A year into the administration of Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state has described the government of Governor Godwin Obaseki has unmitigated disaster, sufferings, hunger and insensitivity to the cries of Edo people.
The party also accused the Obaseki government of raising the state’s foreign debt from $179.52 million to about $213.95 million within his one year in office, thereby making Edo the third most indebted state in the country.
The party referred to the government of Obaseki as “prodigal”, saying that the governor has embarked on foreign trips that have no economic benefits to the state more than his predecessor, former Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
The party wondered how investors would invest in the state when, ” there are serious security challenges despite the huge sums of money collected as security votes monthly, adding that the governor has so far refused to give support to the security agencies in the state.
State chairman of the party, Chief Dan Orbih, who took an overview of the Obaseki’s one year in office while addressing journalists in Benin on Tuesday, challenged the governor to submit his international passport to the people of the state on the numbers of countries he had visited and what impact such visits has made on the economy of the state.
He said while the governor has failed in every aspect, he succeeded in inflicting heavy tax burden on Edo people, adding more miseries into their lives.
Orbih said, “Edo State is in serious crisis in the last one year. Pensioners are protesting daily over non-payment of their entitlements, school principals are complaining because their schools are not being funded and have no funds to run their schools.
“Within one year, pensioners have been dehumanized, intimidated and the Edo Pensions Board has been turned into a den of thieves
“The last one year has been an unmitigated disaster, sufferings, hunger and insensitivity to the cries of Edo people.
On the just concluded “Alaghodaro Business Summit”, Chief Orbih described it a gathering of the friends of the governor who financed and sponsored his election and members of the governor’s owned company, “Afrinvest, describing the summit “as a talk shop where nothing was achieved.”
However, reacting to the claims of the PDP, Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie said, “the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has demonstrated its lack of capacity to appreciate the new direction the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration is taking the state, with the opposition party’s consistent embarrassing comments on the well thought-out programmes of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“Again, as always, the very few people still left in the ragtag drowning PDP have shown that they are stuck with their medieval and archaic approach to governance, by attempting to tarnish the rising profile the state has earned with her lofty programmes, especially the Alaghodaro Investment Summit organised by the APC-led Edo State Government.
“We wish that the PDP remnant will follow their former members who have evolved from stomach-seeking politics, have come to terms with the new people-oriented governance and have found a place in the APC.
“It is not surprising that to see that the feeble PDP remnants cannot see the benefits of an investment summit that assembled over 5,000 business leaders from across the world in Edo State to discuss the opportunities that abound in our state. These are companies that are investing millions of dollars in Edo State, including the chief executives of BUA Group whose $1billion dollar 3million tonnes cement plant was inaugurated by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo recently in Okpella, Edo State, the President of Dangote Group, that is kicking off a 1$ billion dollar cement factory in Okpella, to expand its cement production in Nigeria, Mahindra Group that is collaborating with the Edo State Government to build the N200billion Benin Industrial Park and Tolaram Group to mention a few.
“You cannot give what you do not have. The PDP clearly lacks the capacity to see the opportunities in the governor’s investment drive because of his profile as an investment banker. His dexterity is currently on display at the Edo Chemical and Fertiliser Company which was a drainpipe for the PDP to siphon state funds, but is now up and running and producing fertiliser to Edo farmers and Nigerians at large.
“We sympathise with their ignorance and our governor is open to sharing his ideas and knowledge and is particularly willing to teach the remnant PDP members, what it takes to deliver measurable, concrete and verifiable investments from business trips, unlike their widely reported globetrotting that pauperised our people when they held sway.
“It is rather unfortunate that the same PDP, which is the cause of all the mess that the APC government has been clearing in the past nine years in the state, is now begging the question by providing shelter for officials of the Edo State Traffic Management Agency (EDSTMA).
“We want to say that we have received the shelter without thanks to them because we know that the funds used in procuring those items are a fraction of our common patrimony which they plundered with reckless abandon. A dignifying act would be to bring back the looted billions so that the APC can fast-track the development of the state
“The PDP has always been known to thrive through the misrepresentation of facts and the telling of outright lies. But Edo people are much more sophisticated than the PDP and know that their claims of the state’s indebtedness are all lies and should be discountenanced”.