Members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, have called on Governor Godwin Obaseki to fulfill his campaign promises of ‘stomach infrastructure’ he made to them.
The party members made the call last weekend, during the last lap of his thank-you visit to all the 18 local government areas 11 months after the September 28, 2016 governorship election in the state, which held at Urokpota Hall, in Benin, the state capital.
In his welcome address to the governor, chairman of the party in Oredo local government area, Godwin Alabi, said the people have not forgotten the ‘stomach infrastructure’ he promised them.
Obaseki hails from Oredo local government area.
“I want to thank the Governor for all that he has been doing in the state. But one thing i will not forget to talk about is stomach infrastructure for members. This is part of your electioneering promises to the members of the party in the state. I know with your able lieutenants and advisers that will be a thing of the past. Sir, I only tell you as a reminder,” Alabi said.
Members of the party in Edo Central Senatorial District had last month during a similar thank-you visit to the area, expressed anger over alleged marginalization by the government of Obaseki.
Aggrieved youths who were armed with placards and branded T-shirts who invaded the venue of the meeting, denounced the APC and its government in the state for paying lip service to their welfare, where agitation for ‘stomach infrastructure’ was said to have also dominated the Governor’s visit
They also lamented the bad state of the roads, lack of public utilities in the locality and blamed the party for orchestrating a political and economic ostracism of the Esan people, where the State chairman of the party, Anselm Ojezua and the Deputy Speaker of the State Assembly, Victor Edoror, hailed from.
Reacting to the demands of the party members in Edo central, Obaseki assured them that he would fulfill his campaign promises, but added that no party member would benefit from political patronage if he failed to actively participate in unit and ward activities.
“I promised that every ward will have political appointee. So, everything I will do in government, I will do through the party. If you do not attend unit meetings, if you did not participate at the unit level or ward level, and if I want to give contract i will not give you.
“Everything I will do, I will do through the party structure. You cannot be local chairman or ward concilior if you did not attend unit meetings. The party must be strong so that I can use the party to govern because without the party I am nothing.
“We are going to be giving a lot of patronage from now on, but I will only do it through the wards. I want us to strengthen the party. Every month each organ of the party must meet and we are going to start registration of members later this month. We want to make sure that each unit has to bring in new members into the party.
“I am also here to assure you that every promise I made during the election [campaign], I will fulfill by the grace of God. Also, to let you know that I have not forgotten you. Now that things are getting better, I want to assure you that I will support those who supported me to get to office. I will give that support through the party structure,” Obaseki stated.
Also reacting to the agitation of the party fateful, the state chairman of APC, Anselm Ojezua, termed their demands political patronage.
While noting that a labourer is entitled to his wage, Ojezua said that ‘stomach infrastructure’ is more prominent in politics than in any other venture.
“I also want to assure you that a laborer is entitled to his wages. Everybody knows that , and it is clear much more in politics than anything else. We have been patience for about one year and I can assure you that going into the next year you will begin to see and feel many things,” he added.