Following the recent announcement by the Independent National Electoral Commission that it is set to release fresh modalities for the conduct of the Edo and Ondo governorship election despite the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic, there has been disquiet in the camp of Governor Godwin Obaseki over the alleged discovery of plans by some political appointees to resign and defect within the next few weeks.
INEC has insisted that September 19, 2020 remains the date for the conduct of the governorship election in the state inspite of its adjustment of the date for the primary from between June 2 and 16 to July 6 this year, according to the commission’s election timetable released on Friday, last week.
gathered that already feelers have emerged that some of the political appointees and trusted loyalists of Governor Obaseki may resign before the All Progressives Congress’ governorship primary election in the state now rescheduled to hold on July 6.
It was learnt that this group of government appointees had become disappointed and disillusioned with the Obaseki administration, which they claimed had failed to fulfil the promises made to them before backing the government.
These disappointed loyalists, according to a very reliable source in the Edo State Government House, are planning to defect to bolster the camp of the party’s National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, ahead of the APC governorship primary in the state.
Some top government officials in the state, who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity, disclosed that Governor Obaseki’s recent activities were enough indications that he was not ready for any contest with anyone for his second term ticket.
Our correspondent gathered that in order not to lose out totally and be caught on the wrong side in the event that Governor Obaseki is denied a second term ticket, some of his loyalists and political appointees have decided to jump ship early enough before the APC primary election in the state.
A highly placed political appointee in the state, who pleaded not to be identified, told our correspondent at the weekend, “Now that INEC has said the governorship election will hold, there is serious fears now in government circles. I can tell you that many of his appointees will resign very soon. The governor cajoled most of us into joining his camp based on some promises he made then. But I can tell you now, the man failed in keeping his promises.
“Before the primaries, many of us will resign from his government. The government is run by the few who can lie and deceive the Governor. The man Obaseki listened to bad advisers within his government and this is not helping him to succeed in the governance of the state at all.”
A supporter of the Oshiomhole camp, Comrade Fortune Odia, argued that the Obaseki administration had nothing to show to justify his getting a second term ticket in office.
He claimed that the 200,000 jobs promised the people of the state under the Obaseki administration ended up a mirage.
Odia said this “total failure” of the Obaseki administration in the state must have accounted for the alleged fear within the governor’s camp concerning the forthcoming APC primary election.
According to Odia, who spoke satirically concerning the governor’s achievements, “Obaseki promised us Gelegele seaport and I can tell you that as today, it is the busiest deep seaport in the whole of West Africa with no access road to site. He promised us two modular refineries and I can assure you that we don’t buy refined oil anymore as citizens of Edo State. Other states now come to take petroleum products from a bushy site yet to be cleared. Of course, he promised us an industrial park. I can tell you for a fact that the said park is so busy that no one can even go there to buy anything just yet. He promised us an industrialized Edo State. I can tell you for free that every village in Edo State is industrialized with more bushes as his technocratic MOUs have failed to materialize.”
He said Obaseki had created the record of being the governor that has signed the highest number of Memoranda of Understanding in the 21st Century without concrete results on the ground.
“I hope it won’t be difficult for Godwin Obaseki’s supporters to sell him now. I have been waiting for this list and more since, but since they don’t know there is no time, I have to help them compile the list of some of the most wonderful things Obaseki ever did for Edo citizens for trusting and voting him,” he added.
But an Obaseki loyalist, Hon. Peters Ahondor, said that with the governor still having the APC local government party chairmen, elected council chairmen across the 18 local government areas, his special advisers and party leaders in the state behind him, his chances of winning the primary and getting a second term ticket was sure and remained unshaken.
“You can hear the Oshiomhole camp is in serious trouble. They cannot even pick their so-called consensus candidate to battle for the ticket with Obaseki. That’s the beginning of their failure. We are waiting for the D-day of the party Primaries. Obaseki has a lot that will give him the party primary ticket. We are not bothered about whatsoever the Oshiomhole camp is saying. We are focused,” he said.
But a chieftain in the Oshiomhole’s camp, Prof. David Osifo, however, assured that one of the aspirants would soon emerge the APC’s consensus candidate for the Edo governorship poll.
He advised the aspirants on the APC national chairman’s side to be committed to whoever emerges the preferred consensus candidate, commending their support for the cause as “legendary and highly commendable.”
Osifo said, “My prayer is that your labour of love shall attract the desired rewards from man and from God. Very soon one of the aspirants will emerge as our consensus candidate for 2020 governorship election. His emergence as a consensus candidate will be a case of no victor no vanquished but a sacrifice made by the others for the benefits of us all.
“This is because all the aspirants are eminently qualified, which means the emergence of one is a mere concession by the others. And I know the consensus candidate will be able to carry the other aspirants along in the scheme of things. As they say ‘you know a great man by his magnanimity in victory.’ For you the followers there is nothing to be apprehensive about because whichever side the dice turns, you are the winner. Should it be your aspirant that emerges, remember that in unity and togetherness we shall conquer in the ultimate battle.
“Therefore, let your celebrations be your ability to invite and accommodate others because one finger cannot pick lice from the head. Just maybe your aspirant doesn’t emerge as our consensus candidate, you have no cause to be sad because by your loyalty and commitment to your preferred aspirant, you have written your name in gold. Your hard work and commitment to your aspirant shall be transcribed as your hard work and commitment to the eventual consensus candidate. Therefore, instead of feeling bitter and discouraged, quickly adjust, switch and continue in the same zeal for the consensus candidate. For several years you may have been in political wilderness, you may have been in political drought, your political habitation may have been dry and dusty but I say to you I hear the sound of abundance of rain. There is going to be a rapid restoration of your wasted years.”
Source : The Point Newspaper