The governorship campaigns for the September 10 poll is in top gear with all parties in full swing with their campaigns which has charged the political climate of the state. Many are wondering what the 19 candidates have in stock for them as they make up their minds for their choice.
While some candidates are positively engaging the electorates with their programmes and policies if given a chance to lead, the Peoples Democratic Party aka People Deceive People (PDP) are at their game of deceit again. They are already marketing lies to Edo people, promising to build bridges where there are no rivers. They are telling us stories as though Edo people have short memories, but unknown to them, Edo people are wiser by the day.
While the APC flagged off its campaign in Benin City with a big bang and massive turn out of thousands of supporters, the PDP, which has been boxed to an ethnic corner, took its campaign launch to Uromi, the home town of its national leader, and the old Pussy Cat, Chief Tony Ahokon Anenih.
Anenih, who is 82, at the event said he would not have been at the rally if he had no assurances that his party would win the September 2016 poll. Anenih said, “Today, we have problems in Edo State. Problems of hardship, insecurity. People who used to eat three times a day now eat once a day. We have had Oshimohole for eight years, we have no water.”
He accused Oshimohole of failing to pay a counterpart fund of N300million for the Federal Government to make water available in Edo State. Anenih also accused the Edo governor of doing everything to frustrate the candidature of pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu, as PDP’s flag bearer.
On his part, Loquacious Dan Orbih accused Oshiomhole of using public fund amounting to N17billion to build his private House in Iyamho, compelling the factional PDP candidate to make a promise to probe Governor Adams Oshiomhole if he is elected. They promised to abolish tax and allow people to drive anyhow and shade their goods in the walk ways. Yet they say they will employ all the unemployed in Edo State, pay all pensioners their arrears (which they accumulated in the first place) and build industries. Then the question is with which money will they want to do all these? Do they mean well for Edo people?
Clearly, the Edo PDP has refused to believe that no Edo man, woman, youth or even children is ready to travel with them to the land of greed, misery, corruption and underdevelopment. In the ten wasted years of PDP in Edo State, what was the situation? What did Edo people benefit from the PDP government? There were horrendous pot holes, gutter and even brooks in all the roads in the City of Benin and major urban Centres across the state. There were deep pot holes even in Ring Road. Whenever it threatened to rain, people ran quickly from wherever they were to their homes so as to be able to salvage their property from the devastation of flood that was almost a daily occurrence. All that is almost fading away following the application of the right development approach by the Adams Oshiomhole-led APC government and Edo people are not ready at all for a paradigm shift.
In every intent and purpose, from every new policies and programmes of the APC government this past seven and a half years, Oshiomhole and his team made them people-centered. One thing is clear about the average black man: the average black man needs a little bit of force to compel them to do the right thing. Yes. Just a little bit of it.
Otherwise, why will some citizens see the beauty put in place by the oshiomhole administration in the cities still throw wastes all over the roads that have just been constructed and beautified? Why will traders, in spite of repeated warnings chose to use the pedestrian walk ways as wracks for their wares? Why will a driver, private or public drive against traffic? Why should they beat red traffic light? Why should a responsible citizen not pay his or her own tax?
These are innovations, policies and programmes introduced by the Oshiomhole administration to get Edo State out of the woods and put it at par with civilized societies. Today, 27 states of the federation, including the big oil producing states in the Niger Delta cannot pay their state workers salaries. But Comrade Oshiomhole, working with the Head of the administration’s economic team, Godwin Obaseki, now the APC governorship candidate are not only paying salaries as and when due, but have gone ahead to increase Edo workers’ salaries from a minimum wage of N18,000 to N25,000. Even the workers promotion are being processed to make it up-to-date before the end of the current administration in November.
This is why I have repeatedly said that history will remember Oshiomhole in Edo State long after he would have left office. Today, the PDP is telling Edo people that citizens would not be made to pay their taxes. This is a retrogressive promise, because even Jesus Christ paid his tax and instructed his followers to pay their taxes as well. Tax is important if we have to sustain the tempo of development Oshomhole has provided, more so in the face of dwindling nationally shared oil revenue and competing social and developmental needs in Edo State. Oshiomhole has obviously opened Edo people’s eyes to behold what a responsible government can do for its citizens.
Edo people will certainly regret if they allow the PDP to manipulate their way into government. When therefore, the PDP is promising Edo people that it will not collect taxes, Edo people should know that the party is desperate to return them to Egypt and from the various commentaries all around the state, Edo people are united that affliction of the PDP will not visit them a second time.
This perhaps explains why in Benin where Governor Adams Oshimohole and the party formally presented Mr. Godwin Obaseki as the party’s flag bearer and Honourable Philip Shaibu as his deputy for the September 10 governorship poll, every available space at the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium was filled to capacity with mammoth crowd of supporters. Even outside the main bowl of the stadium was filled with anxious supporters of the APC. That and the turn-out of supporters for Obaseki and Shaibu at the on-going ward-to-ward campaigns are a testimonial that the APC will emerge victorious.
The Godwin Obaseki and Philip Shaibu train is set to move and it is important that all Edo voters join the train. The PDP will definitely be rejected by the electorate as has been their lots in all recent elections in Edo State, so that the development that Edo people have been witnessing would be sustained with greater appeal, zeal and zest.
By DAN OWEGIE