The Edo State All Progressives Congress (APC) Media Campaign Council says it’s in receipt of credible reports from multiple teachers across the state detailing how the state Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has been making forceful attempts to coerce them to either join him for campaign rallies or forfeit their pay.
A statement by the Chairman of the APC Media Campaign Campaign Council, Mr John Mayaki said “Obaseki has introduced desperation and blackmail into our body polity. He now coerces teachers under state pay to canvass for his rallies in the buildup to the September 19 elections.
Mayaki said, “This report was revealed after aggrieved teachers in the state cried out protesting the threat to withhold their monthly pay if they resist the imposition.
“At least 10 teachers have contacted reporters with evidence of text messages compelling them to attend rallies at SUBEB offices across the state by 11am today with their voters cards.
“Teachers were compelled to attend the rally dressed in Edo BEST blue t-shirts. They were also madated to attend the rally with their teachers tabs. Other members of the school non-teaching staff were also given colour coded uniforms to appear in. It was reported that if the teachers were absent from the rally, they would be denied their pay.”
However, reacting through his Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, Obaseki said he has no reason whatsoever to coerce people to support him because his works speak for themselves and the people, especially teachers in the state, who have been immensely impacted by the governor’s policies.
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According to Crusoe, “The governor does not need to coerce teachers to support him. That is preposterous. No such thing happened. Obaseki’s following is organic and real. There is no such thing as threats for anyone to support the governor.
“The strongest supporters of the Governor are teachers, whose lives and careers have been transformed by the governor’s reforms. As against what obtained in the past when teachers were ridiculed, we have made them more marketable, improved their skills and introduced them to more exciting ways of teaching and learning.
“One of the teachers, craving anonymity for fear of her pay, complained that, ‘I don’t know why they are forcing us to attend these rallies. The Edobest that they are shouting about is the worst. Our students performed badly at the common entrance examinations’.”