Trouble is brewing in markets across Edo State over the news of allocation of revenue collection contracts to Tony Adun, popularly known as Kabaka and Osakpamwan Eriyo, alias Nomolest, by the gubernatorial candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
Mrs. Grace Aighobahi, who operates a shop in the popular Oba Market, at King’s Square, Benin City, said: “The news broke around 6pm on Tuesday when we were getting ready to close our shops and go home.
“One of our union members told us that revenue collection in Oba Market, Lagos Street, Yanga Market and other street markets around here have been ceded to Tony Kabaka and his fellow thug, Osakpamwan Eriyo, popularly called Nomolest, by Osagie Ize-Iyamu, which will take effect from November 16, 2020, that is if he wins the September 19 gubernatorial election.”
Mrs. Aighobahi added that “Our union leaders who brought the news said they were invited to Ize-Iyamu’s house in Benin City, where they were told to get prepared to work with Tony Kabaka and Nomolest if Ize-Iyamu wins the election. We were made to understand that the revenue collection contract is Kabaka’s reward for the support he has been giving to Ize-Iyamu.”
She however noted that the decision to cede the markets to former Adams Oshiomhole’s thugs is not popular among traders in the state.
“The proposal is dead on arrival. We have started mobilising and sensitising our members to get ready to stop Ize-Iyamu from winning the election with our Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs).”
“We know what we went through under these thugs while Oshiomhole was governor. A return to that old order characterised by harassment, humiliation and exploitation of traders is not acceptable, and we will vote against it,” she declared.
Another trader, Mr. Kingsley Ighodefeyi lamented that “a return to the Kabaka era will completely obliterate the several gains of the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led government.
He added: “I have told my colleagues not to fret over the proposed return of Tony Kabaka to our markets and motor parks because we will use our voters’ cards to stop such a devilish plan.
“All that Edo traders need to do on the day of election is to come out en masse and vote for Obaseki. We have enjoyed a great deal of social sanity in our markets under the incumbent governor and we are going to keep things that way for another four years.
“We will not throw away good governance and replace it with mediocrity. Our people have not forgotten the harassments and humiliation they suffered under the misdirected and illiterate Kabaka, while Oshiomhole was governor. Anyone whose wish is to return us to that era is surely doomed.”