The Governorship election of September 10, 2016 has been threaten by RESIDENTS of Okpuje, a sub-clan in Ilueha, Owan West Local Government Area, Edo State, who are more predominantly farmers.
They have promised to boycott the September 10 election, as long as the five-kilometer road linking the communities in the sub-clan to Uzebba was not constructed. The road links Ivbiodehen, Oah, Iloje, Ikpayan, Abhoughola, Okeigho-Isheleke and other communities like Uzebba-Iuleha, the seat of the traditional ruler of the clan. The people also complained that past and successive governments in the state were playing politics with the road that was abandoned for years, making it impossible for them to evacuate farm produce and access neighboring towns.
Report revealed that the governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, flagged off construction of road on June 6, with some indigenes of the community at home and in the Diaspora under the aegis of Okpuje Patriots as an advantage to harvest votes from them. Claiming that the governor had in 2007 while campaigning promised to construct the same road and repeated the same promise four years later when seeking a second term in office.
According to one of them, Mr. John Stephen, “The contract for the road was first awarded by a PDP local government chairman in Owan – West and it collapsed after six months. Then people got carried away and supported the APC when Governor Oshiomhole promised to construct the road, first in 2007 and 2012 and he never did. Suddenly, when information got to them in Benin that our people are agitating that they will not allow anybody to take them for a ride again and have resolved on ‘no road, no vote,’ they came up with the flagging- off of the road.
We are tired of empty promises – Aisia
In addition, a former Supervisory Councilor in Owan West Local Government area, Mr. Moses Aisia, stated that his people were unhappy because since the governor flagged-off the road in June, they cleared only about one kilometer and since then, they have abandoned the road again.
Aisia asserted: “We are tired of empty promises and we have decided here that we will not cast our votes if the road is not constructed. We will not vote for any party if this road is not constructed. The flag-off by the governor is a cause of worry to us because truth is in short supply here. All we are saying is that we should not be deceived again. We will hold on to our decision on election day, which is “no road, no vote.”
However, The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, while on campaign in Uzebba recently, promised to construct the Okpuje road to enable the people have a feel of government if voted into power.
Asked why the PDP chairman, who started the project did not complete it during the tenure of former governor, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, while he was Secretary to the State Government, SSG, he said: “There were no funds then, the administration got N196 billion in eight years, but Oshiomhole has received over N1.4 trillion so far.
“I went there, I have seen their plight, I know I will not play politics with it when I get into office and there is nothing to compare between the funds they have now and what Igbinedion had. The truth is that Oshiomhole has made many promises that he knows he does not intend to keep to the people. That is why they are angry.
“In his village, he has done over 39 roads, why is it that he does not want to do this road in Owan, where even his SSG, Prof Ihonvbere comes from. You can see how powerless he has made him (Ihonvbere) before his people and it is not that there are no resources to do it.
“He is the chief executive, Ihonvbere is only the SSG, he cannot do otherwise, except his boss wants agrees with him. So when people say I was SSG in the past and I did not do this and I did not do that, you need to know that SSG is not the governor. The man in charge is the governor and you can see the discriminatory traits of Oshiomhole and APC government.”