IGBANKE AND THE RELEASE OF DEVELOPMENTAL PROJECT OF EDO STATE IN 2016/2017 BUDGET
(A REJOINDER TO:
REFLECTIONS ON IGBANKE COMMUNITY IN EDO STATE POLITICS!!! By Bintu Ogboi Omoregie
RE: His Excellency why this marginalization? Is Igbanke no longer in Orhionmwon? By Emualosi John Ogboin)
And All Other Concerns and Comments Raised
-By Prince Lucky Igbinedion
The release of the list of Road Construction and rehabilitation developmental projects of Edo State in the 2016/2017 budget with the exclusion of Igbanke Community was met with different reactions especially on social media platforms. While some people were objective and saw reason why Igbanke must have been excluded others out rightly concluded that Igbanke has been marginalised while some even sought that we make efforts to join Delta State or proposed Anioma State.
While I observed that many of the reactions had political colouration as some Social Media participants who are die hard opposition PDP members had hijacked the opportunity to score cheap political points I am however of the opinion that the reactions of many may have been drawn from information available to them. In totality I appreciate all that made their contribution in one way or the other as all that participated had one thing in common (THEY ALL WANTED A BETTER DEAL FOR IGBANKE)
It will be good before I continue this write up to first remind us of our political journey from 1999 to date i.e knowing where we are coming from and where we are heading. Just to refresh our memory Igbanke people voted massively for Lucky Igbinedion of the PDP as Governor of Edo State between 1999 and 2007 with high hope. That hope was dashed as no known project was sited in Igbanke in their 8 years of misrule where the former PDP candidate Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu served as a Chief Of Staff and Secretary to State Government respectively in their two terms.
In fact no known road project of the Lucky Igbinedion government exists anywhere in Edo State as those areas that were fortunate to have their roads constructed were usually washed away with the first rain ( a feat that earned the Former Governor a nicknamed GOVERNOR-DO-NOTHING by an online news agency SAHARA REPORTERS). However between 2007 and 2008 before he was removed by the Court Of Appeal, Prof. Osaremen Osunbor made some progress by constructing Oza –Igbanke Road which stretched from Oza to Iyi- Waya in Mbiri a fringe community in Delta State. The project was at Oligie Junction when the Court of Appeal Sacked Prof. Osaremen Osunbor.
Then came Governor Adams Oshiomole who really incorporated Igbanke community in his government both by political compensation and developmental projects.
- The Comrade Governor first completed the Oza Igbanke Road from the point where Prof. Osunbor stopped at Oligie to Mbiri.
Reconstructed Waya Ake – Obiogba Road popularly called Adams Oshiomole Road
Reonstructed Ake-Omolua Road
Reconstructed Idumodin-Obiogba Road
Reconstructed Idumodin Old Road and stopped at the residence of Justice Olubor
The Comrade Governor Adams Oshiomole also ensured that his Red Roof Revolution was enjoyed by Igbanke Schools with many schools in Igbanke benefitting from that projects.
Politically he ensured just and equitable representation of Igbanke in his cabinet with Igbanke producing two commissioners in his two terms.
This is a laudable development when we consider that there are many other communities in Orhionmwon. Orhionwmon is actually made up of 12 wards where Igbanke has two wards: IGBANKE EAST AND WEST WARD
It is pertinent to note that Igbanke Roads were the first to be given attention by the former governor Adams Oshiomole.
To make the picture clearer the many areas in Orhionmwon did not get any road attention in the eight years Igbanke enjoyed those projects and even Abudu the Capital of Orhionmwon only got road developmental attention in 2015 and in 2016 when the governor was at the tail end of his tenure.
Wards like Ugu which produces 100% of Edo Onshore Gas and over 70% of Edo Oil were exclusively left out of the road projects that Igbanke enjoyed. Uronigbe where the deputy governor hails from did not enjoy what Igbanke enjoyed.
