Just before the Edo 2020 gubernatorial election which returned Governor Godwin Obaseki to office for a second term, not less than five markets in Benin City went up in flames.

Ekiosa, Oba Market, Oliha Market, Spare parts Market, Santana Market, you name it; they were all razed just before the poll.

Has anyone on the side of the Primacy of Truth ever wondered why over five large markets went up in flames in less than six months before September 19, 2020 and not a single one has caught fire since then?

Well, the answer is simple. These market fires were not accidents. They were arsons!

I have tried hard to understand why the Lions and Tigers elected to set our mothers’, fathers’ and friends’ small businesses on fire in the hope that it will make Obaseki’s government look bad and cost him his reelection.

Come to think of it. It was very frustrating for the hoodlums.

The more they vilified Obaseki, the more popular he got. Instead of trying to understand why the ordinary people stood firmly behind the governor, they devised one wicked plan after the other just to blackmail the governor and cast aspersions on him.

They didn’t care whose life was destroyed as long as they brought Obaseki down.

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People’s lives were ruined. Some market men and women did not only keep their wares in their shops within the market, they also kept all their market money there. Both their wares and their money all went up in smoke.

Some died; some lost their sanity, while others managed to rebuild their lives again, starting from scratch.

All these on the back of the brawn of a few people with access to political power, who felt that Obaseki’s style of governance which returned power to the people at the expense of the influence of the politically powerful was, for them, an existential threat.

Will the children and grandchildren of all those who lost their lives to the frustration of losing their businesses to these arsonists sit idly and watch these Lions and Tigers return to power?

The jury is out, and the battleground is the gubernatorial election on September 21, 2024.

Sadly, not many will read this. Our people are inundated by a deluge of tall tales and they can hardly find space to accommodate the Primacy of Truth.

Watch out for Part 6.

Osagie, a journalist, is the Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Media Projects