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My Advice To Godwin Obaseki – Hon. Samson Osagie

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Hon Samson Raphael Osagie is a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC was a former Minority whip of the House of Representatives. He represented Uhumwonde/Orhiomwon Federal Constituency of Edo state. He is the Executive Director, Marketing and Business Development at Nigerian Communications Satellite, NIGCOMSAT.

In this interview with NAIJA CENTER NEWS, Hon. Osagie explained why he joined other aggrieved members of the state APC to criticize the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki.

Oshiomhole bent the hands of his followers to install Obaseki, so what changed?

I will send you Tunji Bello valedictory speech at the end of Ambode tenure. That speech in part captured the Edo scenario. Indeed, the situation in Edo is worse because the success of the Ambode administration cannot be compared to the tokenism of the Obaseki government. It’s all Promises, MoUs and nothing spectacular given the resources received with the period of his government

Samson Osagie
Samson Osagie

According to Tunji “Our main drawback is our Government’s inability to apply enough emotional intelligence in the administration of the state. Emotional intelligence includes interpersonal skills, interpersonal relationship, humility, respect for the well-established modes of governance, disregard for the accomplishments of others. The belief that our way is the best without considering other options in a democratic setting, absence of wider consultations, distance from the governed, lack of effective communication skill or amateurish display of government acts and political immaturity. Deliberate and open alienation of others. We undertook gigantic projects without the soul. We were too self-opinionated and narrow in our approach to governance.

Most of the aggrieved members I have spoken with always refer to Ambode, why the desperate effort to replicate it in Edo State?

Just that, when two scenarios are similar you must use it as a basis for analysis. It is not that anyone wants to replicate what happened in Lagos. Ordinarily, a good leader with the requisite skill learns from the criticisms of his followers not to drive them further into the abyss. When you drive a man to the wall, he becomes emboldened.

He ought to learn from other people’s experiences but he has chosen to bring down the roof, and the Edo People’s Movement is prepared for that.

No amount of intimidation and harassment can stop our disagreements with him.

If he had carried everyone along and perhaps, award contract to many of the aggrieved members, would there have been any cause to want his replacement?

The wrong notion which many of you have bought into. His deliberate attempt to sideline party leaders from the party administration and his vow to retire all politicians is the bane of his problem coupled with his closure of institutions in Edo South while using consultants to carry out the responsibilities of this institutions is unacceptable. The staff and students of these institutions are in limbo. His substandard roads many of which are jointly funded by world bank and NDDC are a source of worry.

He imported outsiders from Lagos, USA, Delta to presides over our affairs. Derides every one that disagrees with him, his growing authoritarian tendency unacceptable, No one is asking him for contract or money. Those asking him for contract and money are the ones speaking for him. We are not contractors or stomach infrastructure politicians, remember I was a Legislator today I am a Corporate Executive. What do I need his contract for? Be guided don’t be carried away by his blackmail.

How do you think this fight will end?

I don’t know because I am actually not a prophet. But I can assure you that the objective conditions that brought Obaseki to government as Governor in 2016 have significantly been altered by his refusal to apply emotional intelligence in his administration. He hasn’t with profound respect exhibited core leadership principles.

There are a lot of Photos where he now mostly associated with PDP Stewart, do you think that could be his back up plans?

Ordinarily, if he were a statesman in the mode of Some past leaders, that will not be a problem, but his naivety has driven him to believe that he is now more loved by the PDP than his party. So it will surprise no one if that strategy is his backup plan, but then it will not be Uhuru for him there either.

On many occasions the governor has said he won’t share Edo money like his predecessor, isn’t he insinuating that he is hated for his refusal to share money?

And we have asked him to publish the names of politicians who asked him to give him money. Two, investigate how much was a Governor’s security vote before he became Governor and how much he is collecting now. Between a Governor who collects 500m or 600m security vote and party members who have nothing who is greedy? Three, since the opposition to his second term, started he has been holding meetings and sharing 50,000 each and sponsoring press conferences with public funds, where did he get the money from, Afrinvest? No one asks him to share money but he has political Contractors that are undertaking for him through whom he is sharing money. That is diversionary and blackmail of those opposed to his second term.

As one of the leaders of The Apc in Edo state, if you were to meet Obaseki face to face, what would you tell him regarding this fragmentation and division?

  • Learn to respect people and come down from his high horse and arrogance.
  • Acknowledge the capacity of Edo Citizens to handle governmental affairs rather than import Lagosians to run our state.
  • Drop his agenda of pushing out the political class he met,
  • To be magnanimous in victory rather than being bitter. He won election as Governor yet he is the one that is bitter against those who supported other candidates and their followers and even those he gave money to support him and they supported him. He should show joy and not sadness towards the people he governs.
  • Do quality infrastructures, rather than substandard roads.
  • That everything is not about money and he is not the one feeding Edo people.
  • Cultivate People’s support rather than intimidate them submission.
  • Publish a list of his Contractors that satisfy due process test.

In 2017, you praised Obaseki’s approach to governance, what was he doing then that he isn’t doing now?

Be specific on what matter I guess it has to do with the Banning of CDA. I am an objective assessor politics aside. Between then and now he has demonstrated his true colours of a naive leader. If I commended him for a particular action or policy it is not a blank cheque. I have also just commended him for the work at the Stadium but in the whole, I detest his approach and conduct towards people and government and institutions

No, it was your response when you were asked about Obaseki’s assessment. This was your words: “For me, Obaseki has introduced what I may regard to as a new approach to governance from the corporate governance perspective. His drive for investors to come to the state is quite commendable, that is very clear from all his activities so far. He is trying to expose Edo state to the global community and an investment destination which I think is very commendable. On the whole, he has done well, all he needs is the support of the people to enable him to succeed. And I think Edo state will benefit a lot from this administration.”

This was your exact statement, this was the period he was already being accused of importing cronies from outside the state. What has he done differently since then?

Yea that was then when he hasn’t started manifesting his true colours. He started well anyway, not because he shared money, it was less than a year on office and courtesy demands you encourage him on the few positive steps he started with. Then you can see that many of the MoUs were been signed signalling hope for the people. With so many promises to develop Gelegele Sea Port. But today, many of those promises have gone with the whirlwind and himself is manifesting authoritarianism.

I do not deny it , and I said he has done well so far then. Note my words.

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