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Why Obaseki chose me – New Edo Deputy Gov

Marvellous Godwins Omobayo, the newly appointed deputy governor of Edo State, has explained why he was chosen. Omobayo’s appointment followed the removal of Comrade Philip…

Marvellous Godwins Omobayo, the newly appointed deputy governor of Edo State, has explained why he was chosen.

Omobayo’s appointment followed the removal of Comrade Philip Shaibu by the state House of Assembly, which indicted him for revealing government secrets.

Shaibu, the former deputy governor, was elected alongside Governor Godwin Obaseki in 2016. Both of them sought reelection and won in 2020 despite leaving the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) shortly before that year’s election.

However, Shaibu fell out with the governor after bidding to succeed him.

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Speaking after he was inaugurated by Governor Obaseki in Benin on Monday, Omobayo quoted Obaseki to have said the decision to make him his deputy came from God.

He said: “Why me? This was the million naira question l asked His Excellency, Governor Godwin Obaseki, when he gave me the surprise invitation for a dialogue about this job a couple of days ago.

“His answer was simple and direct: ‘God!’ He elaborated further: ‘I looked through my history books and discovered that Akoko-Edo has never served in this capacity. I talked to a few key leaders from Akoko-Edo, across party lines, and all fingers pointed at you. The ultimate decision, however, came from God, and l could not say no.’ These were the words of His Excellency, Governor Godwin Obaseki, my namesake. A tale of two Godwins, you may say.

“Even though l was dumbfounded, l also could not say no for several reasons. First, my people of Akoko-Edo would never have forgiven me, if l had messed up the only chance God, history and ripe time have given them since creation.

“Second, my mind went straight to the book of Romans in the Bible. In Chapter 9, Verses 15 and 16, God said to Moses: ‘I will show mercy to anyone l choose, and l will show compassion to anyone l choose.’ So, it is God who decides to show mercy and uplift one. We can neither choose it nor work for it.

“I also recall Psalm 75, verses 6 and 7, which says: ‘For promotion cometh neither from the East, nor from the Eest, nor from the South. But the Lord is the Judge,’ who transfers or reshuffle one and elevates another.”

In the acceptance speech titled: “A day of the Lord: A Day I will never forget,”, Omobayi said the Akoko-Edo people were really grateful to Obaseki for naking them have a place in history.

He said though the local government has a huge voting population in Edo North, it has been marginalised for long.

He said: “For my people in Akoko-Edo, it has been joy and excitement. Since colonial times, when the LGA was created, no administration has bothered to tempt Akoko-Edo with the position of deputy governor, even for one day. Akoko-Edo has not produced a state governor, no federal minister or other high-ranking government officers, except for the constitutionally-mandatory ones.

“Etsako has ruled the state as Governor. It has also been lucky to produce some military Governors and vice military Head of State and several ministers. Etsako has additionally produced two Deputy Governors of this state. Owan too has produced a Deputy Governor, some House of Assembly speakers, among other highly-placed government functionaries.

“This history is important to explain why my people are very excited about this appointment, even though it is for only a few months. In the six local government areas that make up Edo North Senatorial District, Akoko-Edo is the oldest and the largest in population, and in voting population. It is the third largest in population in Edo State.

“In 1963, Etsako and Owan were one division, and they had four members in the then Midwest House of Assembly. Akoko-Edo was also a division with four members in the same House of Assembly. Today, the number for Akoko-Edo has reduced to only two, while other LGAs have had their numbers doubled or even tripled. So, we place importance on the decision of the Obaseki-led administration and the PDP to consider Akoko-Edo for this position.

“My Principal, Governor Obaseki, has demonstrated from the outset of his administration that he is aware that Akoko-Edo is being flagrantly marginalised. He therefore took practical steps to bridge the gap, as much as possible. His first Chief of Staff (CoS), Chief Press Secretary (CPS) and Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Research, Documentation and Writing were all from Akoko-Edo.”

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