Obaseki insists on probing Oshiomhole administration
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state has reiterated his determination to probe the administration of Mr Adams Oshiomhole, his predecessor.
Obaseki, who said this on Sunday in Benin City, the state capital, at the party organised to celebrate the victory of Chief Dan Orbih as the national vice chairman, South-South of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) at the Benin home of former PDP BoT chairman, Chief Anthony Anenih, said that the probe of Oshiomhole, who was the governor of the state from 2008 to 2016, would not be jettisoned.
Obaseki, it would be recalled, on February 22, this year, while inspecting a project at Textile Mill Road axis of Benin City, alleged that the N30 billion Benin Water Storm project was conceived to defraud Edo people, adding that his administration would probe the project and recover all the money allegedly stolen through it.
The governor fell out with his erstwhile benefactor and godfather, Oshiomhole, when crisis of supremacy ensued between him and the former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC). This culminated in the disqualification of Obaseki by APC and his joining the PDP therefrom winning the September 19, 2020, governorship election, on the one hand and the suspension and eventual removal of Oshiomhole as the national chairman of the ruling APC.
On the planned probe, the governor said: “I don’t want to look back but to always look forward and you have raised some issues which we can’t ignore. Yes, I was part of that administration, because I believe Edo must develop, so I sacrificed my time for eight years to help organise the state. I went to the market, to the World Bank to raise money for the state to develop.
“But with what I have seen in the books, I look like a fool. While I was arranging finances and other things, I didn’t’ know that money I was raising for the state was being filtered away. I don’t like probing, I like to go forward but it has become very difficult because when I look at the contracts that I have awarded in 2020, look at the cost of those contracts, when I compared them to the ones awarded 10 years earlier, people have questions to answer,” he added.
According to him, “We are not a government that likes to prosecute people or victimise anybody, but the truth must be told. Edo people must know how we awarded $200 million contract 10 years ago and we have paid every amount of that contract, it has not been completed.
“Edo people must be told how a project that is supposed to remove flood from Benin City created more flood. I am not an engineer but we will call them to tell us what happened. They must explain to Edo people how we have been able to award contracts about a tenth of the cost and achieved more with that money than they did 10 years ago.”
“This type of behaviour must stop and you can’t do something wrong and be shouting that someone is wrong because you don’t want people to know what you did wrong,” Obaseki said.
Obaseki, still in the euphoria of his victory at the Appeal Court on Friday, attributed the judgement of the appellate court which rejected the appeal of the APC on the certificate forgery case against him, to the prayers and support of Edo people
“They have dragged us to every court in the land but with your prayers and support, God has continued to give us victory. When we took over last November, I told you to give us time to look at governance because I have been in government and I know so many things that are not right and God has given us the opportunity to come again and, with what we are doing now, our party will not regret it,” the governor said.
While applauding Orbih’s victory at the PDP zonal congress, Obaseki noted that the PDP national vice chairman had a lot of work to do as chairman of the zone. “We expect you will deliver the presidency to the zone and God has given our zone all it takes to have it, because all the governors in the zone belong to one party. This is the region that has not completed its presidency; we have one term and they must give us in 2023 and he is the man that will make it happen,” he said.