I was dismayed when l read about the outright falsehood being peddled about the sale of Edo Library and the Ministry of Agriculture by some uninformed persons, guided by emotional imbalance. No doubt, those pushing this story appear confused and are behaving like sore losers.
How could the alleged sales of Edo State Library and the Ministry of Agriculture, be compared to the sales of Edo House, located in Lagos, an edifice which was inherited by Edo State, after the historic division of the then Bendel State, into Edo/Delta States respectively?
To me, it is a case of conjuring unnecessary weeping sentiments, because the sale of Edo House was a grand design hatched by the then government of Adams Oshiomhole, to rip off the state, as an alleged settlement for a known godfather in Lagos.
But thanks to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the opposition political party then, under the leadership of Chief Dan O. C Orbih, who stood against all odds, even when the then desperate government had almost used the instrumentality of a town hall meeting, to manipulate the people to buy into the unpopular idea.
Back to the purported sale of the Edo State Library and the Ministry of Agriculture: Governor Godwin Obaseki, for me, l will say, is the proverbial single voice, that has been able to transcend the forest (according to an Ishan proverb). If l am to outline some of the investment efforts the Obaseki administration has attracted to the state, l may just be deviating from this issue. But imperatively, the modular Refinery which has since been completed, but, to our dismay, the much needed crude oil pipelines, expected from the Federal Government, have not been connected, is a matter for another day. The Gelegele Sea Port is ongoing, the Industrial Hub, the Independent Power Station, coupled with the political bullying Mr. Governor Godwin Obaseki is going through, within the state, and at the national level, the so called ‘single train being piloted by him has not stopped. The governor keeps moving.In spite of all these fanstatic efforts, the Governor is being made to pass through political persecution, via the ‘pull him down’ being piloted by members of the opposition political party.
Back to the alleged sales of Edo Library and the Ministry of Agriculture: those peddling these lies about the alleged sales also mentioned that ShopRite is owned by foreign investors. This is far from the truth. The fact of the matter is that, as of today, all ShopRite outlets in this country are owned by Nigerians by way of Franchise. South African investors have since sold their shares, and left the country. For, instance Mr. Biggs eateries which were formerly owned by Leventis Stores, are now being operated as Franchise. For a state to attract any investment of the magnitude like ShopRite, the government must guarantee two things: land & security, which must be provided, as part of the Memoranda of Understanding (MOU).
Governor Goodwin Obaseki has made it clear that the shares on this investment will be sold to Edo State people. Therefore, this dust being raised about the sales of Edo Library and the Ministry of Agriculture is a fabrication from the library of the opposition. Their arguments are far from the facts on the ground.
The 2020 Edo State Governorship Elections has been won and lost and the present opposition parties in Edo State must learn to be gallant and matured losers. That is the essence of representative democracy as is being practiced in our clime.
Those trying to pull down Governor Godwin Obaseki, or casting aspertion on him, on any given issue or policies, must not only learn to excercise restraint and be logical; they must cultivate the habit of conducting independent research, on burning issues, and ultimately do constructive criticism, in order to move Edo State forward.