’s third term. Never again will Obaseki lead us!!!!.

His long drawn battle against the Benin Palace, over issues of Okhaigheles, artefacts and the structure of the monarchy has further drawn the ire of the people, reminding many of the unfinished business of undermining the monarchy in the 1897 invasion; which may very well be his objective.

Others are of the view that Governor Obaseki wants to extract a pound of flesh from the Oba of Benin who never supported his aspiration in 2016 when he was proposed to take over the seat of Government from Senator Adams Oshiomhole.

The Benin Artefacts which were graciously returned by the colonialists from Germany, UK, Sweden and Italy, have been misappropriated by this governor who does not understand the spiritual implications of those artefacts, as he views them from a commercial perspective. Governor Obaseki has hurriedly started what he will never be able to finish.

He has started a war with the gods, he calls his conduit EMWAA and has brought in a non-indigene to supervise the process, as a trustee.
He demolished the Benin Central Hospital and converted the premises to the official site for warehousing the artefacts.

Meanwhile, the Palace, from where those artefacts were stolen in 1897 remains hands bound, wondering aloud the barefaced relooting of the returned artefacts by a government that knows nothing about their cultural significance.

A new governor, different from Governor Obaseki’s annointed candidate will do the proper thing.

In fact the APC Governorship candidate, Senator Monday Okpebholo has stated that the Benin Monarchy remains the pride of the state, and that as Governor, he would accord all traditional rulers the opportunity to deepen conversation around our cultural heritage. This is what Governor Obaseki does not want.

Most people see in Asue Ighodalo, the PDP Candidate, another Godwin Obaseki whose laughter does not sink through each time he tries to laugh. They see the hands of Asue, but the face of Obaseki.

They hear the voice of Obaseki, but the look of Asue. They wonder at the semblance and the fact that Asue Ighodalo has been Godwin Obaseki’s adviser-in-chief while bile was hurled at the Palace. It confirms the general fear of an Obaseki’s third term agenda.

Most Edo people expected Asue Ighodalo to caution his friend and boss, Governor Obaseki to accord due respect and recognition to our traditional rulers across the state, especially the Benin Monarchy, but alas, both the Governor and his annointed godson have been captured in the same basket of indignation.

For the first time in Benin history, we have a Benin son as Governor with no respect for the Oba of Benin. The Governor using the Enigies are in court with the Palace.

The Governor, in show of desperation, suspended the Okhaigheles, who are the eyes of the Oba of Benin on communal issues across the seven Local Governments of Edo South.

The Governor has read the riot act, threatening to deal decisively with any one who decides to flout his ban; a clear abominable act that represents a direct affront to the King.

This and many other untoward behaviours of the governor are the reasons why he sees this election as a third term for himself.

Knowing Edo state to be a state of highly enlightened minds, where awareness is high, and capacity to do what is right is a regular discourse, it is most unlikely that Governor Obaseki will have his way.

The Governor has performed abysmally in the eight years, now nearing completion of his tenure. He has been too quarrelsome and combative, thinking that force, and not reason and logic, will see him through.

The dawn of day and setting of the sun are presenting before him very hard choices that are obviously going to affect the success of his annointed candidate.

The tempers are high now. He dishes out his diktat with the brutish disposition of a frustrated officer.

He unleashes his venom with little or no provocation. He applies his tricks, thinking the people are not aware of them, and as the day draws near, the fear of losing Edo to APC is permanently eating deep into Governor Obaseki’s consciousness.

I see a man whose trajectory and reminiscences have combined to become his Achille’s heels.

That is the story of power, and absolute power torments those who apply it so brutishly, when they lose grip of the levers of it. Edo people must ensure that Governor Obaseki is proclaimed a loser.

Read Also: Edo 2024: Governor Obaseki’s Old Tricks

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