Many communities in Orhionmwon South that one could ordinarily journey for 30 minutes from Benin were placed under intense suffer as bad roads made them pass through Abraka in Delta State to locate their towns spending between 3 to 4 hours for a journey of 30 to 45 minutes.
THE PLACE OF IGBANKE IN GOVERNOR GODWIN OBASEKI’s GOVERNMENT
Just Like Igbanke was a bride to Former Governor Adams Oshiomole, Igbanke remains a bride to present Governor Godwin Obaseki and the APC led state Government. In his campaign visit to Igbanke, Governor Godwin Obaseki gave us the following campaign promises:
- That he will continue the road reconstruction and rehabilitation of former Governor Adams Oshiomole and complete the remaining roads in Igbanke.
That he will create200,000 jobs and Igbanke people will be equitably recruited and empowered.
That he will bring a technical school to Igbanke Community to train our indigenes on various technical professions.
That the rehabilitation and re-equipment of schools and hospitals will continue.
That Igbanke will continue to enjoy fair representation in his government.
The election came and went and for the purpose of information APC won 7 out of the 12 wards in Orhionmwon and Igbanke East and West Wards were delivered to APC defeating the PDP to a point of stupor in the September 28th Governorship election.
This victory was unexpected considering the insistence by the PDP candidate in the Sept 28th Guber Poll that he hails from Iguododo Community in Ugboko ward in Orhionmwon South and the efforts by Governor of Delta State to use his influence to deliver Ika Speaking areas of Edo State to PDP.
With this position though I was one of the first to get the news of the 9 Road projects to be executed in Orhionmwon which has 12 wards, I did not expect Igbanke to feature there.
The reasons are very simple and listed:
- I know as a matter of fact that there are many communities in other wards in Orhionmwon which has no single road project both in 10 years of PDP rule and 8 years of APC.
I know that Igbanke does not play the position of a second fiddle in the sense that if the 9 road projects were to be equitably shared, one might get to Igbanke. Naturally Igbanke people do not deserve one road project but deserve at least 5 road projects at a go which was the tradition instilled by former governor Adams Oshiomole.
I know this is just the first year budget of the four years that Governor Godwin Obaseki will serve and there is time for Igbanke to get its fair share of Road Project and other projects.
I know that politically Igbanke is very well represented and that our party leaders are one of the most respected in Orhionmwon LGA
However the fact that we have respected party leaders who represent us does not mean that they will not take decisions equitably and justifiably while strategizing for Igbanke to get an appreciable and befitting share of development for our community both project wise and politically.
In conclusion, the exclusion of Igbanke from the released projects in 2016/2017 budget should not be a cause for worry.
What we should do is to strategize toward 2018 budget and subsequent budget to ensure that this present Government led by a performing and highly rated governor Godwin Obaseki (already nicknamed Silent Achiever for his highly rated performance barely six months in office} continue with the laid down precedence of the last government to ensure that at least 5 Igbanke Roads are included in the 2018 budget while all other projects and benefits accrued to Igbanke comes in large chunks.
I call on all IGBANKE people to disregard the false and sponsored impression being created by by some few elements who are mostly members of the opposition party PDP as most of them are grossly uninformed of the political happenings and arrangement of Edo State Orhionmwon politics while others are still licking the sore of defeat meted on them in the last election hence decided to hijack this non issue to score cheap political points.
I also use this golden opportunity to commend the Governor of Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki who has made us elated and proud to have supported and voted him and the APC into power and as well as congratulate the people of IGBANKE who turned out in large numbers to vote for the APC which gave us overwhelming and resounding victory over the PDP in the September 28th Gubernatorial Election both in IGBANKE East and West Wards. I humbly urge you all to tarry. We IGBANKE people remain a bride of the APC in Edo State and our reward is nigh
Prince Lucky Igbinedion (B.Eng, MBA, COREN, FCIS) Is a member of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and hails from Oligie, Igbanke, Orhionmwon LGA,