Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has responded to allegations of misappropriation of N37bn levelled against him by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, dismising the party as being “insensitive” to the plight of Edo people.
The governor’s response was conveyed in a press release sent to Midwest Herald and signed by Crusoe Osagie, Special Adviser on Media Project.
However, the statement was silent on the key allegations of misappropriation of N16bn federal government refund for roads constructed by Senator Adams Oshiomhole when he was the governor of Edo State, and another N21bn allegedly released to the current administration.
There is also no denial of the allegation that Obaseki has donated the former Central Hospital Land which was demolished, to his friends.
Part of the response reads: “It was quite depressing to read a statement from the Chairman of the Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Col. David Imuse, whose government at the centre has thrown the entire State, and I dare say, the entire country into pervasive gloom and perpetual fear for the future.
“Imuse’s statement is a slap on the faces of citizens of Edo State and, indeed, all Nigerians, considering the fact that it is his party, the APC, that is superintending over the gradual liquidation of the Nigerian State.
“A litre of fuel which used to sell for N159 now sells for N700; one dollar which exchanged for N150, today goes for N870 and above; a pound which exchanged for between N850 and N900, is now exchanging over N1,100. Nigeria is gasping for breath under the chokehold of the APC.
“Instead of Imuse to come to Edo people with unreserved apologies over their obvious failure to steady the ship of State, he is sauntering around with arrogant statements, grandstanding and attempting to shift the blame for the suffering of the masses to an innocent Governor, whose effort in the efficient management of the Edo economy has so far prevented a descent into anarchy.
“Imuse in his statement repeatedly spoke about a certain N16 billion that was refunded to the Edo State Government from the alleged intervention in the repair of Federal Roads by Adams Oshiomhole, when he was governor.
“He, however, conveniently left out the fact that the same Adams Oshiomhole left the state with nothing less than N160 billion debt expended on various jamborees, including the so-called Federal Roads that he fixed while seriously needed infrastructure and economic development in the State suffered.
“Imuse may not have regard for his leaders including the Governor of Edo State but he should at least spare a thought for innocent Nigerians who are paying the ultimate price daily on the various completely dilapidated Federal Roads around Edo State.
“The least they expect from the Federal Government is to live up to their responsibilities of protecting their lives and properties.”
Recall that Midwest Herald reported yesterday that, the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State Col David Imuse (rtd) had accused Mr. Godwin Obaseki, Governor, Edo State, of “misusing” a total sum of N37bn receipt from the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The amount according to Imuse, is made up of N16bn refund for Federal Roads that were completed by Governor Adams Oshiomhole and N21bn oil derivation fund set aside for development of the three oil producing areas in the state.
The APC chairman said: “Mr. Godwin Obaseki has engaged in gross misuse of funds allocated to Edo state by the Federal government over time.
“You are aware that over N16 billion naira, was refunded to the state under the watch of Obaseki for the Federal Road fixed by his predecessor in office Senator Adams Oshiomhole, during his tenure as governor.
“It is important to note that the Benin Storm water project, which was intended to address the issue of flooding and erosion in Benin City, was not completed by the Governor Obaseki junta. This lack of progress has contributed to the worsening flood and erosion problems in our state.
“What we know is that Governor Obaseki presided over the misappropriation of these monies without recourse to these critical sector of our living.
“In addition to these financial improprieties, Governor Obaseki has shown a disturbing pattern of demolishing public and private properties including but not restricted to the Central hospital which land he allocated to his friends to build a museum that will not see the light of day.
“Instead of prioritizing crucial infrastructural developments, Mr Obaseki has chosen to build supermarkets all over the state which are over 45% owned by him and his cronies.
“These actions demonstrate a clear lack of vision, responsibility and a disregard for the well-being of the people of Edo state.
“The statement made by the Edo State government, accusing the Federal Government of neglecting its responsibilities, is a clear attempt to divert attention from these failures and mismanagement.
“It is disheartening to see such petty politics being played when the lives and safety of innocent Edo citizen albeit Nigerians are at stake.
“I assure the good people of Edo state that the APC-led federal government is committed to addressing the road infrastructure challenges in our state.
“We understand the frustrations that our citizens face on a daily basis, and we are dedicated to finding a lasting solution, since the governor would rather bury his head in shame like an ostrich in the sand.
“The Federal Government is prioritizing and expediting the necessary repairs on the major federal roads in Edo state. The lives and well-being of Edo people like that of all Nigerians is too vital to politicized as Obaseki has been doing.
“We urge the people of Edo state not to be deceived by the propaganda and political games of the Obaseki administration.
“The burning question Edo People should ask Governor Obaseki is ‘What did he do with the N16 Billion refunded by the Federal Government to Edo State as money used by his Predecessor to repair Federal Roads coupled with the N21 Billion derivation funds’.
“We must see through these falsehoods and hold Governor Obaseki accountable for his failures. His lamentation is the last kick of a dying horse.
“The APC-led federal government remains committed to working for the betterment of Edo state and its citizens”, The APC statement concluded.