Edo people on Thursday defied heavy downpour to attend a mega rally to boost support for Governor Godwin Obaseki.
The rally at the Oba Ovoranmen Square was attended by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress(TUC), Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN), market women, youths, Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, National Union of Road Transport Workers, teachers and political leaders of the All Progressives Congress(APC).
Chairman of NLC in Edo, Comrade Sunday Osayande, said there was no godfather anymore in Edo and anybody who wants to take Edo back to the days of godfatherism would be resisted.
The TUC, led by its Chairman, Comrade Ohue Marshall, said Governor Obaseki ‘is using Edo State resources for Edo people. He has modernised the way taxes are collected, he has come, he has seen and he will conquer’.
Lazarus Aderolor of ALGON, said local government workers were owed 15 months salary arrears before 2016 but Governor Obaseki has paid all the arrears and issued a marching order that salaries of local government workers be paid promptly.
Head of market in Edo, Mrs. Blacky Omoregie, said: “We thank Comrade Oshiomhole for giving us Obaseki. He told us then that he will work more than him, that whatever he was doing will be small compared to what Obaseki will do and Obaseki has not disappointed us.
“We will follow him to wherever he is going. We were enjoying before, we are enjoying more now. In every market now, we have light and water.”
Addressing the rally, Governor Godwin Obaseki assured that he would emerge victorious in the ongoing political fight within the Edo APC.
Governor Obaseki said Edo is safe in the hands of himself, Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu and Secretary to State Government, Barr. Osarodion Ogie.
Obaseki, who hailed the various groups and organisations for supporting his administration, said political activities in the state in the last several months would not distract his administration.
He told the people that the fight was about his refusal to allow people to chop the little money in the state.
Obaseki said Edo money would be used to develop the people and the state and not any individual.
Obaseki, who dared those he termed ‘Abuja politicians’ to come and take over activities of the Edo State House of Assembly, wondered what happened to some politicians that joined in the struggle to entrench ‘Let the people lead’ mantra.
The Edo Governor for the first time give a hint of how much money he met in the state coffers.He disclosed that he did not meet a lot of money and has been struggling, which made him not to buy an official car for himself until after 18 months in office.
According to him: “When I resumed as Governor, pensioners were always protesting in the streets because they were not being paid. I am happy that they no longer protest today.
“Our focus is to use the money we have in Edo to develop the people and Edo State. Our focus is to continue to build roads and infrastructure as well as make sure Edo continue to maintain leadership in education.
“We will continue to produce the best manpower for our country. I will continue to commit my electoral promises to you. I promised to create 200,000 jobs in my first four years and today we have created over 100,000 jobs.
“I will not allow anybody chop the little money we have today. That money is meant to be invested so that we can have better future. That is the fight, that is the struggle. The struggle started 12 years ago in this town. The struggle has not ended. It has entered gear two. The same thing that happened 10 years ago. Nothing has changed.
“It is unfortunate that some people who were with us 12 years ago, we do not know what has happened to them. It is a struggle we will win. It is a struggle that says that the people must lead. Democracy is about people. Whatever we are doing as a government is for you. This is just the beginning.
“We are building our technical schools so that everybody will have a trade. After 20 years of democracy, we cannot continue to behave as if we do not have democracy.
“Those people who are parading themselves singing everywhere for themselves and their pockets, Edo people are watching you. Those of you who gone to Abuja to say people should come and invade Edo and seize our House of Assembly, we are waiting for you.
“We have no fear at all. We have resolved to continue to do what is best for our state and for our country. We have no doubt that we are on the right course.
“We know that Edo is with us. We know that the people are with us. We know that teachers, traditional rulers, labour unions are with us. Anybody that tried to stop us come here and you will see.
“We dare you that nobody can stop the progress in Edo State. I assure that you have a government that is resolved to make Edo number one. Help us maintain peace. Without peace there will be no prosperity. They know that if we continue to have the peace we had in the last two years, nobody will catch us.
“People who say they represent us in Abuja no longer come. They stay there and start throwing stones at home. Those Abuja politicians who we refused to send back and those who got there by mistake want to disturb the peace of Edo. We will not let them.”