By Dan Osazuwa

An ally of Governor Obaseki and a former commissioner representing Esan central on the board of the Edo State Oil Producting Commission, EDOASOPADEC, Prince Emmanuel Odigie, has alleged that the state in the last four years under the leadership of the incumbent has not made meaningful progress.

He also berated the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, ‘Pepper them and crush them’ slogan saying it is needless and unnecessary.

Prince Odigie who resigned his position as a Commissioner of EDOASOPADEC at the weekend called for a peaceful election and issue based campaign ahead of the September governorship election in the state.

Speaking with Vanguard in an exclusive chat, he noted that the incumbent governor would have been at adventage if he has done anything meaningful and thus showcase his score card and campaign on issues.

Making reference to the job creation claims of Obaseki, he said, “He claimed to have created 200,000 jobs for Edo youths, if that is true, it ought to have been the basis of his campaign not the other way.” 

The former Commissioner, who was obviously peeved by what transpired at the Oba of Benin Palace in a chat with our reporter said: “I will call what transpired in the Oba’s palace as a lack of tolerance from Governor Godwin Obaseki. He appears to be overambitious and an ambitious man is a desperate man and a desperate man is a very dangerous man.

“Since his fallout with his predecessor Comrade Adams Oshomole, Obaseeki has been on a drive of ‘CRUSH/PEPPER DEM’ campaign slogan. It means if you are not supportive of his re-election bid he is ready to take on you.

“He demonstrated it several times. He started with his predecessor, Adams Oshomole , He deployed Edo tax payers resources to fight Comrade Oshomole. He mobilized people from Edo to Abuja to protest against Adams Oshohmole, went to court, did everything possible, bribed when necessary, did all sorts to ensure that he removed him as National chairman.

“Every person he perceived to be interested in running for the office of the Governor of Edo even if it is mere rumour he comes on that person. It’s sad that the governor we all worked for, voted for, had confidence in, would because of ambition wants to pull down every Edo man that is not supportive of his re-election bid.

“My big brother Captain Hosa Okumbo is a victim of Obaseki’s intolerance. It was rumoured in some quarters that Okumbo wanted to contest for the governor which were not true. The gentle man came out in public to say I am not interested please governors Obaseeki leave me alone. Despite his continuous denial, Obaseki went after his business, tried to pull down a man that has been there for over three decades, a former pilot that has grown so big and his name all over the world. A man whose good will in the state is beyond words, Obaseeki for his overambitious drive to be governor at all cost went after this man businesses trying to ruin his name his family name and bring his status to disrepute using his social media rats and all sort of people to write rubbish, people began to fabricate all sort of stories about this gentle man. Captain Hosa is a man I have known all my life and practically we grew up almost in the same house”.

The former Commissioner maintained that the governor has nothing to campaign with and said “That is why his campaign slogan is ‘PEPPER DEM/CRUSH DEM’ pepper who? And crush who? I would expect that he should be busy showing Edo peoples his report card as Oshomole did on his re-election. We went on campaign with Oshomole and by the time he is shown his report card will say ‘’OSHO CARRY GO’’ with what you have done you have our vote and support.

But why is Obaseki fighting everyone that is not in support with his second tenure re-election bid? Why not showcase what you have done if you have anything at all why not show Edo people in four years the mandate they gave you, in four years this is what I have been able to do. When you look at Edo today, the only achievement of Godwin Obaseki is the Edo best initiative apart from that everything is audio, M.O.U nothing to show. 

On accessibility to Obaseki 

Odigie stated that: “When Obaseeki was coming on board, large number of Edo people home and abroad were happy that at last we have governor, who is an experience investment banker that will attract investors to the state believing that he will use his worth of experience to create jobs and boost commerce and economy of the state. But what did we get? Where is Bendel’s glory? Lying dead, where is Ewu Flour Mill? Not functional, where is Okpela Cement factory? Not functional, where is Edo juice factory? Not functional , where is cassava vitals Uromi? Where is Bendel pharmaceuticals? Edo line? The list is endless.

As an investment Banker that he said he is, we expected all these industries to be functional and would have brought investors to partner with the government to create jobs for Edo youths. So would you say APC was wrong in not giving Obaseki a return ticket? The answer is No, has Godwin Obaseki done well in the area of his profession? The answer is No.

 “Godwin Obaseki is a man that is very hard to gain access to, he said politicians should go to the party secretariat. Obaseki has no time to discuss with anybody even if his commissioners have no access to him, the council chairmen have no access to him”.

He added that “Only in Edo, we seek to pull down our own. It is sad and painful.

“Let us stop the division, the misinformation, the propaganda, and the lies. It is high time we loved one another, embrace one another, look ourselves in the eyes and tell ourselves the Truth, because it is upon which we can soar! On lies, we shall continue to diminish as a State and people.

“The truth is Edo needs aTransformational leader, who will uplift and empower his people, deal with his people with empathy and human face, that leader for now is Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the APC.”

The former commissioner however called for a peaceful election ahead of the poll saying: “We need peace in Edo. We appeal to the governor, we are your people. You took an oath of office to protect our lives and properties. So allow peace to reign in Edo. The war room you created and built against captain Ossa is uncalled for and not necessary. Certainly Edo people will answer you on the 19 with their PVC and pastor Ize-iyamu will be delivered because he is the one that will take Edo to that next level. He is a man that will deal with Edo people with empathy, with human face, because he is a Christian, he loves the people and his simple agenda will be implemented.”


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