The Special Adviser to Edo State Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, has sent a strong message to the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, and the former national chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole that the resort to underhand and diversionary tactics would not save them from defeat at the forthcoming gubernatorial election. Osagie was reacting to a petition to the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, against the governor, Godwin Obaseki by some members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the state accusing him of fraudulent and inflated contracts, and siphoning of state funds to float a bank, PRIMUS BANK.
Describing the allegations as baseless and the creations of Oshiomhole and Ize-Iyamu, “who are convinced that they will lose the September 19 gubernatorial election,” Osagie averred that “Their ultimate aim is to divert voters’ attention away from such issues as the credibility, integrity and capability of the gubernatorial candidates”.
According to him, “After weeks of lackluster electioneering campaign in some local government areas of Edo State, with rented crowd, candidate of the APC, Osagie Ize-Iyamu and his godfather, Adams Oshiomhole, are panic-stricken over the electoral failure that awaits them at the poll. They have resorted to the use of underhand and diversionary tactics, one of which is the sponsorship of groups who are making astounding allegations, with intent on portraying Governor Godwin Obaseki in bad light.
Godwin Obaseki“After failing to win the hearts of Edo people with their campaigns, Ize-Iyamu and Oshiomhole think they can gain some grounds with smear campaigns, character assassination and cheap blackmail. But Edo people, most of whom are friends and relatives of the gubernatorial candidates, know who is worthy and deserving of their trust. Governor Obaseki has reordered governance in the state by giving the most attention to projects that will impact positively on the socio-economic status of Edo people, such as the CCETC-Ossiomo Power plant and the Edo Modular Refinery that will drive industrialisation in the state.
“Pensioners, our senior citizens, no longer die in long queues to get verified to earn their pension after devoting their entire productive years to the development of our dear state. Our civil servants have been given a work environment that befits their status and inspiring enough to bring out the best in them. Their salaries are paid as and when due.
In the opinion of the governor’s spokesman, “These are the issues that have dominated our campaigns. These are the things Edo people want to hear. Edo voters know that Ize-Iyamu and his godfather are relying on violence, external forces and campaign of calumny, which will not save them”.
Recall that a non-governmental organization, the Coalition for Good Governance and Economic Justice in Africa on Tuesday vowed to follow up the petition signed by one Andrew Eboigbe, a member of the PDP in ward 3, Orhionmwon local government area of the state, alleging that Obaseki single-handedly, without the approval of his cabinet and legislative arm of government, awarded a N1.8 billion consultation contract on water storm project to Afrinvest Ltd., without the justification of the sum and the nature of the contract” which if established, would find the governor liable for contravening Section 19 of the ICPC Act 2000. The group also accused Obaseki of haven increased his security votes to an annual sum of N7.5 billion since 2016, which they said had been deposited in Afrinvest Ltd’s bank account.
Jude Gadimoh, deputy national chairman of the Coalition, expressed shock at what he described as “the weightless response” offered by the governor nearly 24 hours after the allegations were made. According to Gadimoh, “Without speaking to issues contained in the petition, whether or not he has been awarding fraudulent contracts to Afrinvest, and through his proxies, seeking to use diverted funds as starting capital for PRIMUS BANK, Mr. Godwin Obaseki merely offered a bland statement devoid of any substance or meaning”.
Gadimoh, amongst other demands, insisted that the State Government “must immediately publish all its dealings with Afrinvest Limited between 2016 and now, with details of all the contracts it awarded the firm, including cost, nature, and justification on why the firm, despite its established link to the Governor, was awarded the contract in violation of government rules on contract awarding process which frowns against nepotism and acts of state capture”.