July 20, 2024

Gov. Obaseki’s Bogus Claims on Edo State Economy

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Gov Godwin Obaseki

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By Victor Ofure Osehobo

Outgoing Governor Godwin Obaseki made some fantastic assertions regarding his administration’s achievements in the state last week.

The claims were aimed at those who follow government activities on the state TV station and may not have firsthand access, as well as blind followers of the PDP regime.

There is no basis for the governor and his government to claim any form of economic revitalization in Edo because it does not exist. Little wonder that his “successor,” the imposed PDP governorship candidate Mr. Asue Akintunde Ighodalo, says he plans to continue where Mr. Obaseki stopped — referring to nowhere. Gov. Obaseki is still acting as if he has eight more years on his hands.

The Governor claimed significant improvements in infrastructure and economic indicators such as GDP and investment inflows to Edo state.

Are these not imaginary? How can he say that under his rule, Edo State has transformed from a state of mass migration to one that now attracts people?

This is ridiculous. People are fleeing the state because of the orgy of violence which the governor has not had the political will to address beyond mere pronouncements.

Only an unserious government will credit increased flight frequencies into Benin City as substantive economic progress for the average Edo citizen.

There is no link. Yes, there is an increase in air traffic. More people are coming in and are either ‘foreign’ guests of the outgoing government feeding fat on the MEGA agenda of the government and emptying the people’s treasury either as contractors or consultants.

It is a pity that these people who are employed to do jobs in Edo have since 2016 been imported from neighboring states by the government.

In the same vein, Governor Obaseki’s claims that there is a reduction in human trafficking and irregular migration as a result of his administration’s policies are deliberate falsehoods.

Human trafficking and migration are complex issues rooted in global socioeconomic trends. It is ironic that the governor will take complete credit for this global decline.

He misses the point and does not understand the true nature of the problem.

Additionally, his emphasis on GDP growth and investment inflow to Edo state is without context. The unemployment and poverty rates are higher in Edo compared to all the South-South states, and the government knows this.

What are the economic gains that he can point to as having translated into tangible benefits for ordinary citizens? Is it improved access to healthcare, education, and basic infrastructure across the state? So, where did he get the narrative of economic stability and growth?

Anyone who has lived in Edo all these eight years cannot point to any infrastructure improvements. Is it the poor-quality emergency roads that get washed away soon after construction with poor materials and commissioning?

In a situation where the state capital suffers infrastructure deficits, imagine the fate of other urban and rural communities in the state. There was not a single project adequate to address the needs of our rural communities and marginalized groups.

Lastly, Governor Obaseki’s tenure has been one controversy after another, particularly concerning his style of governance and administration. He has been a sole administrator with the spineless state legislature at his beck and call.

All this will soon come to an end as Edo people rally behind the Edo APC governorship candidate, Senator Monday Okpebholo, the Akpakomiza — the man of small Yan, plenti Work.

The APC candidate prefers action to speeches. What is the essence of saying what you are going to do instead of just doing it? He does not believe in wasting time or energy on unnecessary verbosity.

He is the man with practical plans to reverse the years of locusts foisted on Edo by the outgoing PDP government. Not mere MOUs!

As the September 21, 2024, date approaches for Edo to pick a replacement for Gov. Obaseki, the choice is Senator Monday Okpebholo: a man with an innate ability to take decisive and prompt decisions and act accordingly. So, Edo can expect a governor who will correct the decayed roads, schools, and health infrastructure that have been left unattended in Edo.

Senator Okpebholo will make Edo a better place that the ordinary people can truly call their own. He is coming to run a government that Edo people can relate to: a people’s government in the real sense.

Victor Ofure Osehobo, Journalists, writes from Benin City, Edo Edo State

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