The recent appointment of Mr Stewart Efe, an astute politician, public relations practitioner and publisher, as commissioner_nominee in-charge of communication and orientation in Edo State Government is a well thought out idea by the Governor, Mr Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki and well-deserved appointment of Mr Stewart Efe, who until his appointment was the public relations officer at the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Benin City.
It further buttresses the fact that there is no vacuum in government as continuity is the watchword for any vibrant and dynamic government. From Mr Stewart Efe’s pedigree and antecedents, there is no doubt that he has paid his dues as far as Egor Local Government Area and Edo state Politics is concerned.
Stewart Efe, was a founding member and pioneer coordinator of the Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD) in Ward 9, Egor Local Government Area of Edo State which metamorphosed into the Action Congress (AC) where he contested election as a Councillorship candidate in 2007. He suffered the same fate with Comrade Adams Oshiomhole in 2007 as his mandate was stolen by then People’s Democratic Party administration in the State. The persecution and humiliation he suffered in the hands of the then PDP ruling government in the State as a result of his doggedness in defending the cause of the Action Congress that later emerged victorious at the Election Petition Tribunal and Appeal Court restoring the mandate of Adams Oshiomhole as Governor of Edo State is now history. Since then, his leadership role in Egor Local Government politics has continued to soar to greater heights as the party metamorphosed into the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and now All Progressives Congress (APC).
As a democrat, he conceded so many political positions for others in his Ward and Local Government Area to occupy positions in government both at the Local Government and State Levels. In the last local government election in Edo State, he also stepped down for the current Chairman, Eghe Ogbemudia to emerge as the Council Chairman for Egor Local Government. It is therefore not a surprise to political watchers when the dynamic “wake and see” governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki appointed him as a Commissioner-nominee in charge of the Communication and Orientation Ministry, a terrain which is his professional constituency as a Public Relations Officer, Publisher of the Revolution Times Newspaper/Magazine and a Comrade who has remained a voice of the oppressed in the society.
It is no gainsaying the fact that the Commissioner- the nominee has all it takes to drive home the various policies and actions of the Godwin Obaseki-led government and capable of running the last leg as the administration prepares to land safely and successfully, having delivered on its promises to the people in all sectors of government in the state in his first tenure and also set for a well-deserved second tenure. Having operated a government where the people lead and power belongs to the people with so many achievements in his scorecard in infrastructural development, education, arts, culture and tourism, sports, security, agriculture, internally generated revenue with a robust state economy, making Edo State an economic hub in the nation, it is imperative that Mr Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki deserves another four-year tenure to consolidate and improve on his development strides so far, so as to achieve his dream of turning Edo State to an “Eldorado”.
This is why the recent statement by the “wake and see” Governor that he will remain in the All Progressives Congress (APC) to contest the governorship primary election of the party on June 22 is very commendable. The dynamic governor noted that though his supporters’ had offered to pay for his expression of interest and nomination forms “on any platform he chooses’’, but that his choice remains the APC platform which brought him to political limelight. The governor made it clear that he has chosen the party that brought him in the first place – the APC, no matter the challenges, maintaining that he will run on the platform of his party and he is sure he will overcome by the grace of God.
The recent declaration and clearance by the University of Ibadan that Mr Godwin Obaseki is an Alumnus of the University have confirmed that the Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki graduated from the institution. The Registrar of the University Mrs Olubunmi Faluyi in a statement said Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki studied classics, gained admission in 1976 and graduated in 1979 with a Second Class Honours (Lower Division). “Records of his admission and graduation are intact in the archives of the University”, the statement said.
The University of Ibadan statement has finally drawn the curtain on the latest supposed certificate scandal by some opposition leaders in the state’s chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who have been accusing Obaseki of presenting a forged certificate and not a graduate of Nigeria’s premier University, a clandestine plan of detractors to pull down the hard-working and result-oriented economist, financial investment expert and strategist. The popularly called “wake and see” Governor Obaseki who has left no stone unturned in putting Edo State on the world map since three and half years, a feat attested to by the World Bank in its development index chart of states in Nigeria.
In ensuring the government’s funds are transparently utilised, Governor Obaseki together with his Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq. and other members of the State Executive Council did not get lured by the spoils of their offices to do the usual bidding of traditional politicians, where internally generated revenue went into private pockets to the detriment of Edo people. Consequent upon government’s zero tolerance for corruption, revenue accruing to government increased, paving ways for fast-tracking infrastructural development across the state and also enabled it to pay workers’ salaries and pensions as at when due, while education and visible means of livelihood have been given a boost in the state. There is respect for the rule of law and criminality has been outlawed in the state under the watch of the dynamic governor, ably supported by His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Oba Ewuare II. Thus, with Comrade Stewart Efe coming on board as the image-maker of the State Government and member of the State Executive Council, it is expected that he will bring his transparency, credibility and wealth of experience as a human rights\social crusader and campaigner for good governance to bear in joining the winning team in the saddle of governance in the state and take Edo State to the next level.