You are aware that our party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Edo State, very successfully concluded all our Ward, Local government and State Congresses, to elect officers for the party, in the next four years. I want to place on record our appreciation of the media for your massive and unbiased coverage of all the congresses. Let me specifically thank our social media influencers for the excellent work they do for the party.
That said, we asked you to be with us today because you are all witnesses to the COLLAPSE OF GOVERNANCE in our state, one year after the PDP-led government of Mr. Godwin Obaseki assumed office, for a second term of four years. Edo State today is not a democracy. What we have in Benin City is a dictatorship with Mr. Godwin Obaseki as the government. He has emasculated the Judiciary, crippled the Legislature and personalized the Executive branch. He is the Sole Administrator of Edo State. His word is law. He is the lawmaker, the judge and the prison put together.
Mr. Obaseki’s flagrant abuse of power is not provided for, anywhere in the 1999 Constitution as amended. Meanwhile, this Constitution, which our country, Nigeria is still operating remains the grundnorm. So, we wonder where Mr. Obaseki is deriving his powers from, as there is no section, in the Constitution either, for a Maximum Ruler or Sole Administrator as we presently have in Edo.
For almost one-year, Local government administration in Edo state has been thrown into a coma, with the governor’s decision not to conduct elections for Chairmen and Councilors. For a governor who daily interfered with the State’s local government council’s statutory allocations, is it not self-indictment to say that unless he is able to clear the N60billion debt they owe, he cannot conduct LG elections?
Edo is the only state in Nigeria today without a functional Legislature. What is happening with the 10 PDP jokers who gather regularly at Governor Obaseki’s office is comical. They gather to read sheets of papers, pretending to be making laws as Edo State House Assembly. We all know the true story. What Obaseki is practicing in Edo today is a democratic taboo. And when a taboo in allowed to exist for too long it becomes a tradition. If this taboo is allowed to be exported to other States, using Obaseki as a reference, it will endanger our democratic culture. Edo is in a serious trouble.
We therefore call on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as a matter of urgent national importance, to declare a STATE OF EMERGENCY IN EDO so that we can truly have a proper sole administrator.
- As we speak right now, Mr. Obaseki is demolishing the Central Hospital, Benin City with a view to replacing it with a Motor Park. The Government says it has no plans for such demolition two months ago (October) but if you go to Sapele Road by the Hospital this minute, you will see what I am talking about. We know the demolition is imminent and we call on Mr. Obaseki to stop or be ready for the consequences.
There are several other reasons why a state of emergency has become inevitable in our beloved State. Right now, Governor Obaseki:
*Can no longer secure lives and properties of Edo citizens, contrary to his oath of office
*Has mortgaged the future of Edo State with a penchant for clandestine borrowing of billions of Naira at home and abroad
*Has no regard for Rule of Law and completely disregards all court orders except those in his favour.
There are more reasons.You will all agree that the situation Edo state has found itself today is one where a single individual, Mr. Obaseki, though democratically elected has turned himself into a maximum ruler, and has arrogated to himself the powers of the three arms of government.
You will all agree that the situation Edo state has found itself today is one where a single individual, Mr. Obaseki, though democratically elected has turned himself into a maximum ruler, and has arrogated to himself the powers of the three arms of government.
Many people in Edo state are worried with the approach of Mr. Obaseki to the lingering slide of governance and brutal abuse of the Constitution. It is in the light of the precarious situation Edo state has found itself under Governor Obaseki, which is almost akin to anarchy that the All-Progressives Congress, APC is calling on the Federal Government to declare a State of emergency in Edo.
Our call is predicated on the fact that Mr. Obaseki would rather prefer to be a Sole Administrator of Edo state rather than a democratically elected governor. With a state of emergency, his present disposition towards governance will be legitimized. He would not need a legislature, cabinet or even local government chairmen to function.
First let me tell you that as Governor, Mr. Obaseki who claimed he spent N2billion on a security trust fund few months ago, has so far been unable to protect the lives of Edo people, with daily cases of kidnappings and killings on the Benin-Ehor-Auchi Road. Fear and insecurity have become the order of the day in Edo yet he gets N800million monthly as security vote. For such an amount, he is still unable to mobilize security agencies in the state to fight criminality. Even the volunteer Local Neighborhood watch or State Vigilante Corps are not left out. In all cases, they are totally disenchanted, being poorly mobilized.Loans:
Mr. Obaseki has perfected the act of taking clandestine loans from every available source without any plan to repay them and thereby mortgaging the future of the state. So soon after he took a N25-billion loan recently to finance the 2021 budget from the capital market, he went for another N18-billion loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria. The state’s indebtedness has just elevated it to the second most indebted State in the country. Edo state government under Mr. Obaseki now specializes in giving vague and nebulous rationale when taking these loans. Yet there are critical sectors of the local economy into which these loans ought to be channeled. That Edo people are tired of the many white elephant projects which Mr. Obaseki have adopted as a conduit pipe to drain public funds is a cause for concern.
Without a legislature, Edo people are in the dark, about what are loans being collected for. There is no due process and unborn Edo children are assured of spending eternity repaying these loans.Rule of Law:
Rule of Law:
Edo state has a governor who does not have one iota of respect for the judicial arm of government although he regularly runs to the courts on the most frivolous of excuses. He chooses which orders to obey and disregards the rest even when they are in the overall interest of Edo people. Mr. Obaseki paid deaf ears to several court orders restoring elected local government council chairman who he violently removed from their offices.
