Obaseki, Tinubu
Obaseki, Tinubu

OBINNA EZUGWU

Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki has told Godwin Obaseki has advised former Lagos State governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu to steer clear of the state.

Obaseki’s reaction comes after Tinubu in an advertorial on TVC News, a channel he owns, asked the people of Edo State to vote against him in the September 19 governorship election in the state.

Speaking through his Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, Obaseki told Tinubu that Edo people were determined to end godfatherism in the state, a snide reference to Tinubu’s political influence on Lagos State, where he has been instrumental to the emergence of governors since 2007.

In a statement titled, ‘You can’t extend your political empire to our state – Edo govt tells Tinubu’, Obaseki said it appeared Tinubu had decided to take over the role of Edo voters in deciding who would govern them.

“Our attention has been drawn to a television broadcast in which a former Lagos State Governor and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in his quest to extend his political dominance and empire to Edo State, decided to take over the role of Edo people to choose through the ballot who to govern them for the next four years.

“It has become obvious that the spirited fight which Edo people have put up against godfatherism has sent tremors beyond the shores of Edo to the likes of Tinubu, who has for years sustained a stranglehold on Lagos and other states in South-Western Nigeria, hence this desperate, last-ditch effort to rescue the unproductive political instrument, now popularly referred to as godfatherism, with which he has feathered his nest and built his political empire at the expense of the people.

“Tinubu knows clearly that come September 19, when godfatherism would have been dismantled in Edo State, the people of Lagos may just have found the recipe and formula for removing the choke hold placed on their collective destinies for decades by Tinubu, hence the inciting television broadcast,” the statement read in part.

Obaseki described the allegation that he prevented the inauguration of lawmakers in the state as not true, adding, “We call on all Edo people, friends of Nigeria and all lovers of democracy to disregard all the comments by Tinubu, as the allegations about the Edo State House of Assembly and other claims in the broadcast are completely false,” he added.

Tinubu, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), had in the said advertorial, asked the people of Edo State to reject Obaseki, candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), by not renewing his mandate at the polls on Saturday.

Tinubu urged the voters to reject the governor because, “He (Obaseki) does not deserve any democratic ballot paper.”

“I want to appeal to you to reject Godwin Obaseki in this coming election. I have suffered with many others to bring about this democratic regime, that today, we are enjoying in the country. Then, Godwin Obaseki didn’t participate in any aspect of the struggle to enshrine democracy in the country,” Tinubu said.

“Therefore, he could not understand the value and the pains associated with this democratic struggle.”

Tinubu’s grouse was that Obaseki prevented 14 of the 24 elected state lawmakers from being inaugurated.

He alleged that rather than let the elected lawmakers be inaugurated, Obaseki supervised the destruction of the House of Assembly complex, all in a bid to prevent them from being sworn-in.

“He demonstrated the act of dictatorship, lack of respect for rule of law, lack of respect for you the people who voted for those legislators prevented from being sworn-in. Today, he now comes back as a democrat wanting you to vote for him. Please, I appeal to you, reject him.”