By Monday Ajogun
Benin, Sept. 9, 2020 Arewa Community in Edo on Wednesday, reaffirmed its support for the reelection bid of Gov. Godwin Obaseki, ahead of the Sept. 19 governorship election in the state.
The group, through its Secretary, ‘Sarkin Hausawa’ of Benin, Mohammed Baba, gave the assurance when he led other members on a courtesy visit to Edo Government House, Benin.
According to Baba, “most of us here were born here in Benin, and we have seen the tremendous work you have done, you have transformed the state secretariat, the technical college, we all know how the place was like before you worked on it.
“So, that alone has convinced us as a body, we will talk to our people, we are going to support you and that we will do come Sept. 19,” he said.
He appealed to the governor to consider their children who were born, raised and educated in Benin for jobs during his second term in office.
“We gave birth to our children here in Benin, they school here as well, but can’t secure a job for them here. Almost all of us here have graduates, we want you to look into this in your second tenure.
“Sometimes, time they secure federal appointments, but that is not our priority, we want them to work in the state. We want you to extend your scholarship schemes to us.
“We have no choice than to support you for the developmental stride across the state. We are going to support you with our Permanent Voters Card (PVC),” he said. .
He extolled the virtues of the governor and how he had transformed the state within a short time, noting that the only way to ensure continuity was to vote massively for him.
“The former governor of Kano, Rabiu Kwankwaso, is our ambassador, he has told us to support Obaseki and that is what we are doing, he is our leader, our great man and we respect him,” Baba said.
He further appealed for the support of the governor to fence the Muslim cemetery they were able to secure in Benin, and to provide an ambulance to augment the one they have.
“We also want you to help look into the widespread of Almajirai (Quranic education pupils) in Edo, we tried to evacuate them, but we don’t know how they came back,” he said.
In his remarks, Obaseki, thanked the group for their support and assured that his administration is against discrimination on anyone resident in Edo.
“My responsibilities as governor is that, I don’t discriminate as long you reside here, given birth to in Edo, you do your business here, you have property here, there is no discrimination.
“You are first and foremost an Edo citizen, you don’t have to be an Edo indigene to get the benefits from Edo government, because you pay taxes here and your businesses are here.
“We set schools in indigenous communities and I instructed that Hausa teachers must be employed to assist the children. Edo is a multicultural state. We have indigenous Muslims in this state, we are all brothers and sisters.
“I believe in one indivisible Nigeria, I love it when you said you want to be treated as an indigene, that is your right and as well as all Nigerians, but I want to assure you that we will not set up policies that discriminate against one tribe or religion.
“I have an Hausa man as a Senior Special Assistant (SSA), the ward sent me his name and I approved it, I made it open to the party to send names down, just to tell you that we do not discriminate as government.
“Am happy you brought up the issue of Almajiri, we are as worried as you are, as they do not attend our schools. We are going to set up a committee to look into the issue so as to have a lasting solution,” the governor said.
On the issue of cemetery, Obaseki said the state government had acquired Five hectares of land in three different locations and demarcated it for the Christians and Muslims to bury their dead.