On ‘Gregory Ewah’s’ Shameless Ethnic Baiting, By Comrade Jackson Igbinedion

On ‘Gregory Ewah’s’ shameless ethnic baiting


I read with amusement the puerile attempt by one “Gregory Ewah” (actually an alias by one of the recently contracted hirelings by Governor Obaseki) to whitewash his paymaster in view of imminent electoral disgrace on March 18. (For now, we will withhold the real identities of the shameless mercenary behind that pen name).

How strange that patriotic collaboration by genuine Edo democrats to right the monumental wrong committed by Governor “Hitler” Obaseki since 2019 is now being made to look like an ethnic confrontation between Edo North and Edo South. Nothing can be further from the truth!

1. Intelligent Edo People (including Benin people) are certainly not deceived. The real issue is about good governance. How justifiable is the anomaly of Obaseki ruling Edo with only 10 lawmakers, instead of 24 since 2019?
Those locked out of the assembly since 2019 also include those from Benin-speaking area!
Is that how to fight or defend for Benin interest?

2. Since Obaseki came on board in 2016, he is known to have shut out Edo people from government patronage. All the juicy jobs and fat contracts are awarded to his friends/cronnies/fronts from Lagos. In his first term, those regarded as “powerful” aides in Government House were from Delta State. Including TJ and Henry Izeokwu. These are not Benin people, let alone Edo indigenes! So, who is Obaseki now fooling to say he is fighting for Benin interest?

3. Under Oshiomhole, when the Edo University (Uzaure) was being conceived in 2015, the promise was to upgrade the College of Education located in Edo South to world standard like the new one in Edo north. If Obaseki is truly a defender of Benin interest, why has he not brought Tayo Akpata university to world standard? Rather, like a Prodigal Child, he has ensured that the school at Ekiadolor has been under lock and key, with thousands (teachers and students) thrown into despondency. Is that how a true Benin man should behave?

4. Obaseki has targeted and destroyed the businesses of prominent Benin sons on political grounds. Namely Garrick Memorial School and Tony Kabaka’s hotel business. He wrote petition that stopped SAN-ship from being awarded to Dr. E. West-Idahosa as well as orchestrated the intrigues in Abuja that led to another prominent Benin man, Dr Pius Egberamen Odubu, from being chairman of NDDC in 2019. He is also believed to have orchestrated the removal of Dr Samson Osagie from a plum appointment in Abuja simply because he refused to belong to Obaseki’s camp of hallelujah boys. Is that how a true Benin man behaves?

5. For the 8 years he was Gov, Oshiomhole paid Edo people their dues. He treated Oba of Benin with great respect. Before him, a Governor (of Benin stock) was said to have shortchanged the Oba in terms of what was due to the Palace monthly. Oshiomhole ensured this grave injustice to the Oba was stopped. Oshiomhole devoted the bulk of state resources throughout his 8 years in office to do urban renewal in Benin City, turning it into a beautiful city. The question is: has Obaseki, a supposed Benin man, done half of what Oshiomhole did to upgrade Benin in the past 7 years? The answer is capital No. Instead, he delights in demolishing the houses of poor Benin people.

6. Without fear or shame, Obaseki engaged Oba of Benin in supremacy battle over the custody of the repatriated Benin artefacts. Ironically, these were artefacts looted from Benin kingdom in 1897 under Oba Ovaramen and Obaseki’s great grandfather, Agho,
was said to have acted in a manner unbecoming of a true friend to Ovaramen who had empowered him and drew him closer to the Benin Palace in the 19th century.
Now, Obaseki set up a Foundation headed by his business partner who hails from Imo State to manage Benin artefacts! The plan was to commercialise the collection of repatriated artefacts as part of “retirement plan” after governorship. Which true Benin son will openly challenge the Oba of Benin like this?

7. Obaseki ordered the arrest and detention of the spokesman of Benin Palace as part of his efforts to intimidate the same Oba. A cultural taboo! The last time we witnessed something close to that was during the Military era in the 90s when the military administrator (MILAD), Navy Captain Oyerogbulam, attempted to humiliate Oba Erediauwa. We saw how he ended in ignominy.
8. It is for these and many other reasons that all true Benin sons and daughters are in unison with their cousins in Edo Central and Edo North and saying enough is enough. Obaseki stooges in PDP must not be voted on March 18 so that we can have a true assembly from June this year. And enjoy true democracy in Edo.