EDO state Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Dan Orbih, has slammed Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki over the huge debt profile of the state government which he put at over N300 billion.
Only last week, the Edo state governor, though silent on the exact amount the state was owing, had openly lamented the huge debt profile which he admitted was was cause for concern.
Orbih who spoke at the small community of Oghomhere-Ekperi, Etsako Central local council of the state during a rally to welcome over 1,000 former members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) alleged that the debt was as a result of the financial profligacy of the immediate past governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
The PDP chairman who challenged Obaseki to disclose the figure said as at the time the APC national chairman took the reins of power from Prof. Oserhemien Osunbor in 2008, the state debt profile was stood at N4 billion but ballooned to over N300 billion by the time he handed over power to Obaseki in 2016.
At the rally which witnessed the presence of Senator Clifford Ordia (Edo Central), House of Representatives member, Mr Joe Edionwele (Esan West/Esan Central/Igueben), the opposition party chairman said that the huge debt which amounted to some $245million is a major impediment to the development objectives of Obaseki.
He said: “I have to commend Governor Godwin Obaseki for his courage in admitting that his government was failing because of the huge debt profile his government inherited. What he however did not tell Edo people is that the APC national chairman and former governor Adams Oshiomhole left over N300 billion debt, up from the only N4 billion he met in 2008.”
Orbih decried infrastructural decay in education as many schools were no longer fit for learning while hospitals are under-staffed and underequipped.
He said that most worrisome is the state of the corruption-ridden stormwater project which was kick-started by Oshiomhole and has claimed many lives.
He blamed the heightened insecurity situation in the state where law enforcement agents are killed daily by hoodlums on the looting of the security votes by Obaseki who reportedly collects N400million monthly while the police lack operational vehicle and even basic communications equipment.
He however commended the state commissioner of police, officers and men of the police force for their dedication and hard work even as they are starved of funds.
In his remark, Mr Phillip Agbaiza said he decamped because he has come to characterize the APC government.
He lamented: “They make promises which they don’t intend to keep and show no compassion to the citizens. I am joining the fight early so that I can be counted as one of those that removed the most inept, incompetent and evil government ever to be elected at both state and federal levels.”
Senator Cliff Ordia representing Edo Central senatorial district of Edo state delivered a goodwill message from the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki.