Gov Godwin Obaseki’s first 100 days in office- A visitor’s perspective

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Image result for obasekiFirst, this is purely a personal opinion and not intended for any political connotation. Secondly, I am neither a card carrying member of APC nor PDP, therefore, this is an objective opinion derived from my sojourns to the ancient city of Benin.Anyone familiar with my articles on Edo State would have read my opinions about Adams Oshiomole’s mismanagement of the state especially on tax and transportation systems in the state. I have also expressed my view on the leadership of the largest opposition party in Nigeria– People’s Democratic Party. The current crisis looming the party just showed how the party has misruled Nigeria for over 16 years. A period driven by pure selfish interests among party warlords. Thirdly, this is not an insider’s opinion which means I don’t have access to the strategic plans of the current administration in the state. Maybe I will have access to it someday.

One of the things I do in my day job is to meet traders and business people across Edo state. I spend some part of my time in the markets and this avails me the opportunity to interact with a lot of people especially businessmen and women. Being a frequent traveler, I also visit neighboring towns and cities in and outside the state. One of the biggest mistakes of the last administration was the inauguration of what was called “Edo traffic management agency” otherwise known as ‘Oshiomole boys’. These boys created more nuisances than there were prior to their establishment. If you were a first time visitor to Benin city, you dared not make the mistake of passing through ‘Ring road or Airport road axis’ without being harassed by the ‘boys’. The traffic within the city became unbearable due to their dishonest attitudes and they were always looking forward to exploiting visitors or extorting money from anyone who violate what they called traffic ‘offences’. No wonder the agency was scrapped towards the tail end of last administration as elections approached. As of today, the traffic in Benin city seems to be self-controlled and everyone seems to be happy without the ‘boys’.

One of the things I wrote about last administration is the issue of multiple taxation by another set of ‘Oshiomole boys’ in the markets. As soon as Godwin Obaseki came into power, the boys were asked to follow their former boss. Now, market women have been breathing fresh air of relief from harassment and stories of multiple taxation are things of the past.

Despite the current recession hitting the country like the proverbial Egyptian plague, one can still see a lot of intra-city road projects embarked upon by the government. These roads have been abandoned by past administration especially within GRA due to partisan politics. I wrote about the roads during the last administration in my article, hopefully, the present administration is poised to constructing and grading the roads to standards.

Education is the bedrock of development. The governor identifies this important element and that’s why he has been visiting the states technical and non-technical educational centers with the hope of revamping them. These centers have been abandoned for a long time as well. These are right steps in the right direction.

The body language of the governor is positive and shows strong personal ownership of state’s treasury. This was demonstrated when he told his men to keep working and forget anything called 100 days celebration. If he were to play the old way, millions of naira or dollars would have gone into the celebrations and fun fare.

I think the Edo people finally have a strong leader.

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