Governor Obaseki’s Lack of Tangible Achievements and Misplaced Priorities
By John Mayaki
The recent news story sponsored by Edo State Government highlighting Governor Godwin Obaseki’s showcase of investment opportunities in Edo State has been met with skepticism and disbelief. Rather than discussing his accomplishments and outlining plans for his remaining one year in office, the governor appears to be campaigning and making empty promises to the people of Edo State and in doing so, he choose Lagos state.
After seven years in office, Governor Obaseki has failed to point to any significant legacy projects aside from refurbishing existing twin buildings built by Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia. Claims of dazzling investors with projects such as the Benin Port and Enterprise Park are nothing more than illusions on projector slides. Initiating the Benin Port project in 2016, the governor has since been signing MoUs, traveling worldwide to attract investors that have refused to come and presenting unrealistic economic forecasts without any concrete progress or results to show for them.
It is imperative that Governor Obaseki takes the initiative to guide people to actual project sites rather than relying on computer-generated simulations. Furthermore, borrowing a substantial sum of N40 billion from the World Bank should yield visible results, but the pitiable state schools in Edo State are evidence of the opposite.
The governor’s claims of agricultural impact, particularly with the Sobe Agriprenuer farms, raise further doubts. The governor should clarify the true story behind the nonexistent Sobe farms and explain why the project failed to materialize.
Regarding healthcare, the governor’s statements are far from reality. There is a distinct lack of new health centers or renovated facilities initiated by the governor during his seven-year tenure.
Addressing the event in Lagos with the theme “Charting a Course to Growth and Development,” Governor Obaseki attempts to portray Edo State as an emerging industrial, commercial, and investment hub. However, the reality is a state with inadequate infrastructure, where citizens are afraid to voice concerns due to fear of property demolition and threats to democracy. Flowery words may confuse investors present at the event, but the truth is that will these investors to come to a state where there is nothing to show on the ground?.
The theme itself, “Charting a Course to Growth and Development,” is ironic considering the governor’s imminent exit from office. One year before his departure, his claims of charting a course for growth and development are nothing short of a joke.
In contrast, the newly sworn-in governor of Rivers State has already taken significant steps by signing a road contract worth N200 billion and releasing a substantial portion of the contract sum upfront. Additionally, free public transportation vehicles have been provided to cushion the effects of subsidy removal for the people of Rivers State. Unfortunately, in Edo State, the focus seems to be on campaigning after elections and misplaced priorities.
Governor Obaseki’s seaport project is another example of his lack of proper planning and consideration. He embarked on this white elephant project to exploit the state’s resources, traveling around the world in search of nonexistent investors and making yearly budgetary provisions without tangible progress. It remains to be seen if the next governor will continue with these projects, as Governor Obaseki failed to continue the initiatives of his predecessor.
Furthermore, promises such as building an airport in Edo North without proper planning and considering the timing are further examples of his undoings.
The governor’s constant use of phrases like “we are ensuring” instead of “we have ensured” after seven years in office demonstrates that he is still in campaign mode rather than delivering on his promises.
Edo State deserves a governor who prioritizes tangible development and addresses the pressing needs of its people. It is disheartening to witness misplaced priorities, empty rhetoric, and a lack of transparency from Governor Obaseki. The citizens of Edo State deserve better.
As the governor’s term comes to an end, it is crucial for the people of Edo State to critically assess his performance and hold him accountable for the unfulfilled promises and lack of tangible achievements. The state deserves a leader who will genuinely address the concerns of its people, prioritize development projects, and bring about positive change.
It is evident that Governor Obaseki’s tenure has been marked by a lack of vision, inadequate implementation of projects, and a failure to deliver on his promises. The people of Edo State deserve a governor who will prioritize their well-being, provide transparent and accountable governance, and work towards the overall progress and development of the state.
In conclusion, it is clear that Governor Obaseki’s showcase of investment opportunities and claims of progress in various sectors are far from the reality experienced by the people of Edo State. The state requires a leader who will address its challenges, prioritize the welfare of its citizens, and implement tangible projects that bring about positive and lasting change.