APC, PDP exchange words over alleged coercion of teachers

The Edo State All Progressives Congress Media Campaign Council has claimed that it has credible reports from teachers across the state detailing how the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, has been attempting to coerce them to either join him for campaign rallies or forfeit their pay.

The campaign council media chairman, Mr John Mayaki said, “Obaseki has introduced desperation and blackmail into our body polity. He now coerces teachers in the state pay to come to his rallies in the buildup to the September 19 election.

“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 voter cards.

“One of the teachers, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of losing her pay, complained being forced to attend rallies.”

However, the Special Adviser to the Edo State Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, said Obaseki’s convincing all-round performance in the past four years had earned him an organic following among Edo people and the electorate.

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Osagie, in a statement, said, “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.”

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