By Ozioruva Aliu
AS Governor Godwin Obaseki prepares to round up his first term by November 12th and begin his second term, a cross-section of Edo people want him to focus on health, education, and road construction.
They lauded the EdoBEST initiative which trained primary school teachers on modern techniques of teaching and created the capacity for proper monitoring of teachers’ adherence to duties but they want the government to take it to the next level of employing more teachers in secondary schools.
Also, they want him to make health services affordable for them which services have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A retired principal in Anglican Grammar School, Igarra, Akoko-Edo lamented the dearth of teachers in the school. He said: “I am an old boy of Anglican Grammar School, Igarra. As at the last check, the only government staff in the school is the principal, the few others are community employed and N-Power which has been suspended. I commend what he has done with the training of primary school teachers but that should also be sustained because some of the teachers will also be retiring so the training must be continued.”
Still on education, Pa Emmanuel Osamuyi in Ekiadolor rued the continuous closure of the College of Education in the community which he said has affected the economic life of his community.
He said: “Although we hear that he has donated the place to the federal government, he should urge President Buhari to quickly open the school because it has affected our social and economic life. We have students who came from other places and were staying here, going to our markets contributing to our economic life here but since the closure, all these have stopped.
“My daughter who was a student here had to go and write JAMB to start her education all over again. So he should tell the federal government to re-open the school, I hear he is close to President Buhari so he should tell him to open this school.
“I also want him to continue the sanity he has brought to the collection of taxes from our people that go to the markets because the new method has pursued agberos (touts) from the markets. He has done well in that area so he should continue it”
An Igbo trader in Mission Road who simply gave his name as Ugo said his satisfaction is that Obaseki has stopped godfatherism and has returned Edo to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Ugo said: “Edo is traditionally a PDP state but Comrade Oshiomhole came at a time the state needed something new and he capitalised on that and brought development to the state but he also abused it and that is why I am happy that Obaseki taught him a lesson.
“For me, he must not return to APC as we are hearing that he will do because the APC government has failed Nigerians at the national level so that by 2023, we will join him to also remove Buhari”
However, a civil servant in the Ministry of Health said the governor needs to do more in the health sector to make it affordable to the common man.
He expressed reservation on the position of the governor that the Health Insurance Scheme will be made compulsory for all. “Health is one area the government must make affordable for the people because as of today, the Edo Specialist Hospital seems to be for only the rich where you have to pay at least N5,000 to get a patient card.
Health is one sector that the government should subsidise, for instance, how do you expect the market woman who survives on daily sales to pay for health insurance, I think he should review his health policies”
John Osakpolor said Obaseki should do more roads and ensure the completion of the ones he has started.
“He has done the Irhiri road that connects you from Airport Road to the Benin–Warri road by the bypass, he has done TV road, he is doing the Ekpoma township road, he should complete it and do more.
“The Benin water storm project should also be continued. I stay in Ekheuan road, it is a nightmare driving through the road, he should complete it.”