Awo’s associate backs Benin chief’s stance against Jonathan


SEPTUAGENARIAN and former National Publicity Secretary of the defunct late Chief Obafemi Awolowo-led Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), Eddy Osifo, has described attack on the Esogban of Benin Kingdom and chairman of the Benin Forum, over his comments that the Binis may not vote for President Goodluck Jonathan as “unfortunate and disgraceful”.

  Osifo said Edebiri who was a Zikist and later the National Organizing Secretary of the Action Group in the Midwest Region is a principled elder statesman that cannot be influenced with money.

   He said the Esogban was vast enough in the Benin politics, culture and tradition more than those attacking him over his comments on Jonathan and therefore has all the requisite knowledge to speak on any matter concerning the Binis.

   “Edebiri has not exceeded his bounds at all and he has not said anything which he ought not to say. We are in a democracy he can claim that the whole Binis will vote for Buhari and that they will all vote against Jonathan. It is the duty of those who hold contrary view to say they will vote for Jonathan and not Buhari and not to be abusing Edebiri for any reason. When they insult him as they are doing it means they are not prepared for democracy and the way it is practised.

  “It is on record that even right from the old Western region, particularly the Oredo axis where Edebiri comes from and Oriomwon, it is always difficult to influence them with money. The Oredo people worship the truth and vote accordingly, you can hardly influence them. So also is Orhiomwon Local Government. And Edebiri was then the Action Group Organizing Secretary during the Midwest and he knows his people so well.

  “So he may be right to say that the Binis may not vote for Jonathan because the they are objective voters. Those insulting Edebiri appear not to be prepared for democracy at all because Edebiri’s statement is neither vexatious nor enough to annoy any democrat. Democratic practice connotes claiming and counter claiming. It is the duty of the public to choose the most superior argument, not based on sentiment or emotion as many people tend to do in this dispensation” he stated.

  Osifo argued further that, “Where Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) missed the point is that there are three areas bothering the Binis and the country. The first is corruption and patronage. The second is security and the third is economy. Under economy there is the problem of power, agriculture, health care, roads, education.

  “A critical observer will discover that Jonathan is only dealing with one aspect of the country’s worries and that is the economy, even in that aspect he has not done one-third because power which is the main thing to boost the economy has not been dealt with. Without power there is no modern railway system and there is no employment,” he stated.

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