Individual homes / private properties are being demolished and CofO of prominent Edo indigenes perceived as political adversaries are being revoked.Collapse of Governance:
Collapse of Governance:
As you are aware, Governor Obaseki spent all the days of first year of his second term in office playing politics and neglecting governance. Till date he has not been able to appoint a full cabinet. Today he is ignorant of the fact that no single traffic light is functional anywhere in the state. No street light anywhere, the King Square (Ring Road) that use to be a Relaxation Centre for youths on weekends with a water fountain is now a natural habitat for rodents and reptiles.
Mr. Obaseki and his PDP administration has taken Edo back to the 18th century. Where did we get it wrong?
Here is a Governor whose stock in trade, 5 years in office, is either signing or entering into MOUs, partnerships and agreements with individuals and organizations, foreign and local. It is a Government of MOU, by MOU and for MOU. For a man leaving office in 3 years, Mr. Obaseki recently proposed a 30-year development plan for the state. Yet by 2050, many would forgotten if he was ever a governor in Benin City. His MOU yielded the stillborn Benin Industrial Park that he brought the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to commission five years ago. With a spurious claim of securing a $200million investment for the park, today it is a haven of wild animals. The only sign of the park is the giant dilapidating Billboard announcing the governor’s short-sightedness. There is no single industry on location and there is no sign that any will come soon to this scam of a multi-billion-naira monument by the Obaseki-led PDP government.What of the Gelegele seaport?
What of the Gelegele seaport?
The hue and cry and the media hype that greeted the MOU the Governor entered into with the Chinese, Singaporean and Indian interests on TV and the social media, and his resort to frequent monitoring of virtual vessels coming to berth at the non-existent port has since died down. Need I mention that the Ekenwan road which the governor said he was dualizing because of expected boost in vehicular traffic from the seaport to the City Centre, has in itself, become an abandoned project.The Benin Technical College cost Edo taxpayers billions of Naira to renovate. It is only the governor who knows when the college will be ready to take its first set of students.
The Benin Technical College cost Edo taxpayers billions of Naira to renovate. It is only the governor who knows when the college will be ready to take its first set of students.
17a. Or is it the government’s EDOBEST program, which is at best a smokescreen to cover up the failure of the government’s educational policy. There are no teachers in public schools across the state. There is no school with full complement of teachers, at best, you see one Principal with two teachers for a school of 200 Pupils. Yet Mr. Obaseki’s boosts about spending billions by the grace of the World Bank to give mobile devices to teachers to teach. Many communities employ teachers all the state.
The only public library in Edo State where children of ordinary Edo men / women go to read to develop themselves has been demolished and the land sold to Obaseki’s cronies to build a Supermarket.
There are no workers in the Edo State civil service yet the Governor makes a monthly mountain of paying salaries as and when due. It is disappointing that rather than employing qualified personnel to fill the thousands of vacant spaces in the public service including the health sector and the many public schools across the state, the Governor, whose hallmark is the misplacement of priorities, choose to completely waste Edo people’s resources, in the name of harmonizing his destabilized party, the PDP, by giving meaningless appointments, to political jobbers, sycophants and opportunists.
Major Roads in Benin City, the Edo state capital are in different states of ferment, dilapidation and are forsaken by Mr. Obaseki who annually and fictitiously budgets billions to build roads and Bridges or control floods and erosion. This explains our query of his 2022 budget which on a closer look, is completely unrealistic as it is duplicitously embellished with impractical predications. The budget proposal actually show how Governor Obaseki wastes Edo state’s funds on frivolities.
Commuters and motorists daily groan from damage done to their vehicles from these bad roads. A state government that can barely patch an earth road cannot be expected to fix a state not to talk of federal roads crisscrossing its territory.Mr. Obaseki once threatened to probe the Benin Storm water project. The governor while inspecting the Textile Mill Road catchment of the project, in Benin City, said the project was designed not to work for the benefit of Edo people, adding that his administration will probe the project and recover all the money stolen through it.
Mr. Obaseki once threatened to probe the Benin Storm water project. The governor while inspecting the Textile Mill Road catchment of the project, in Benin City, said the project was designed not to work for the benefit of Edo people, adding that his administration will probe the project and recover all the money stolen through it.
Yet the Secretary to his Government, Barr. Osarodion Ogie, who was in charge of the Works Ministry, was deeply involved in the project and while the project was ongoing, Mr. Obaseki (as chairman of the Economic Team), played the key role of sourcing the first N25 billion from the Capital Market through his company, Afrinvest. Afrinvest pocketed huge amount of money as commission from the deal. The APC asked him to start the probe but he caved in.Mr. Obaseki recently claimed that he spent the last five years as State governor laying the foundation for the development of Edo State. But as a party, we have looked everywhere and we cannot find any of such foundation stones. All claims of a vibrant private-sector-led economy, which has benefited from wide-ranging government reforms and programmes informed by insights, learning and intelligence garnered from this sustained and evolving exchange with the private sector by Mr. Obaseki are all scams.
Mr. Obaseki recently claimed that he spent the last five years as State governor laying the foundation for the development of Edo State. But as a party, we have looked everywhere and we cannot find any of such foundation stones. All claims of a vibrant private-sector-led economy, which has benefited from wide-ranging government reforms and programmes informed by insights, learning and intelligence garnered from this sustained and evolving exchange with the private sector by Mr. Obaseki are all scams.
Gentlemen of the Press, it should be noted that a State of Emergency in Edo will have a multiplier effect on the various apparatus of government in such sectors like civil service, health, education, and security of lives and property, among several others, which are all presently in dire need of leavening. We in the APC also believe that a state of emergency in Edo will be a proactive step to flatten the curve of bad governance the state is now suffering.
@views exclusive rights: David Imuse, Chairman, All Progressives Congress, APC, Edo State
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