The All Progressives Congress, (APC), in Edo State on Tuesday called out the state governor, Godwin Obaseki for choosing to mark the first 100 days of his second term in neighbouring Delta State to commission what it described as white elephant projects on behalf of another state governor, stating that the governor had lost it as far as governance in Edo is concerned .
Caretaker committee chairman of the party, David Imuse, a medical doctor and retired Army Colonel, said in a statement signed by the state assistant publicity secretary of the party, Ofure Osehobo, that Edo people were very disappointed that the governor would abandon his duty post in Benin City, where there are more pressing issues bordering on the safety, security and welfare of the people to take to gallivanting to Asaba, the Delta State capital, all in the guise of commissioning projects executed ostensibly by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
According to Imuse, the governor’s attitude “goes a long way to confirm that he has mortgaged the fortunes of Edo State for the benefit of those who are widely speculated to be his many sponsors and financiers during his re-election”.
The APC said its position was hinged on what it described as “Governor Obaseki’s manifest failure due to the infighting in his party, to constitute the State Executive Council and conduct the election of Local government chairmen and councilors in the State, 100 days after he took the oath of office as Governor”.
Imuse noted that Edo state had descended to a level whereby there is no government because Governor Obaseki had bluntly chosen not to appoint a cabinet to assist in manning the various ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs), though the Constitution, which he took an oath 100 days ago, to uphold and defend, requires him to do so.
“It is now obvious that contrary to the erroneous impression recently created by the PDP that Governor Obaseki was being distracted from governance by his critics, many of who are disenchanted Edo people, and that he needs the support of all in the state, it is the Governor who has actually lost focus.
“Edo people will not keep quiet because they don’t want the governor to remain on the track of distraction; we want Governor Obaseki to stay in Edo State and focus on governing Edo State, and give the Edo people the dividends of democracy across the 18 local government areas, which he appears to have forgotten, is the main reason for his re-election, Imuse stated”.
Further castigating the governor, the APC said “it should interest the PDP and Mr. Obaseki that by pretending to forget that the Governor has clocked 100 days in office as a Sole Administrator, and gone ahead on a wild goose chase to a neighboring state, he has declared the PDP government in Edo State which he heads, to be ineffective and incapable of improving the lives of Edo people, going forward.
The party therefore admonished the governor to end his administration’s “lethargic and inept disposition” towards governance in the state, stressing that “Governor Obaseki must as a matter of urgent public importance, stand up to the demands of his office now.”
Meanwhile, the governor, who had joined Okowa, his Delta State counterpart, to commission the Otu-Jeremi-Okwagbe Road, and the Effurun-Otor Bridge/Access Road both in Ughelli South local government area of the state, commended him for his infrastructure development in the state.
Obaseki said “I am glad to commission the Okwagbe Road, which will connect two major tribes, the Urhobos and Ijaws. The governor has used infrastructural development to connect tribes. I commend Governor Okowa for his achievements and his developmental strides for the people of Delta State, ensuring a better life for all. We are working hand-in-hand with our sister-state and soon will invite you to also come and commission projects in Edo State.”
According to Obaseki, “I heard his people call him the road master; and getting to this point again, they called him the bridge master. That name is significant because he is not only building physical bridges, he is building community bridges; he is building social and economic bridges.
“I think one of the problems of Bendel is that we do not make enough noise; those who are criticizing the Niger Delta Governors for what they are doing with their 13 percent derivation should come to Delta State. They should come to Ughelli South and see how our derivation money is being spent. What particularly strikes me about this bridge is the quality of work I am seeing here.
“The contractor that constructed this road is an indigene of this place and it’s quite impressive. It shows you that we have the capacity to do our thing ourselves; we have the people, we have the resources.”
On his part, Governor Okowa thanked Obaseki for finding time to be in the State, adding, “I have two years to go and will do all my best to finish all projects. I have started and the ones we could not complete will be handed over to the in-coming administration.”
The Chairman of Ughelli South LGA, Richard Kofi, hailed the governors for their efforts at improving the quality of life of the people through infrastructural projects in their states. Kofi said “The Okwagbe Road serves as a busy transit point for the movement of men and goods to and from the Ijaw Riverine Communities, the Urhobo hinterland, Warri and beyond.”
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