WITH a dismissive wave of the hand, the Edo state Chairman of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Dan Osi Orbih, said that the All Progressives Congress (APC) government of Mr. Godwin Obaseki has failed woefully. Dan, a scion of the Orbih family of Ogbona, Etsako Central local council of the state said that a careful survey of Edo political landscape clearly showed that Obaseki’s action are anti-people and do not meet well for the ordinary man. HENDRIX OLIOMOGBE brings the excerpts.
What is your assessment of the Edo political situation 18 months after Governor Godwin Obaseki was sworn in?
The Edo political situation is going from bad to worse. In fact, it has gone worse under the incumbent governor, Mr. Goodwin Obaseki. It was bad under former Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
The interesting thing is that we never expected anything good from Obaseki. He was the head of Oshiomhole’s economic team.
The agenda of the All Progressives Congress (APC) government in Edo state is to deprive Edo people their resources and cart away every allocation hence Oshiomhole’s desperation to see to the emergence of Obaseki both in the primary and the governorship election of 2016. We in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) are not surprised.
This is a man who promised Edo people 200,000 jobs during the electioneering campaigns. Now as governor, he has been sacking workers, closing down institutions where people are supposed to be gainfully employed. This is the tragedy of Obaseki’s emergence as the governor of Edo state.
It is obvious that he does not have the interest of the people at heart. You will recall that even the bags of rice sent to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp were stolen by some crooked top government officials and nothing happened.
These actions have only gone a long way in painting a sordid picture of the kind of people running the affairs of Edo state. They have a very poor spirit and no sympathy for the less privilege.
I believe that if the situation presents itself, Obaseki will say worse things than Oshiomhole who told a poor widow to go and die. These are sadists without human sympathy. They have no tolerance for divergent political views.
How about the anti-corruption drive of the APC led federal government?
It is a known fact that in the selective APC anti-corruption programme where very vocal and PDP leaders are undergoing trial on trump up charges, Edo is the only state where a court gives condition for bail and the government frustrates civil servants from meeting the bail conditions.
The APC led government in Edo state lacks human feelings and it is like it is made up of people from another planet. His facial expression gives away the true Obaseki. This is a man who appears angry with the world for reasons best known to him.
What of the petition by Bishop Osadolor Ochei to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) against former Edo state Governor Adams Oshiomhole?
Going by the petition, Oshiomhole authorized and awarded a highly inflated contract and payment within a few hours for the construction of a 168 room-hostel in Edo State University, Iyamho for the sum of N1.88 billion. The average cost per room translates to N10 million.
The contract was awarded to the firm of A K Construction Limited without compliance with due process. Similarly, the APC national chairman authorized and awarded the highly inflated contract of building the teaching hospital of the said university for the sum of N12.2 billion also without compliance with due process.
Again, Osadolor claimed that Oshiomhole allegedly authorized and approved the diversion of N1.2 billion approved for the construction of a new accident and emergency ward complex and renovation of existing structures in the Central Hospital, Benin City for the payment of additional 10 pert cent advance payment to A K Construction Limited for the construction of the teaching hospital of the University of Science and Technology, Uzairue (also known as Edo State University, Iyamho) without compliance with due process and against public interest.
These allegations are very weighty and must be thoroughly investigated by the EFCC. They should not be swept under the carpet if the war against corruption is to succeed. It is cause for great concern that nothing has been done on the petition two years after Bishop Osadolor submitted it with tons of evidence. The EFCC must act on it.
What is your take on the attempt by the federal government to create cattle colonies in the country?
I have seen that Governor Obaseki is not here in the interest of Edo State. All that I have seen in the past one year and some months is that there is a conscious attempt by the governor to turn the state into a grazing field for cattle rearing by the Fulani herdsmen.
Let me say it here that he has concluded plans long ago to use great parts of our land for cattle ranching.