April 17, 2024

Oshiomhole, Tinubu Not Marginalising Edo South


President Oshjiomhole, Tinubu (L-R)

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By Orobosa Omo-Ojo JP

The ongoing orchestration of stories to the effect that the former governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, now Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and President Bola Ahmed Tinubu are jointly marginalising the Benins of Edo South amounts to cheap and lazy blackmail by the sponsors. Honestly, any outcry of such should be dismissed by honest Benin leaders and men of good conscience.

If at all the South has indeed been marginalised, it is self inflicted and the remedy is self-appraisal by the Edo South people.

The Benin proverb says: ‘ėkhuėmuoyi vbėnekhuėmuė ėmwanren’. “A thief is never ashamed as much as his relatives.” It is high time Edo South leaders bury their heads in sands filled with shame.

Any cry of marginalisation like the one in present contest, should as a matter of fact be traced to their inordinate desire to pursue cheap and immediate gains for themselves and family members at the detriment of the larger Benin nation.

How many of these leaders that has now gathered for political gains ever asked Dr. Osagie Ehanire for his scorecard? How many Primary Healthcare Centres did the former minister attracted to the 72 wards in Edo South? What did Edo South get from the position of Executive Director on NDDC? How many rural communities are transformed today after eight years of Governor Obaseki? How many rural roads did Obaseki construct to improve the livelihoods of Edo South people?

Edo South leaders must first ask these questions before putting the Minister of Niger Delta Engr. Abubarkar Momoh to task. Charity they say must start from home!

The biggest political offices in Edo State are: Governor; Deputy Governor; Speaker; Secretary to State Government; Chief of Staff; Federal Minister; Commissioner Niger Delta Development Commission; Chairman Edo State Oil and Gas Producing Area Development Commission (EDSOGPADEC); Chairman Board of Internal Revenue Board; Chairman State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB); Commissioner for Roads and Bridges; Commissioner for Education; Commissioner for Agriculture, and Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, amongst others.

It is absord from the above list to hear the Benins cry of marginalisation in the current political dispensation. The case of Edo South is like that of a man with an elephant he has killed on his head, yet using his toe to search for a cricket.

If I may ask, how plausible is it for President Tinubu to know the sectional and tribal divides of Edo State in a manner that will suggest marginalisation of Edo South? How can Edo South accuse Senator Oshiomhole who was elected by Edo North to represent them in the Senate of marginalisation? Or is Oshiomhole a joint Senator for Edo South and Edo North?

Let me refresh the memories of those accusing Tinubu and Oshiomhole of marginalisation, the position presently held by Edo South.

The offices are:

1. Governor

2. Secretary to State Governor

3. Chief of Staff

4. Commissioner NDDC

5. Code of Conduct Bureau

6. Federal Character Commission

7. Edo State Oil and Gas Producing Development Area

8. Head of Service

9. Chief Judge of Edo State

10. Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs

11. Commissioner for Education

12. Commissioner for Roads and Bridges

13. DG Edo State House, Abuja

13. And until recently, ED Finance, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The Edo South leaders and their people should ask themselves what they have accrued to the senatorial district with these positions. What the Ministry of Niger Delta can do for Edo South, EDSOGPADEC can do with an effective and efficient manager.

Or should we hold Oshiomhole and Tinubu responsible for the abject squalor the people of the Oil Producing Orhionmwon, Ikpoba Okha and Ovia North East Local Government Areas are presently subjected to, despite the monthly 13% derivation fund allocated to them through EDSOGPADEC?

Speaking directly and straight, the leaders of Edo South should hold their son, Governor Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki responsible for whatever they have perceived as marginalisation.

When Oshiomhole was governor, he changed Edo North geographical landscape and raised several men and women to be financially independent.

He attracted legacy projects to the hills and valleys that today makes the area a tourist destination. In addition, the few financially strong Edo South politicians, including Godwin Obaseki were raised to their present position of comfort.

In addition, he built a world-class University – Edo University Iyamho in his birthplace, Iyamho in Etsako West Local Government Area.

Today, the only State Hospital that is available to the Benins of Edo South is the Specialist Hospital built by Senator Adams Oshiomhole. The Central Hospital in Benin City was pulled down and the land allocated to friends of Governor Obaseki to construct a private Museum of West African Art (MOWAA).

The Stella Obasanjo that was built by another Benin Governor, Lucky Nosakhare Igbinedion which was the only hospital available to the people after the Central Hospital was pulled down, has equally been knocked in parts for an unplanned reconstruction by Obaseki.

Yet, Edo South self-serving leaders have turned their eyes away from the sufferings of the people they are pretending to protect. They would rather conveniently look up Edo north and Abuja for scapegoats.

If the so-called Edo South leaders who are just comfortable with ‘a meal per day’ political interest are bereaved of courage and patriotic mental energy to point their fingers to the Pharaoh who has asked them to mould bricks without straw, they should stay put at the table where their crumbs will be guaranteed.

See Also: Edo 2024: Oyegun-Igbinedion Group Insist On Southern Candidate as Obaseki’s Successor

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