By Umoru Ibrahim
The political air of Edo State is now unprecedentedly charged at alarming proportion as the forces loyal to Adam Oshiomhole aggressively beat the drums of war against Governor Obaseki who they believe doesn’t deserve a return ticket.
Ordinarily as a non APC member, I should have no business dabbling into an affair exclusive to them as men of the same political party. But because Obaseki’s good governance has touched my community in a manner unprecedented and, because to whom much is given much is expected, I find it necessary to speak in favour the governor. It is imperative to say that, taking into consideration the antecedents of the governor in relation to a greater part of Ayuele, he deserves the support of our people.
The road linking Agbede to Awai, from Momodu College to Idegu to be specific, had never attracted attention of any government since the emergence of our community. This historical neglect continued even in the greater part of the current democratic era, prior to the emergence of Obaseki as a governor. Even when we were lucky to have an Etsako person as an elected governor of the state for eight years, all the appeals made to the government to construct the road fell into the deaf hears of the administration.
This outright insensitivity was sustained notwithstanding the fact that the road cuts across agrarian communities whose participations in the state’s economy would have been tremendously enhanced with the provision of good roads.
Happily, less than six months of Obaseki’s emergence as the state governor, the billions of naira contract was not only signed, but the actual construction work started without delay. Today, Ayuele and Awai have huge cause to celebrate. For a road has emerged, courtesy of our result-oriented governor. And this road in terms of standard, can compete favourably with any road in the world. On the basis of this, our farmers now find it very easy to transport their produces to various metropolitan areas in the country, thereby making their lives more meaningful and enjoyable.
Today, Awai people traveling homes during festivities now drive their cars straight to their villages without any form of encumbrances. This was not possible before the coming of the peoples’ governor, Mr Obaseki.
It was also highly embarrassing to note that most Awai people living outside their communities used to spend more money getting to their villages from Agbede( a journey that is less than 40 km) than what they spent from Benin, Warri, Port Harcourt, etc. to Agbede due to the dilapidated nature of the road. Even some of us whose villages are stone throws to Agbede faced herculean tasks getting home when we arrived at night. Today, the narrative has changed. All of those crises have become history because of the disposition of Obaseki tooted in good governance and people oriented policies.
As a patriotic citizen of Ayuele extraction, I will be doing injustice to myself and to my people if I refuse to appreciate such a wonderful work done for us.
For I see Obaseki and his team as the geese that lay the golden eggs which must be kept if we must enjoy more eggs.
It is based on the above that I appeal to all Ayuele’s sons and daughters to use everything at their disposal to support the governor in both the primary and subsequent elections. While I don’t rule out the fact that some people are impervious to the patriotic calls to support the governor due largely to their personal interest, I am optimistic that majority of our people are sophisticated enough to know who are their true friends.
I have no doubt that though Obaseki is a Benin man, he has shown more love to us than some political elite of Etsako extraction who now use ethnicity to galvanize the people they abandoned when their attentions were absolutely necessary.
Mr Ibrahim, a journalist, writes from Kano