Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, says the ‘Emilokan’ system is not a strategy for winning elections and ruling the people of Edo State.
The Peoples Democratic Party governor disclosed this when leaders of Edo South Senatorial District visited him at the Government House on a solidarity visit.
Emilokan, a Yoruba word which means “it is my turn”, was made popular by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu during his campaign for the 2023 election.
The ideology behind the word as used then by Tinubu was that he had worked for President Muhammadu Buhari to become the first opposition leader to be elected Nigerian president, and therefore it was his (Tinubu’s) turn to be President after Buhari.
“The ‘Emilokan’ syndrome or spirit is not a strategy for winning elections and ruling Edo people,” the governor of Edo was quoted as saying on Tuesday, according to a statement forwarded to newsmen by Crusoe Osagie, the special assistant on media project to the Edo State Government.
According to him, the rift between him and his Deputy, Philip Shaibu is really unfortunate, sad and avoidable because “the people know where we are coming from and what we have gone through.”
He however noted that Edo people will not accept Emilokan because “they are not known for that. For us, it is the people that will decide.”
“What has happened in the last few months is strange and even if you have ambition, this is not the time to express it. The time table for the election is not out. You can’t be part of a government and also be the one to destabilise the same government.
“I thought we came together and will leave together and let the people say you have done a great job and they will now make the decision themselves. They are the ones to say that come rain or sunshine, we must continue.
“You are telling the world one thing and yet doing another. You are loyal to your principal and yet you are in Court with your principal. Everybody has the right to be ambitious but do it the right way,” Obaseki said.
“When we came in, I said let’s build institutions, not individuals. The Constitution provides for a Deputy Governor and what I can’t do, I call on my Deputy Governor to do it for me. That is not a crime. The Constitution doesn’t provide for co-governor but Deputy Governor.
“Elevating a Deputy Governor and making him visible is not a crime. But this I did because I want to build institutions rather than individuals or persons. To mistake that and misuse it is really unfortunate as you have created the impression that the Deputy Governor should not be given responsibility,” he added.
Speaking on the charge that he gave Shaibu too much responsibility, Obaseki said: “People are already blaming me now for giving him responsibility and visibility and it’s my fault. How can it be my fault when you want to groom young people? I believe when young people work with you, give them opportunities and expose them, preparing them for leadership positions in life, praying they don’t abuse the privilege.
“I have no regret for exposing my deputy to power and leadership position. I have not made any mistakes but he is the one that made the mistake. I hope he retraces his steps. He is the one that took me to Court; he should be the one to talk to, not me. We are determined and focused to finish well and with your support, we are sure to finish well.
“We are not starting any new projects but finishing the ones already started and making sure all we started we finish and design a plan for those coming in, as no government can finish the work.”
Noting that Edo people cannot afford to make mistakes, he said: “We can’t make any mistake again as our people have suffered in the past. We will not allow them to suffer again. That is why we are doing our best in the State to change the narrative.”
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