Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has said that he is facing opposition in the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state because of the dislodgement of power from non-state actors whom he described as ‘warlords’.
Edo APC has been drawn into factions with the long-standing adversity between Mr Obaseki and the APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, who is also a former governor of Edo.
Obaseki said on Friday at a meeting with Benin Elders Forum in Benin City that the ‘warlords’ were getting support from unbelievable sources.
“You are all witnesses to what is happening and I am sure that you will ask what exactly is going on. When the change occurred in 2016, I had no doubt in my mind to jump into the train to continue the reforms which we had started, but what I didn’t realise is that the rot was so deep and fundamental; it was not just rotting in physical expression but it was becoming cultural,” he said.
“You come into Edo and you cannot drive through the city, because we had warlords that had taken possession of everywhere. In fact, when we had to clear Lagos Street, we found out that people had erected stores and shops on the street. It then became clear that there was a lot more work to do.
“I just could not understand why Oredo Local Government Area, for instance, could not earn more than N5 million as taxes monthly, meanwhile, there were non-state actors who were celebrating having billions in their private bank accounts at the expense of government. Once I came in, these non-state actors began to almost physically threaten the state and I had no choice than to dislodge them in good faith.
“I thought this was something we had all agreed to do; I thought we were happy that now we can drive through Oba Market; I thought we were all comfortable with the sanity in the city. But today what do we have? A fightback from these characters and they are getting support from sources you can’t believe. How can you have a city and it is only those who refused to go to school and have turned themselves into thugs and touts that want to dominate our polity? How can we have progress?”