In Nigeria, governors hold a certain degree of dominion over the ‘fellow citizens’ who are in their guide.
Following that Edo state politics wouldn’t reserve from a concerned National, his/her right to the machinations, intrigues, and exhilarating discourse the run-in to the state’s election has ushered. Mr Tony Kabaka’s N400bn hotel demolished by the Obaseki-led government recently just adds to it.
Mr. Tony Kabaka Adun is believed to be aligned to the National Chairman of the APC, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, whom Godwin Obaseki, the executive governor of the state is in a feud with. He credits the demolition of his hotel to the Governor’s ulterior motives owning to their political differences.
Details prior to the demolition
In October last year, the Edo State Government disclosed it’s intent in pulling down structures erected on government property, including public schools, waterways, right of way of roads/streets, TCN high tension lines, among others in Benin City and other major settlements in the state.
This according to the state government was necessary due to the perpetual flooding across these urban centres. The government further added that the expenses accrued during the enforcement of the actions would be recovered from the violators in a law court of competent jurisdiction.
Tony Kabaka was caught up in this, and in the same month of October, a notice was issued to him. He was directed to remove his multi-million T. Latifah Hotel and Suites, located at the Ugbor axis of the state capital within seven days.
While insisting that the hotel was built on public primary school property, the government alleged that the Ugbor area which the building was cited and in general the whole Edo state was a planning zone of the city. As such, the government argues, the erected structure whose right of construction couldn’t be buttressed by an approved building plan makes it ‘illegal’.
An angry Tony rained abuses on the governor, vowing that if he’s only investment is demolished, he will be left with nothing but to die. He later begged the governor for his ill-use of words saying he was angry. When the issue was taken to court(a high court in Benin), the government was issued a 14-day restraining order, restricting it from demolishing the marked structure, while the issue was being heard.
Claims of ulterior motives by the Obaseki clique
Four months after the issue appeared extinct(although still in Court), the Edo state government has demolished the structure declaring that there would be no sacred cow spared during the course of the exercise.
Tony says he is targeted by the Obaseki-led faction of the State APC because of his refusal to support Governor Obaseki’s second term bid.
In his claim, Obaseki alienated most of the leading party chieftains from making decisions in the state after the 2016 gubernatorial elections. He further claimed that a move to reconcile him with some aggrieved members of the party proved abortive resulting in the distance he currently keeps with the governor.
According to him, the move which started with unfair multiple taxes imposed on the property is a political threat which he will not fall for.
Tony Kabaka served under Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s administration as a task-collection intermediary between the government and drivers.
However, Governor Obaseki saw no difficulty in the state government personally collecting it’s own its revenue, as such the need for the sack of Kabaka and some other contractors meant for the purpose.