Demand Gov To Account For N350bn
Some leaders of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Edo State have denied allegation by governor of the state Mr. Godwin Obaseki that former governor of the state, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, was involved in a purported mock primary that recently held in the state.
A statement signed by the leaders, which was made available to INFO DAILY, also refuted the governor’s claim that, against his government’s directive, over 50 persons attendanded the meeting now misconstrued as mock primary.
Edo State government had accused the national chairman of organising a “mock primary” of the party in the state on April 30, purportedly to pick a candidate for the gubernatorial election in the state.
The statement jointly signed by Engr Chris Ogiemwonyi, Dr Pius Odubu, Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (Rtd), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, among others, the governor was challenged the governor to prove his allegation of a crowded “meeting of more than 50 persons.”
The statement reads in part, “We hereby vehemently deny any involvement of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole in our activities. We also state emphatically that there was no crowded meeting of 20 persons or more by this body of APC Leaders anywhere in Edo State in recent time. We hereby challenge Mr. Godwin Obaseki to prove his allegation of a crowded, “meeting of more than 50 persons” by releasing a video of such event.
“A look at the list of those who issued this statement on behalf of our teeming members will expose the rudeness in describing us as puppets of Oshiomhole by Mr Obaseki in the statement under reference.”
According to the leaders in the statement, the twisted narrative by Mr Obaseki was meant to drag the National Chairman of the party’s name into their activities in order to blackmail him, adding that the blackmail attempt is already ongoing.
While confronting the governor with evidence of bad governance, the leaders noted that no form of intimidation by Obaseki’s “hackneyed bashing” would deter them in the state.
“The twisted narrative by Mr Obaseki, is meant to drag the National Chairman, Comrade Oshiomhole’s name into our activities in order to blackmail him. This is an ongoing, but over used strategy for his ill-fated campaign for second tenure. We state unequivocally that we are not intimidated by Mr. Obaseki’s hackneyed bashing of and disrespect for the former Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, whose excellent performance in government remains the selling points for our party till date.
“Contrary to the resort to personalise attacks by Godwin Obaseki on the National Chairman, who is not contesting any election, we are confronting Mr Obaseki with the evidence of bad governance, mindless embezzlement of state funds, destruction of democratic culture, wicked demonization of those on whose backs he rose to power, and systematic destruction of APC, the platform that brought him to power,” they added.
Speaking on the huge spending by governor of over N300bn, the leaders said there are practically no projects to justify the expenditure of the huge receipts, lamenting that “it has all promises, celebrated signing of MoUs, deceptive adverts inviting tenders, etc”
They continued, “As at April 2020, Edo State Government under Godwin Obaseki has netted about N350bn (Three hundred and fifty billion Naira). The bulk is made up of Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) disbursements and Internally Generated Revenue, all amounting to about N300bn, Bail Out fund N17.5bn and Paris Club Excess deductions Refund, enhanced by exchange rate differentials, making up the balance.
“Against this huge funds, never seen before in Edo State, there are practically no projects to justify the expenditure of the huge receipts. All promises, celebrated signing of MOUs, deceptive adverts inviting tenders, and even inviting the Vice President on state visit to flag off construction of INDUSTRIAL PARK, came to nothing. There is not a single project worthy of commissioning as Mr Obaseki moves towards the end of his tenure.”
Reacting to the governor’s claim that he had spent N1bn on the fight against COVID-19, they, and the entire state was shock when the governor announced he has spent such huge amount, stressing that none of the claimed projects by the governor on COVID-19 has been executed in the state.
“Even in the current fight against Covid-19, he does not care about the sufferings of the people, but he is busy converting the opportunity for embezzlement, embarking on political campaign in the 192 wards under the guise of personal sensitization campaign against coronavirus. The state was shocked when he announced they had already spent over One billion Naira on the pandemic within two weeks. Till today there is no lockdown in Edo state in order to avoid spending on palliatives. Yet he moved markets to school premises in the entire state with a promise to fumigate the markets statewide.
“No fumigation has been carried out and the school premises are fast becoming Refuse dumps. Huge crowds are crammed into whatever space in the schools without social distancing. He ordered people to wear face-masks but his government did not provide any for the poor masses. The number of infected people is growing exponentially, he doesn’t care”, they lamented.
While ago alleging that thugs are deployed at will and agencies of government are sent as hounds to make life miserable for persons, the said anyone who disagrees with Obaseki in the state is being endangered.
“Anyone who disagrees with Obaseki in Edo State is endangered. Thugs are deployed at will and agencies of government are sent as hounds to make life miserable for such persons. Bombs have been thrown into people’s homes resulting in massive destructions, but curiously no arrests were made”, they said.
Efforts to speak to Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Mr. Cruseo Osagie proved abortive as calls put across to him were not through, and SMS sent to him was not replied.