COVID-19 violations: Edo govt flays fruitless efforts to defend Oshiomhole’s indiscretions, insensitivity

The Edo State Government has deplored renewed attempts by members of the rogue group, the Edo Peoples Movement (EPM) to distance Comrade Adams Oshiomhole from the violation of government’s regulations to check the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Edo State.

In a statement, Special Adviser to the Edo State Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, noted that such inglorious move has further exposed the former governor’s resolve to disintegrate the party in the state and cause crisis capable of mortgaging the chances of the APC in the forthcoming Edo gubernatorial elections.

Osagie said it is rather unfortunate that Comrade Oshiomhole has been mum on the face of the weighty accusations and relying instead on third parties to defend him while hiding behind a finger.

According to him, “Our attention has been drawn to a vacuous publication by a group of dissidents under the tattered umbrella of the Edo Peoples Movement (EPM) who, hiding behind a finger, have taken the ignoble task of defending the activities of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and his minions.

“They have tried once again to tender explanations for the indiscretions and uncharitable actions of Oshiomhole in organizing a botched All Progressives Congress (APC) mock primary amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, in a futile attempt to choose a candidate from an avarice-stricken lot, with the ultimate mission to unlock the public purse of Edo State for their self-serving ends.”

Osagie said Edo people across political, religious, social and economic divides have agreed in unison that just like the administrations of Late Prof. Ambrose Alli and Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia, the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led government has transformed the state and impacted immensely on their lives, noting that the antics of Oshiomhole and his minions would come to naught.

“Before any attempt to engage on the issues, there is need to pose some questions to these characters, which they need to answer before the right-thinking members of the public can take them seriously. Why has Oshiomhole, who has been accused of organizing the mock primary, not come out openly to distance himself from the action, condemn it and possibly open up investigation within the party to find out the facts of the matter and punish the culprits? Why is the denial coming from third parties?” he posed.

According to him, “At different fora, these surrogates have made attempts to either say that the meeting never held; that it was held for purposes other than choosing a candidate to advance their interest during the elections and yet another version being that it actually held, but the participants were no more than 20 persons.

“For instance, during a Channels Television programme, Politics Today anchored by Seun Okinbaloye, on May 1, just a day after the said event, two surrogates of the EPM, one John Mayaki and a member of the House of Representatives, Peter Akpatason, were pointedly put on the spot to tell Nigerians what transpired on April 30th at Mr. Lucky Imasuen’s residence. Mayaki noted that a family meeting was held at the said premises to discuss ‘how to support government’s efforts to fight COVID-19,’ while Akpatason maintained that no meeting held for whatever reason. This doublespeak only goes to show that the irresponsible action took place and these characters, on that TV programme and in all other instances they have made to deny the meeting, are only out to make up stories to save their face, for holding such obnoxious, insensitive and ill-fated gathering.”

On questions raised over the state government’s revenue, he said, “Oshiomhole and his muppets are busy taking stock of the revenue purportedly flowing to the state monthly from the Federation Account, Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and other sources. Those who do not know them may be misled to think that the purpose for this stocktaking would be that these persons seek more judicious use of these funds to bring value to Edo people. But far from it. Edo people know them all too well and their interest is not geared to derive more value for the common man in the state.

“These elements are only concerned about how much they would have lined their pocket with these funds, and their angst fueled by the fact that they have been denied access to our collective patrimony, which has propelled them to attempt to bring down the roof on the government, which has performed so well and has won the support of the people. They are doing this not minding the risk of losing the state to the opposition, as played out in Zamfara, Bayelsa and other states, as was mentioned earlier.”

Osagie maintained that Governor Obaseki is not dismayed by the unconscionable behaviour of these characters, noting that the governor has continued to transform the state with infrastructure, social, institutional and economic reforms that continue to place the people at the heart of policy decisions and programmes.

Reeling out the governor’s projects, he said, “The Edo State Government under Governor Obaseki has rebuilt the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium into a world-class edifice, while the 14-storey Blocks C & D at the Secretariat Complex, which was abandoned for over 40 years, has been reconstructed to serve as a bespoke workplace for civil servants. The government has also facilitated investment in the real estate sector with the overhaul of the land management system through the Edo State Geographic Information Agency (EdoGIS) and pioneered the Emotan Gardens project, opening a new vista for investment inflow into the state.

“The governor has constructed over 800 roads, stretching over 2000km through the state’s Ministry of Works and the Edo State Employment and Expenditure for Results Project (EdoSEEFOR). At least a road project has been completed or is close to completion in each of the 192 wards in the state.”

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