Opinion | The Ovbi-Iká sobriquet! Is it what has denied Igbanke a stake in Obaseki’s devt agenda?

Whenever former governor Oshiomhole’s name is mentioned in Igbanke, even the unborn foetus kicks in its mother’s womb: like a thunder-strike, it makes a move to see the works.

The Ovbi-Iká sobriquet! Is it what has denied Igbanke a stake in Obaseki’s devt agenda? Opinion by Emualosi Ogboin John.

The reason is not unknown to those who really seek the truth. He did so well for Igbanke in his first tenure in office. He was like other names – Justice Joe Olubor, the great son of  Igbanke, whose name remains indelible and the late former governor of defunct Bendel State, Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia.

While Adam Oshiomhole’s contribution to Igbanke in the area of road and schools only lasted in the first tenure, we are yet to witness any tangible government’s presence in Igbanke since Obaseki took the mantle of leadership as governor of the state.

In his first phase of list of numerous road published to be awarded and or constructed in different local government areas of  the state, none was for listed for Igbanke. So obvious, Igbanke  was/is marginalised!

This regime  is moving so fast, years are going by, projects going on  but Igbanke has been left out just like the ‘Ovbi Ika’ they call us.Ovbi Ika (people from Ika land)- the alias of Igbanke by the Binis, should not be wrongly interpreted to be used as springboard to marginalize Igbanke but should be seen more as a name to foster unity among us. We are supposed to be one.Just because we are seen as Ika people by dialect and geographical proximity, many have assumed, time without number, that  we are marginalised any time a core Benin man is on the helms of affairs as governor of Edo State.

Though this assertion may or may not be true, but as they say, action speaks lauder than voice and we do hope Governor Obaseki and any one who emerges as governor proves those who are of this school of thought, wrong.

In one of my articles – “Is Igbanke no Longer in Orhionmwon?”, released when road to be awarded in Edo state was published by governor Obaseki, I clearly stated without favour that  it seems that we are not only  being marginalised  but  negatively set aside since none of the roads in Igbanke was listed among those to be worked on. We were told to wait, yes in humbleness, we are waiting but we cannot continue to be onlookers. We shall continue with our pen and key board, the way we can; “like my people will say: “égédi bieké mkpú,  udele ekunruén” (when an old woman wastes so much time in the public pit toilet, she encounters a vulture).

Ovbi Ika as a sobriquet, should not be a marginalisation-inducer. Igbanke might be “ovbi Ika” as claimed by the language users, but they  should not be “oguómádiá” (slave) in their own state.

A visit to Igbanke today evokes tears – it  shows a total neglect of this humble town since Obaseki came to power. Please there has not been any noticeable evidence of government’s presence in this town since after Oshiomhole’s first tenure, not even from any politician. The last road (about 2.5km)  promised  by the comrade governor Adam Oshiomhole  that he would construct literally died in his mouth just after he left power.Worse still, is the state of the once envied Igbanke Grammar School. Igbanke Mixed Secondary School has remained in the partially renovated state where Oshiomhole left it.

The palpable  bitterness in the mind of all is the primary schools, of  which Obiogba Primary School in Ake- Igbanke has become worse than the Sabaneta Prison, Maracaibo, Venezuela.The renovations claimed is still yet to be closed up.

A visit to Osafiele Primary School, Ottah and other Primary schools like Ake primary school reminds all and sundry of the worst Nazi Prisons in Poland, that was used by the Gestapo during the World War ll to house political prisoners.What about Oligie and Idumudin Primary schools?  Oh! Just replica of  huts in the village of Asad Khyl, to the north of the Afghanistan capital, Kabul. How many can one really write about?

Oga” governor Obaseki,  nothing worthy has come to Igbanke since you took over from the Comrade governor; Bros, remember and as my people would say: ‘mgbohu kéh wéh árán igbárájá nkó ófé” (you can only have free canal knowledge of a prostitute, but once)Igbanke has helped herself through the effort of her citizens who form associations and forums. 

Thanks to Igbanke Unity Forum (IUF), Igbanke Youth Professional Graduates (IYPG), Igbanke Grammar school old students’ Association among others, they  have in various occasions donated books to secondary schools, renovated the library, and secondary schools, organised symposium, gave out scholarships and educated the people on their political and social rights.

I almost forgot Igbanke General Union, USA and Igbanke Youth Movement that renovated the only government hospital in our town, donated equipment and  different sign posts respectively. What else can they do?

I write this as a true citizen of the state whose obligation is to tell the absolute truth the fair way I see them.I call on the governor, Obaseki, and who ever wins this election to remember Igbanke in the scheme of things and help improve on the infrastructures created on or before Oshiomhole’s first tenure. We appeal faithfully for the execution of new projects to help improve the social-economic welfare of our people.

Promises made by the senator (Senator Matthew Urhoghide (FPSN) representing our constituency can’t  be forgotten. The Distinguished sir, (bros, as we call you) we appreciate the keeping to your promise in the area of helping out those seeking for jobs. We have seen other towns benefit from your political constituency projects, please sir Igbanke voted for you enmasse and should also benefit. For this case, Oliver must ask for more.
Sir, (all politically elected-officers), our PVCs are still in our hands and that could tell in the next election.

Emualosi Ogboin John writes from Igbanke, Orhionmwon LGA, Edo State.