By Crusoe Osagie
The disgruntled Josef Omorotionmwan has declared war on Edo people, who in their candid assessment of Governor Godwin Obaseki’s performance, few months into his assumption of office, named him their ‘Wake and See Governor’.
Obaseki did not name himself the “Wake and See” Governor, Edo people did. They were amazed by the rapid succession in which developmental projects were initiated and implemented. They woke up every morning to see previously impassable roads fixed and orderliness and serenity restored to previously chaotic parts of the metropolis.
All these happened without any noise made in the media and Edo’s good people fondly named their governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, the “Wake and See Governor”.
The sobriquet has since assumed a life of its own in the hearts, minds and lips of Edo people, who appreciate the effort the governor is making to effectively reposition the state and the rapid progress made within a short period of time.
However, there are a few stakeholders on whom Obaseki’s growing popularity has foisted sudden insomnia. It is not Obaseki’s fault that Omorotionmwan can no longer find sleep due to the governor’s popularity among his people but one thing is certain and that is the fact that in his mission to industrialise Edo State, the Wake and See sobriquet has come to stay. Obaseki’s commitment to wake and see projects and development in Edo State, is on a roller coaster to progress. Omorotionmwan and his co-travellers’ contention is not with Governor Obaseki but with the good people of Edo State, who coined the name in the first place.
But a cursory look through the issues raised in his belly-driven, favour seeking treatise, shows a great deal of illogic perhaps due to failing memory and poor thinking.
Did Omorotionmwan say that any local government area can declare its entire geographic area an industrial park? Why hasn’t he declared his own local government area an industrial park if, in his reasoning, all it takes to develop an industrial park is a mere pious pronouncement or a sweeping declaration?
Edo people living around Nevis Street in Benin City, Lucky Way in Oregbeni, Erediauwa Street in Upper Sokponba area, Oko Central, Ikpokpan Road, to mention only a few roads, including those that go to work, school and market in the 75 new Comrade Buses, the thousands of road users who have since endorsed the services rendered by officials of the revamped Edo State Traffic Management Agency (EDSTMA) and millions of Edo people across the three senatorial districts attest to Obaseki’s commitment to purposive leadership.
Omorotionmwan must be deluding himself to think that Edo people do not know that each time he picks his pen to attack governors as he subtly admitted in his belly-driven treatise, his aim is not to ‘move any society’ any inch forward but to advance his interest. His notoriety for blackmailing people is common knowledge.
He deliberately did not mention the several benefits his blackmail earned him in the past, such as his appointments to the boards of government agencies and similar appointments extended to other members of his family, his wife and son inclusive.
His resolve to serially deride the consensus of Edo people through blackmail is due to his inability to secure the kind of favours he has been used to in the past. An old trick. Indeed, Leopards don’t change their spots.
The Obaseki-led government places a high premium on people’s capacity to deliver result and add value to the collective task of developing our dear state and not some over-bloated sense of entitlement!
The can of worms recently uncovered at the Edo Development Property Authority (EDPA) detailing Omorotionmwan’s alleged illegal activities at the housing authority is perhaps the reason he would not stop writing about EDPA and portray it in bad light, even when homeowners in the estates are thankful to the governor for rescuing the EDPA estates from snakes, filth and sheer lawlessness. Omorotionmwan is scared that he may go to jail. To jail, he will go if the evidence before the court finds him guilty. He should save his fears for the judgement day.
There is a popular maxim that when falsehood is allowed to blossom unchallenged, it could wear the toga of truth. For the record, Governor Godwin Obaseki has put in place the relevant structures that will guide the repositioning of non-performing and under-performing government enterprises.
It is only in Omorotionmwan’s speculative and failing mind that government assets are being sold without recourse to the enabling laws.
His assessment of the governor’s aides in the gutter and unprintable language reveals his quality of mind.
He can save his counsel for his aides when and if he is voted into an elective office.
These are the reasons Obaseki will continue to overwhelm Omorotionmwan.
Hard as he may try, the socio-political value of the “Wake and See” sobriquet cannot be degraded, not even by Omorotionmwan and those in his displaced unprogressive and faded political class. Their efforts are too feeble to make any impact on the solid reputation of performance which Obaseki has built with the great people of Edo State.
Osagie is the Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Media and Communication Strategy