FACTS as to why Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki who was recently attacked by some aggrieved youths of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at Irrua, Esan Central Local Government Area during the weekend emerged in Benin.
On the surface, Obaseki was attacked by the aggrieved youths who pelted his convoy with sachet water over his alleged plot to impose the current state Commissioner for Finance, Mr John Inegbedion as the senatorial candidate of the party in Edo central but a party source, however, explained that the real motive was due to the gross marginalization of the zone.
The source who would not want his name in print explained that Edo Central, the home turf of former Chairman, Board of Trustees of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Tony Anenih and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Tom Ikimi has been grossly underdeveloped under the APC government.
He said that notwithstanding the fact that the senatorial district rejected one of its own, Mr John Yakubu, the running mate to, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the PDP governorship candidate in the 2016 election in favour of Obaseki, the APC government has not deem it fit to prioritize the development of the area.
Continuing, he said that continuous complaints by the youths to Obaseki to address the infrastructural development of the area has fallen on deaf ears as three is no major project by the government in the zone.
He added that the youths chose to defy Anenih and Ikimi, who both warned them of the danger of voting for the APC in the governorship election vote, and vote for Obaseki so as not to be marginalized for being in the opposition.
According to him, the people were merely waiting for an opportunity to vent their pent-up anger on the governor which readily came as a result of his attempt to impose Inegbedion as the party’s senatorial candidate on the district.
The source said: “It is a known fact that Edo Central is grossly marginalized. There are no motorable roads, no water, good schools. Everything is in decay and the government doesn’t care. We voted for the APC so as to be in the mainstream but even then, the area is in serious decay. There is no major ongoing project there. Obaseki has not deemed it fit to attempt to fulfil any of his campaign promises he made to Esan people. The youths were just waiting for any slight opportunity to pounce.”
While the governor is reportedly rooting for a consensus candidate in the person of Inegbedion, the youths insisted on direct primaries between the finance commissioner and Chief Francis Inegbeneki.
During the assault, the youths reportedly chanted songs of abandonment, marginalisation and no, to the imposition of a candidate.
Another party source from the district who also would not want his name in print said the trouble started when the youths met with the governor and pleaded to have an audience with him but the governor declined, saying his plans were to meet the leaders.
With a dismissive wave of the hand, the Edo State APC chairman, Mr Anslem Ojezua explained that the assault was not a result of the perceived marginalization of the area by Obaseki.
Ojezua insisted that some leaders sponsored the attack, adding that the case is presently being investigated at the highest quarter by the party.
The Edo party boss, from Irrua, said that Esan was not marginalized as the area has had its own fair share of development under the APC government, saying:
“It is not about marginalization. What happened was that some aggrieved persons sponsored some thugs to attack the governor. We are investigating the matter and very soon, we will make our findings known. We are not taking the matter kindly. We will deal with the perpetrators.”